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Adventure sports in New Zealand is famous all over the world for providing one of the most thrilling and satisfying experiences. No wonder, the country is titled “adventure capital of the world” since it caters to all kinds of adrenaline seekers and enthusiasts! So if you’re planning a vacation to New Zealand, we would recommend you to not only seek glory in its nature but also in the amazing adventure sports there. And to help you choose the best, here’s a list of top 15 New Zealand adventure sports. These sports are for every kind of traveler- be it a beginner or a pro. To add, these adventure sports can be as challenging and as easy as one wants them to be. New Zealand can be said to be the perfect sport for adventure sports. This island has is the right place for trying all the unique spots for witnessing and experiencing some of the best experiences of adventure sports. Here are some options for adventure sports in New Zealand. Take a look! 

19 Best Adventure Sports In New Zealand

Buckle up for the most enthalling activities this country has on offer! There is no dearth of adventure sports in New Zealand, which makes it nothing less than paradise on earth for adventure enthusiasts. Here is a list that justifies this for sure!

  • Jet Boating
  • Rafting
  • Heli Skiing
  • Canyoning
  • Off roading
  • Caving
  • Zip Lining
  • Zorbing
  • Bungy Jumping
  • Skydiving
  • Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hiking
  • Sailing
  • Cycling
  • Milford Sound Experience
  • Whale Watching
  • Glacier Flights

1. Jet Boating

new zealand jet boat ride

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Jet Boating is one of the most thrilling water adventure sports in New Zealand and would take you on a speedy ride through river gorges, shallow waters, past rocks, and river beds. This adventure activity is also among the popular things to do in New Zealand. The experience is refreshing as well as challenging for you because the activity will test your guts and patience. The consistent splashing of water on your face will make this activity even more exciting.  

Best places to do jet boating in New Zealand: Queenstown and Canterbury, Buller and Makarora area in South Island, and Whanganui, Waikato River, and Rangitaiki rivers in North Island
Price: From $85

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2. Rafing

new zealand rafting

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Rafting can be both an easy and extreme adventure sport in New Zealand for the country and its rivers offer experiences that range from grade 1 to 5. If you’re into the extreme adventure, then we would recommend you rafting at the worlds highest commercially rafted waterfall in Rotorua (7m).

Best places for rafting in New Zealand: West Coast, Tongariro River, Queenstown, Christchurch, and Rotorua
Price: From $90 to $200

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3. Heli Skiing

new zealand heli skiing

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Heli Skiing is one of the most famous New Zealand extreme sports and it involves a helicopter ride. You can ride all the way to the top of a snowy remote hill from where one goes downhill skiing. The level of thrill going down is unimaginable and if you’re one of those who knows how to ski, then this experience should not be missed at any cost.

Best place to do heli skiing in New Zealand: South Island
Price: From $990 (3 day run)

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4. Canyoning

canyoning adventure in new zealand

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If you’re looking for that perfect New Zealand adventure, then you must definitely try canyoning for it is one adventure sport that involves a perfect mix of adrenaline rush and natural beauty. Staged at remote mountain locations, you would have to trek through gorges, waterfalls, and swim through rock pools to reach your destination. It is a surreal and an up close way to experience nature in its raw form.

Best places to do canyoning in New Zealand: Remote mountain areas around Auckland, Canterbury, Coromandel, Nelson, and Wanaka
Price: Half day tour starts from $199

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5. Off Roading

new zealand off roading adventure

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One of the best ways to explore New Zealand is by going on an offroad driving adventure and exploring the best of nature in a mighty SUV. Pass by rivers, forests, and even indulge a ride on the sand dunes of Ninety Mile Beach in Northland. And yes, if by chance, you don’t like the Range Rover experience, you are free to grab your own quad bike and do it your way!

Best places to go offroading in New Zealand: Ninety Mile Beach, Waikato, Marlborough, and Canterbury
Price: From $55

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6. Caving

new zealand caving adventure

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Caving is one of the most thrilling and unique adventure sports in New Zealand. The country has an extensive network of caving system and one can either walk & explore (spelunk) or go black water rafting through its various channels.

Best places for caving in New Zealand: Waitomo caves for black water rafting and Nelson for guided underground adventures.
Price: From $340 (Waitomo Day Tour) & $149 (Black Water Rafting)

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7. Zip Lining

new zealand zip lining adventure

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Zip Lining is one of the most interesting New Zealand extreme sports in the world. Here you can zip through forests, rivers, and canyons and enjoy the spectacular views and a surreal blend of nature, speed, and adrenaline rush. Zipling in New Zealand is an experience that one should surely try to witness some of the most beautiful scenic views!

