Top 10 Outdoor Adventure Experiences in New Zealand

Nothing clears the head like the clear air and sheer exhilaration of this extraordinary country. This is a place where one day you can be skiing or snowboarding down a pristine slope and the next swooping, whooping and yelling at 10,000 feet under your tandem skydiving instructor. One day you can be mountain biking through a forest trail and the next sailing through breathtakingly beautiful waters. This country is indeed the land of the outdoors and the outdoor adventure.

There’s something for every thrill level – from family friendly or soft adventures to extreme. When you plan your New Zealand adventure, make sure you have included some of these Top 10 experiences in your itinerary.

North Island’s Top 5

  1. Trek around edges of old lava flows and see green crater lakes at Tongariro Crossing, a spectacular day hike that Lord of the Rings fans know as “Mt Doom.”
  2. Body board down the massive Te Paki Sand Dunes by 90 Mile Beach in Northland at thrilling speeds.
  3. Feel the power of the water as you jet-boat a vivid blueNew Zealand river close to the thundering Huka Falls in Taupo.
  4. Go Black Water Rafting in Waitomo, home to a labyrinth of subterranean caves, underwater rivers, and millions of glow worms.
  5. Swim with dolphins in the Bay of Islands, among 144 spectacular islands with pristine beaches and sparkling secluded bays

South Island’s Top 5

  1. Get the adrenaline pumping in beautiful Queenstown. From sky diving and bungy jumping to rafting and jet boating, the options are endless.
  2. Kayak turquoise waters in Abel Tasman National Park along white sand beaches, granite rock formations, and native forest.
  3. Hike through brilliantly blue ice formations on the west coast’s awe-inspiring glaciers of Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.
  4. Spot magnificent sperm whales breaching up close and personal in Kaikoura, set against the dramatic backdrop of rugged snowy mountains and leaping dolphins.
  5. Cruise, kayak or sleep under the stars in stunning Fiordland. Be mesmerized by the dramatic fiords, spectacular waterfalls and snow-capped peaks that surround you.

Milford Sound is one of the most popular destinations

Milford Sound is a place of enchantment that will stun you with its dramatic splendor. The journey itself is a scene stealing revelation. Drive from Queenstown, along the shores of Lake Te Anau and you reach the Homer Tunnel which leads you down to the tiny settlement of Milford Sound. Head to the wharf because this is where the real adventure starts. From here you can take boat cruises along the Sound, head out sea kayaking or, for an aerial view, flightseeing. Whichever way you go you will see sights that you have never seen before – huge peaks, precipitous waterfalls and sheer rock faces tumbling into the depths of the fiord. For a different view, visit the underwater observatory and marvel at the black coral, 11-legged sea stars and delicate anemones.