Horse ride along the longest beach

Golden sand dunes and shipwrecks – Ripiro Beach in the Northland region stretches 107km making it New Zealand’s longest beach. You can horse ride along the golden coastline or trot to the top of the cliffs for spectacular views.

Baylys Beach Horse Treks offers a guided and historical tour of the coastline. A horse ride costs £30/one-hour per person or £39/two-hour per person.

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Jump off the highest building

Auckland Sky Tower credit: iStock

Standing at a dizzying 328m, the Auckland Sky Tower offers a range of adrenaline fuelled activities. The SkyWalk offers visitors the chance to test their nerves with a nail biting circuit of the tower at 192 metres. The view of the city and beautiful harbour are the best antidote to inevitable jelly knees. Or for an unforgettable experience, take a leap of faith with the SkyJump, an 85km an hour controlled descent will see you safely at ground level. It’s not all thrills and spills there’s a restaurant at the top, but you might want to leave it a while after eating before jumping off.

The SkyWalk costs £66 per adult and the SkyJump costs £103 per adult. Admission to Sky Tower costs £13 per adult and includes entry to the 182m Sky Lounge Café and Bar, 186m Main Observation Level and 220m Sky Deck viewing platform.

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Climb the highest mountain

With a peak that stands 3,724m high, Mt Cook is a physically demanding and highly rewarding venture. The mountain was originally named Aoraki by the Maori, meaning “cloud piercer”. Standing tall in the Southern Alps and set under a star-studded sky, Mt Cook’s skyscraping peaks, permanent snowfields and glaciers make this a climb of a lifetime.

Adventure Consultants offers a six-day guided tour, but it’s not cheap at £2,585 per person. Price includes ground transport, flights in and out of Plateau Hut, accommodation, all meals and snacks, equipment, and Department of Conservation fees.

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Kayak the longest river

Waikato River credit: iStock

Running 425km long, the Waikato River flows through the North Island, rising in the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu before joining the Tongariro River system and emptying into Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Visitors can kayak along the crystal clear waters, admire the stunning surrounding scenery and soak in the natural hot pools.

Canoe and Kayak offers a two-hour tour along the river with a stop at the hot pools and complimentary refreshments for £27 per adult.

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Conquer the highest bungee jump

Standing 134m high above the stark and beautiful Nevis River, visitors will experience a thrilling 8.5 seconds of free fall when they jump off the highest bungee in New Zealand. While there, visitors can also have a go at the world’s biggest swing, which is suspended 160m above the canyon floor and rushes towards the other side of the valley at 120kmph.

Nevis Bungy is located 45mins from Queenstown. The Nevis Bungy costs £125 per person and includes a free Jump T-shirt. The Nevis Swing costs £89 per person, or a tandem swing costs £80 per person.

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Cycle the longest Nga Haerenga cycle trail

From the hills of Mt Ruapheu to the shores of Whanganui, the 297km long Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail takes cyclists through the majestic mountains, stunning native forests and the spiritual, cultural and historical highlights of the Whanganui River. It takes three to five days to cycle the 1,600m vertical decent, travelling through 200km of cycle trails and a 31km river section. The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail gives visitors the chance to experience the diverse wilderness New Zealand has to offer. The New Zealand Cycle Trail – Nga Haerenga – offers a wealth of cycle trails from mountain biking to leisure trails for beginners.

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Complete the longest hiking trail

Cape Reinga credit: iStock

Hike the entire length of New Zealand, from Cape Reinga to Bluff, on the Te Araoa trail, which stretches 3,000km. Te Araoa offers a variety of natural, cultural and historic experiences, allowing visitors to explore New Zealand’s volcanoes, mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys. Hiking the entire trail takes three to six months, however visitors can also hike sections of the trail from a few days to a week or more. 

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Swim in the largest lake

Located in the caldera of the Taupo Volcano in the North Island, Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and second largest freshwater lake in Oceania. The 616sqkm volcanic lake is bigger than Singapore and stretches as far as 46km in length. Kinloch is a 15-minute drive east from Taupo town centre and is a favourite swimming spot amongst locals. Visitors can jump off a cliff or pontoon into crystal clear water.

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Jet boat across the deepest lake

Within a mountain valley in Fiordland National Park is Lake Hauroko, the deepest lake in New Zealand. Shaped like an “S” and stretching 30km in length, Lake Hauroko reaches depths of 462m. Visitors can take a tour across the mysterious lake and enjoy the deep wilderness of the southwest Fiordland.

Wairaurahiri Jet offers transport across the lake for £45 per person (one way) or visitors can take a half-day tour of the lake and its surroundings for £68 per person.

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Ski the largest glacier

Tasman Glacier credit: iStock

The largest of several glaciers in the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island is Tasman Glacier, an incredible 27km long, 4km wide and 600m thick. Lying within the borders of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, Tasman Glacier becomes the longest ski run during the winter months. Alpine Guides will take adventurous skiers for an unforgettable backcountry experience through seracs, ice caves and natural ice sculptures. 

The Classic 2 Run package costs £423 per person and includes two ski runs, three scenic ski plane flights with snow landings, professional mountain guide services, a picnic lunch on the snow, safety equipment and free airport transfers from accommodation in Mt Cook.

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