Best places for zip lining in New Zealand: Waiheke Island, West Coast, and Queenstown
Price: From $150

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8. Zorbing

new zealand zorbing adventure

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One of those adventure sports in New Zealand that is just perfect for every age group, zorbing involves you going inside a huge plastic ball and going down the hill. This experience is best enjoyed at OGO Rotorua which is the largest ballpark in the world and was invented by the same people who invented Zorbing.

Best place for zorbing in New Zealand: OGA Ball park in Rotorua
Price: From $26 (triple sharing)

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9. Bungy Jumping

new zealand bungy jumping

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If you’re on a holiday or staying in New Zealand and have not tried bungee jumping, then you have missed something very important in life. A leap of faith while doing this adventure sport in New Zealand would surely give you a lifetime of memories. You can try bungee jumping from dedicated spots and even do it from unconventional places like the Auckland Harbour Bridge or over a river. Whatever you choose, there is surely no scope for disappointment.

PS – New Zealand was the first country to introduce commercial bungy jumping – so you can guess the kind of adventure and thrill that awaits you.

Best places for Bungee Jumping in New Zealand: Kawarau Bungy Site, Nevis (New Zealand’s highest), Auckland Harbour Bridge, and Taupo Bungy (over Waikato river)
Price: From $150

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10. Skydivingnew zealand sky diving adventure

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Whether you go solo or tandem, nothing comes close to the thrill that skydiving offers and New Zealand is one of the best places to do it. For the ones who are brave at heart and willing to take that extra dose of adrenaline, it cannot get better than this.

Best places to do skydiving in New Zealand: Bay of Plenty, Wanaka, Auckland, Queenstown, and Lake Taupo
Price: From $300 (at 9000 ft) to $500 (15000 ft)

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11. Kayaking


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An adventure for both kinds of travelers – daredevils and those who take it a little easy, Kayaking is one sport that one should try at least once when in this country. One of the best tourism activities in New Zealand, Kayaking on the clear blue waters with a pleasant weather hovering around is something that appeals to every traveler. This sport gives travelers an opportunity to pass through the valley and witness the picturesque views of the surrounding hills.

Best Places for Kayaking in New Zealand: Anakiwa is home to a family-run company that offers some amazing kayak tours. This is the best place to try Kayaking in Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.
Price: From $39 without guide

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12. Mountain Biking


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One of the most thrilling adventure sports in New Zealand is mountain biking. Imagine zipping pass the lush greens of the hills, along the trails that offer beautiful canopies of foliage. Mountain biking in New Zealand is an experience that is one of its kind. Passing through the flocks of wooly sheep, crossing bridges, crossing clear blue lakes, dark tunnels and canyons, snow-covered peaks, the whole experience is nothing less than magical!

Best Places for Mountain Biking in New Zealand: Otago Central Rail Trail
Price: From $33 per day

13. Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

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Another interesting adventure sport in New Zealand is riding on a horse back as the wind brushes through skin and hair. The routes that these horses usually take is surrounded by some refreshing marvels of mother nature, that simply adds to an already impeccable experience. This ride gives one a chance to experience a complete fairytale moment by virtue of rainforests, small cabin that offers hot beverages, ending the tour on a beach!

Best Places for Horse Riding in New Zealand: Punakaiki
Price: $111 for 2.5 hours

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14. Hiking


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Another one on this list of  New Zealand adventure sports for nature lovers is hiking and conquering the hills. The National Park is considered as the best place to go hiking. This destination offers the finest amalgamation of natural wonders including jungles, beaches, crystal clear streams, and tiny coves. The trails offer hikes from 2 to 6 hours, one can choose according to their own preferences. It is advised that one should always be precautious when hiking, especially when crossing small coves as the stones might be a little slippery!

Best Places for Hiking in New Zealand: Abel Tasman National Park
Price: $44

15. Sailing


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One of the most offbeat adventure sports in New Zealand is definitely sailing on the clear dark blue waters of this destination. Giving travelers a chance to be a pirate, when sailing in New Zealand, one can hoist the flags, climb the mast or bowsprit, ride the waves, and simply satiate their hunger for adventure. If one wants to simply ride a boat, they can relax and enjoy the wind brushing through hair and skin!

Best Places for Sailing in New Zealand: Bay of Islands
Price: $75 for 6 hours

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16. Cycling


Image Credit: Pixabay.com
Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

If you’re interested in New Zealand adventure sports, then biking can be said to be one of them. This activity allows you to explore such areas where four-wheelers cannot go. For example, the narrow places between the hills, where cars are not allowed and the natives have built narrow biking trails for cycling purposes only. The activity is considered to be a sport as well as people take it is a competitive manner here.

