New Zealand didn’t get the title ‘Adventure Capital of the World’ from promoting sock darning classes — No Sir-eee, this title comes from the layout of high mountains off which glaciers roll, vast craggy gorges and lakes, and wide open space that make the whole country seem like a giant’s Adventure Playground. And extreme sports peeps can’t help but heed the call and want to spend their holidays in New Zealand and particularly South Island.
Bungee jumping, in its modern form, was invented in New Zealand, so it’s the perfect introduction to all holidays in New Zealand. So was black water rafting, but this playground is also known for extreme staples: jet boating, white water rafting, heli bungy, tandem parapenting, tandem skydiving, heliskiing, snowkiting, snowboarding, sand yachting, zorbing, sphere-ing, rock climbing and abseiling, canyoning, and more gentle pastimes, kayaking, cycling or mountain biking and trekking: all worth considering when planning holidays in New Zealand.
This South Island extreme adventure itinerary is an extremely scenic model to base your own extreme holidays in New Zealand around.
Day 1: Wellington — Nelson Many holidays in New Zealand start in Wellington, North Island, and from there head out across the Cook Strait, passing between the Marlborough Sounds to Nelson — maybe doing a spot of fishing, or kayaking or wreck diving on your way.
Day 2 & 3: Abel Tasman National Park An unmissable part of any holidays in New Zealand, days in the Able Tasman National Park are for kayaking and walking in an extremely beautiful setting.
Day 4 – 6: Via the blowholes at Punakaiki to the Franz Joseph Glacier On the way past Punakiki to Franz Josef stop off at the Pancake Rocks, eroded rock formations that facilitate some very impressive ocean v. blowhole action, and not something most holidays in New Zealand factor time for, then spend a couple of days around the glacier cross county quad biking, ice climbing or rafting – or even heli-rafting – on the river. The face of the Franz Joseph glacier is constantly changing, it’s one of the world’s only advancing glaciers — it can move up to 70cms a day – and the walk up to its icefields and icefells is though temperate rainforest, rising almost 2500m in under 12 kms. If the half day glacial hike up it, over its ice fields on the way, sounds a little too easy for your extreme holidays in New Zealand, opt for the heli-hiking option — you do the work on the way up and then get lifted down over some spectacular scenes — bound to be a highlight for holidays in New Zealand.
Day 7: Lake Wanaka In winter Lake Wanaka is the ultimate wintersports holidays in New Zealand destination, come on down skiers! cross country and otherwise, snowboarders! for the snow park and ice climbers. In summer it’s time for fishing, swimming, boating and of course jet boating holidays in New Zealand.
Day 8 – 10: Queenstown and Milford Sound Queenstown has more than once been referred to as ‘the Adventure Capital of the Adventure Capital’. This town has the original commercial bungee jump, as well as one of the highest – if that’s not high enough go skydiving! Or try something new on your holidays in New Zealand and get catapulted about on the Shotover Canyon Swing – it’s like a huge fairground ride – go high-wire-bungee-ing, try canyoning, or heli-mountain biking. There are a lot of sports that New Zealanders like to add the word ‘heli’ to the front of. In winter there’s extreme wintersports to keep you entertained in Queenstown as well. Milford Sound is close by if you prefer extreme watersports.
Day 11: Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook Climbing Mt. Cook or heli-climbing her is one of the highlights of spending your holidays in New Zealand — either way this snowy peak is a spectacular view — but for an even more extreme view skydive over her.
Day 12: Christchurch Surf, do the rapids at Rangitata Gorge, or recover.