The ‘Paradise of the Pacific’ and the most recently populated place on the planet, New Zealand is one of those places that can offer you a sensational adventure holiday. Be its active volcanoes, rolling mountains, roaring rivers, picturesque fiords, pristine beaches, large glaciers or beautiful lakes, you are never far away from Adventure in the Kiwi islands. You could indulge in anything from glacier trekking, mountain biking, motorcycling, kayaking, volcano climbing, hiking, trout fishing, rock climbing, sky diving, canyoning, jet-boating, bungee jumping to so much more. This country is what I call the ‘living mecca’ of adventure. If you are an adrenaline junkie or wish to test your limits, this is the place you go to for your adventure holiday. And below are my 6 top adventure destinations that you can add to your Kiwi holiday itinerary.
Tongariro National Park – Hike to the Lava
New Zealand’s first national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tongariro is famous for its alpine crossing that offers interesting experiences both in summer and winter. It offers hiking in volcanic terrain, views of colorful lakes and sensational craters and a peak. The winter hike offers greater difficulty due to heavier snow and poor visibility.
Wanaka – Snow Boarding Paradise
The gateway to Mount Aspiring National park, Wanaka is a snow boarding and skiing paradise located in the South Island of New Zealand. Apart from conquering the world renowned skifields of Otago, one can indulge in other outdoor adventure like rock climbing, sky diving, Waterfall abseiling, trail hiking and much more, especially amidst the beautiful canyons of Matukituki valley and the Rob Roy glacier of Mt. Aspiring National Park. Making a lord of the rings tour is also quite a popular exercise here.
Queenstown – The Adrenaline Zone
Popularly dubbed as the adventure capital of the world, Queenstown is a scenic mountain town that is surrounded by the Southern Alps and is decorated by Lake Wakatipu. You name the adventure activity and this place has it. Be it bungee jumping, mountaineering, luge, sky diving, river boarding, snow boarding or zip lining, this place offers lots of adrenaline rush amidst insanely scenic terrain. And since Queenstown is quite the town with the party atmosphere, you can indulge in some sizzling nightlife and online entertainment while you are taking a break from outdoor adventure.
Aoraki Mountain Cook National Park – Glacier Kayaking and More
New Zealand’s highest mountain offers an incredible number of adventure activities. Be it kayaking on the Mueller glacier, day skiing on the Tasman glacier, heliskiing in the Ben Ohau ranges, technical climbing on Mount Cook or walking and tramping through the national park, you are never far away from making your heart race. And when you feel like taking a break from adventure, you can take a scenic flight tour over the scenic mountains and glaciers.
Nelson – Top of the South
Blessed with the highest sunshine hours of the country, Nelson is the place to go if you are a motorcycle enthusiast. With the wind in your hair and the views of incredible coastal and mountain scenery in your eyes, this oldest city of South Island is perfect motorcycling country. And if you are into tramping and sea kayaking, the Abel Tasman National Park is just a short drive from the city. And did I happen to mention that one of the best ski diving places in the world is here. You jump over snow capped peaks and land amidst views of marshes and the Pacific.
Rotorua – Geo Thermal Wonderland
With some of the best off road biking in the world, Rotorua offers a heady mix of volcanoes, geo thermal springs, hot water geysers and mud springs. Surrounding these rugged landscapes and smoky terrain are many white water rafting, fishing and boating avenues. Okere waterfalls and the Waimangu Volcanic valley are top choices.
Photo Courtesy: All photos have been borrowed from wikipedia.org under the creative commons license. Each photo is linked to the photo page on wikipedia.org.