On February 22, 2011 a devastating earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand. While it’ll take time to rebuild, it’s important to know New Zealand’s tourism industry, and in fact a huge portion of Christchurch, is operating at full-capacity. We support New Zealand and that’s why we have joined the campaign #blog4nz, with dozens of other bloggers around the world.
There are an inordinate amount of reasons why you should visit New Zealand (great wine?!). But for now, here are 7 crazy, outrageous things to do in New Zealand:
Bungy Jump in Queenstown
In 1888, crazy man AJ Hackett opened the first commercial bungy jump from the Kawarau Bridge. Today, thanks in part to Mr. Hackett, New Zealand is known as a thrill-seeking paradise.
Adreneline Junkies Tourists who want to bungy jump from the Kawarau Bridge willingly pay NZ $150 for the privilege.
If you’re into this kind of thing: Do not pass go, do not collect $200… head directly to Queenstown!
Black Water Cave Tubing Adventure
If so, this Waitomo subterranean adventure is for you.
Your heart-pumping jump down a waterfall will be well-rewarded when you reach the glow worm cave. Safety equipment, footwear, tubes, wetsuits, and helmets are provided.
Just be ready for an adventure unlike anything you have ever experienced. Book in advance, especially during high season.
Biking Marlborough Wine Country
Perhaps this isn’t that crazy or outrageous like skydiving, but it’s a fun and different way to discover New Zealand’s wine country at your own pace. Not to mention, it gives you bragging rights back at home about your Kiwi adventure.
Rent a bike, grab a map, and cycle the back-roads to your favorite wineries. You don’t even have to pack a picnic lunch as delicious restaurants dot the countryside. We highly recommend Wairau River Wines Restaurant.
Bikes can be rented from the Olde Mill House Bed, Breakfast, & Cycle Hire. Or, consider staying at this homey, centrally-located B&B because bike rental is free when you stay the night.
Tramp a Great Walk
If you’re into the outdoors and being one-with-nature, you can’t leave New Zealand without tramping (hiking) one of New Zealand’s Great Walks through some of the best scenery in the country.
The Routeburn Track takes you 32 kilometers through Fiordland National Park on the South Island. The walk takes several days and you carry all of your own supplies while sleeping in designed huts or camping areas. Even if you’re not the outdoor-type, this is your opportunity to do something crazy and outrageous in New Zealand!
The Shotover Jet is a crazy, unforgettable experience. Hop on a jet boat and explore canyons at insane speeds over shallow waters with 360 degree mind-numbing spins (and no, the boat doesn’t slow down). You’ll quickly realize why they call this the “World’s Most Exciting Jet Boat Ride.”
Turns out, the adreneline rush you get from this exilerating ride is actually good for you… it’s like a natural high. If you find yourself in Queenstown, give this a shot.
Fly-In, Fly-Out Glacier Helihike
Combine the thrill of a helicopter ride with the feeling of being left alone in a remote area of the wilderness and that’s what you’ll get when you sign up for the Fly-In, Fly-Out Glacier Helihike.
Landing by helicopter on a glacier gives you a rare opportunity to explore remote ice caves and enjoy spectacular views. You won’t get this kind of access by hiking with the rest of the tourists.
Or, take your Helihike adventure to the next level and spend the night on Fox Glacier. Relax with a glass of wine and enjoy the spectacular view as your guide cooks dinner. Spend the next day exploring the glacier according to your fitness level.
Several locations throughout New Zealand’s North and South Islands offer skydiving. The question is whether or not you’re prepared to join the ‘3 Mile High Club.’
While you can skydive just about anywhere in the world, few places offer the breathtaking, panoramic views like New Zealand.
Most people would jump at the chance to go skydiving in New Zealand. What about you?
What sort of crazy, outrageous things have you done in New Zealand?
#blog4nz Photo Credits:
Bungy Jump: http://www.queenstownadventure.com/; Water Tubing: http://www.waitomo.com/; Biking Wine Country: Ricardo Villarreal; Key Summit, Routeburn Track: Ricardo Villarreal; Shotover Jet: http://www.youdogo.com; Glacier Helihike: FoxGuides.co.nz; Skydiving: travelblog.org
Time is the only thing you’re up against when you visit New Zealand. You want to see it all, but there’s just not enough time!
Although New Zealand has 10 wonderful wine regions all worthy of a visit, today we’re giving you an overview of 3 wine regions you don’t want to miss on your visit to the South Island:
Nelson is one of New Zealand’s up-and-coming wine regions that can’t be ignored.
With more sunshine hours than any other place in the country, Nelson is making some phenomenal wines that you have to try.
Located about an hour west of the Marlborough region, Nelson produces some amazing wine that goes head-to-head with their internationally recognized neighbor.
Winemakers produce a variety of wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Pinot Noir.
Relax and enjoy your wine wins at a local bed & breakfast located right on a vineyard, such as Milcrest Estate. Together with Milcrest Estate, our Nelson winery recommendations include Neudorf and Golden Hills Estates.
- Hike, kayak, and swim at Abel Tasman National Park
If you’ve heard of at least one New Zealand wine region, it’s most likely Marlborough.
While they’re famous for their aromatic Sauvignon Blanc, it’s important to remember that the region offers much more than just this varietal.
While you should definitely try a few Sauvignon Blancs (you’re there, after all!), do yourself a favor and steer away from this Marlborough cliché because there is so much to taste!
Staying in or around Renwick will put you in the heart of wine country. We stayed at the Olde Mill House Bed & Breakfast which has free bicycles for guests. This enabled us to bike to the wineries instead of driving!
Our Marlborough winery recommendations include Forrest Wines because of their great wines and tasting room ambiance (their John Forrest Collection 2004 Chardonnay is superb), Mahi, and Spy Valley (learning Morse code during a tasting is a new experience).
- Visit the picturesque town of Picton and hike the beautiful waterfront.
It’s the southernmost wine growing region in the world and they are known for their kickin’ Pinot Noir.
The altitude combined with cold winters and hot as heck summers definitely help. Other wine varieties include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer.
Unlike flat, bike-friendly Marlborough, you’ll definitely want wheels with a motor for Otago as areas can be very hilly with narrow, winding roads. If you’re up for the challenge, that’s another story… Lance!
If you stay in Queenstown, it’s just a short drive to our favorite Central Otago vineyards. We recommend a wine tasting and lunch at Mt. Difficulty followed by a trip to The Lazy Dog Restaurant & Cellar Door specifically to taste the fine wines from Misha’s Vineyard.
- Spend a few days visiting and hiking Fiordland National Park
- Take a boat cruise on Milford Sound
- Check out Queenstown, a beautiful lakeside city surrounded by mountains.