Tip: It is important to wear helmets and proper protection during this activity.
Best Time: from 8 AM to 6 PM
Price: INR 35.00
Risk level: Low

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17. Milford Sound Experience

millforf sound experience

Image Credit: Needpix.com
Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

If you’re looking for some of the best things to do when you’re outdoor, then experiencing Milford sound will be one of the best choices. This is the most scenic destination on this island and you will be able to witness the snow caped islands, shimmering lakes, etc. The cruise starts from Queenstown and professional tour guides will take you along the trail of this journey, where you will be able to take quick snaps of the amazing surroundings. There will be certain beautiful stops as well along the ride which will allow indulging in barbeque meal options and many more.

Tip: Carry to the camera to take some of the best shots ever.
Best time: Best during day time
Price: INR 9897.41
Risk: Level low

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18. Whale Watching


Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

If you’re waiting for the best adventures in New Zealand, then whale watching should be there on your list. This is a unique experience and the island shores will make the experience even more vivid. You will be able to explore the deep waters of the southern parts of this island and the marine life existing here. The natural habitat of this island will attract you and keep your attention and eyes glued to this place. The tours are best during day time as you will be able to witness every small detail this place has to offer.

Tip: Take additional clothes if you’re going near the water bodies.
Best Time: best during day time.
Price: INR 7651.84
Risk Level: Low

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19. Glacier Flights

Glacier Flights

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Disclaimer: The image is for representation purposes only.

Taking flights alongside the glaciers is something that can be done during the winters if you’re in New Zealand. The scenic flights take you along the snow-capped glaciers and start from Wanaka. The tour takes up almost half a day starting from early morning and within the afternoon, you will get one of the best New Zealand extreme adventure experiences. The professionals here take complete care of the fact that you have the best flight that showcases the scenic routes. Some of the most famous glacier flight tours are the Milford Sound glacier flight, Mt. Cook flight, etc.

Tip: Always carry warm clothes at it gets cold on the top
Best Time: During day time, tours usually last for 4 hours
Price: Starting from INR 25,000
Risk Level: Medium.

Further Read: 24 Famous New Zealand Tourist Attractions That One Should Visit

There is no doubt that this destination is one of the most exciting destinations in the world when it comes to adventure sports in New Zealand. So, get packed, plan your trip to New Zealand and get ready to have a trip full of fun and adventure!

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Please Note: Any information published by TravelTriangle in any form of content is not intended to be a substitute for any kind of medical advice, and one must not take any action before consulting a professional medical expert of their own choice.

Frequently Asked Questions About Adventure Sports In New Zealand

Where to go for bungee jumping in New Zealand?

The Nevis Bungee, The Rotorua Bungy, Kawarau Bridge, and Auckland Skytower are some of the spots for bungee jumping in New Zealand.

Which are the best jet boating zones in New Zealand?

Jet boating is one of the most thrilling adventure sports in New Zealand. To experience it in the best way, you can head towards Queenstown and Canterbury, Rangitaiki River, Whanganui, and Waikato River, etc.

What is Heli Skiing in New Zealand?

Heli-Skiing is another exhilarating extreme sport that you can enjoy in New Zealand. If you don’t have height fright and also not afraid of snow, you can try this. You will get a helicopter ride at the remote hilly area where you can go downhill by skiing. You need to have good skills in skiing.

Where can you go for canyoning?

For canyoning, you need to go to the remote areas of Auckland, like Canterbury, Nelson, Coromandel, and Nelson. The cost of canyoning in New Zealand starts at $199.

What is caving in New Zealand?

Caving is something that you may not experience anywhere around the world than New Zealand. This unique and thrilling adventure sport includes exploring the caves of the country. You can also go for river rafting here.

Where to try zip lining in New Zealand?

New Zealand is one of the most exciting places to try zip lining around the world. While zipping through the rivers, forests, lakes, and mountains, you can experience the amazing natural beauty.

What are adventure tourism activities in New Zealand?

There is no dearth of adventure tourism activities in New Zealand. Some of them are jet boating, sailing, horse riding, kayaking, sky diving, mountain biking, hiking, trekking, and many more.

What is canyoning in New Zealand?

Canyoning is one of the adventure sports that gives travelers a chance to explore various canyons by using various techniques of hiking, climbing, scrambling, swimming, jumping, and such.

Which country is best for adventure?

The most adventurous country in the entire world is Brazil.

Where can I go for an adventure in New Zealand?

Some of the best places for an adventure in New Zealand are Queenstown, Auckland, West Coast, Rotorua, Wanaka, and more.

What is New Zealand famous for?

New Zealand is known for many things. But the top three things that made this country earn its fame are picturesque landscapes, indigenous Maori culture, and the national rugby team.

What are things to do in New Zealand on the North Island?

Some fun things to do on the North Island are black water rafting, diving, cathedral cove, hot water beach, alpine crossing, and many more.

What should I not miss in New Zealand?

Some experiences to not miss in New Zealand are exploring the Abel National Park, taking part in adventure sports, trekking on the glacier, checking out glow worms, learning about the Maori culture, and more.

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Category: Adventure, New Zealand

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