10 Incredibly Thrilling Things To Do In New Zealand That Make It The Ultimate Adventure Destination


The incredible things to do in New Zealand make for a dream bucket list for adventure enthusiasts across the world. The country not only boasts of the most picturesque natural wonders, but also provides the best facilities to enjoy it all.

From skydiving over the stunning Lake Wanaka to thru-hiking in the Te Araroa Trail, things to do in New Zealand (NZ) are some of the greatest adventures in the world. The NZ adventure bucket list is endless, but here's a compilation of the most-desired travel adventures in the Kiwi land.

1. Experience free fall at Ledge Bungy in Queenstown

AJ Hackett and Henry Van came up with the first bungy jumping operation in Queenstown in 1980. Since then this stunning city has become a hub for commercial bungy jumping, attracting visitors from all across the globe. Ledge Bungy at Queenstown is the best pick for your first free fall adventure when in New Zealand. And the best part is, it's even open at night!

Image Credits: Will Ellis

Photo of AJ Hackett Bungy Ledge Bungy and Swing, Brecon Street, Queenstown, New Zealand by Tripoto

2. Witness the surreal glowworm caves at Waitomo

The Kiwi land is home to the most breathtaking caves and a caving tour here can be your introduction to underground sceneries like you've never seen before. Glow worms called arachnocampa luminosa are luminescent creatures unique to Waitomo, which can be seen in the caves. You can also take a quiet boat ride along the meandering Waitomo River to witness the surreal glow inside the caves. Black water subterranean rafting, rope dangling and rip roaring are some of the most thrilling things to do in New Zealand while visiting the Waitomo Caves in the Waikato region.

Image Credits: Waimarino Ltd

Photo of Waitomo Caves, Waikato, New Zealand by Tripoto

3. Take skydiving off your bucket list at Lake Wanaka

With world-class adventure amenities and experienced skydivers leading you step by step, skydiving above Lake Wanaka is a bucket list dream for adrenaline junkies around the world. As you drop from 12,000 feet, enjoy stunning views of the rocky mountains of Central Otago District, surrounding snow-capped peaks and the blue and green lakes dotting the terrain below. Another skydiving site to check out in New Zealand is at Lake Taupo, which is also the largest commercial skydiving zone in the world.

Image Credits: Michael Nepoleon

Photo of Lake Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand by Tripoto

4. Venture into the wild on the Te Araroa Trail

This 3,000km-long hiking stretch starts from Cape Regina in the north and goes till Bluff in the south. Hikers can choose to indulge in a month-long adventure or pick a shorter-section hike. This adventure is for skilled hikers who are familiar with bush craft skills, navigation and survival. You can choose to do an outdoor safety course or get practical experience in the outdoors before venturing on to this trail.

Hiking here usually starts from October and you don't need a permit to walk the trail. To reach the starting point, you can take a flight from Auckland to Kerikeri or a bus from Auckland to Kaitaia. Tourist buses take visitors from the spots to Cape Reinga. Trail notes and maps can be acquired from Te Araroa Trust forum.

Image Credits: Daniel Walker

Photo of Te Araroa, Gisborne, New Zealand by Tripoto

5. Take your raft to the Tongariro River

Rafting opportunities are available in the Taupo region of North Island throughout the year. The rivers crisscrossing through the region offer adventure activities ranging from Grade 1 rafting on easy waters to Grade 5 extreme adventure rafting. On Tongariro River, you can enjoy a rafting experience from Grade 2 to 4. Experienced guides will help you understand the safety guidelines and gear is available at the site.

You can also head to other white water rafting sites in the Bay of Plenty and the Hawke's Ba. Rafting opportunities are also available around Queenstown and the West Coast.

Image Credits: Robert Engberg

Photo of Tongariro River Rafting, Atirau Road, Turangi, New Zealand by Tripoto

6. Ski down the slopes of Queenstown – the resort town

New Zealand is home to the Southern Alps, which cut through the land mass offering fine skiing and snowboarding fields. The best spot on the country's map to enjoy skiing is around the alpine resort town of Queenstown. There are three skiing areas in the South Island that boast of a postcard scenery, azure lakes and a pleasant dining experience in the restaurants of the region. Skiing areas in the North Island are located on an active volcano at Mt Ruapehu. The site is also the country's largest commercial skiing area.

Image Credits: Alan Lam

Photo of Queenstown, Otago, New Zealand by Tripoto

7. Get an adrenaline rush as you jump over the Nevis River

Heart-thumping adrenaline rush awaits you at 134 metres above the Nevis River, only 45km from Queenstown. It's thrilling and is sure to leave you will memories of a lifetime. The drive from Queenstown to the bungy site is a 45 minutes long sightseeing tour in itself.

Other bungee sites around the country are the Auckland Harbour Bridge, Toupo Bungy near Huka Falls and the bungy site near Waikato River.

Image Credits: eyeintim

Photo of Nevis River, Otago, New Zealand by Tripoto

8. Enjoy kayaking inside the Whanganui National Park

A fantastic addition to this list of things to do in New Zealand is a canoeing adventure on the 145km-long Whanganui River. The river guides you along the beautiful forested Whanganui National Park.

Paddling down the Whanganui River gives you the opportunity to enjoy and unwind in the wild, with no signs of civilisation for miles. You can also leave the canoe and start an easy hike to an abandoned bridge built in 1936. The bridge has become a coveted spot for curious hikers. This 5-day long adventure along the river and the hike through the national park is also listed among New Zealand's 9 Great Walks.

Image Credits: Department of Conservation

Photo of Whanganui, New Zealand by Tripoto

9. Unwind at the spa town of Hanmer Springs

A 90-minute drive from Christchurch, Hanmer Springs is a resort town in the Canterbury region of the South Island. Two shuttle buses take travellers from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs and back. Things to do in this part of New Zealand include a plethora of adventure activities but the small town is best known for the soothing sulphur pools and the luxurious spa treatments in the resorts of the region. The mineral water of the region has attracted people to this corner of the globe for over a hundred years and the sulphur pools were awarded the 'Best Visitor Attraction' for three consecutive years from 2004 to 2006.

Image Credits: Jesse Baron

Photo of Hanmer Springs, Canterbury, New Zealand by Tripoto

10. Walk into a real Hobbit village in Matamata

Even if you are looking only for adventure in New Zealand, your trip will remain incomplete without a trip to the Hobbiton village movie set from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, in Matamata. Visitors can take a guided tour of the movie set, which involves fascinating commentary on how the place was created. Stop at the beautiful cafes on the green pastures for a great afternoon. This is an unmissable adventure, especially when you're travelling with kids.

Image Credits: Global Panorama

Photo of Matamata, Waikato, New Zealand by Tripoto

Have you travelled to the Kiwi land? Then you must have a lot of tips and discoveries up your sleeve. Share them with the travel community and connect with like-minded travellers on Tripoto.

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