There are countless reasons to visit New Zealand, but adventure has to be near the top of the list.

The land is more naturally beautiful than most any other nation can claim, the people tend to be fun-loving and open-minded, and all of this has led to the development of a lot of tourism destinations as adventure hot spots, so to speak. So if you’re interested in this kind of trip, here’s a rundown of some of the best spots for adventure in the country.


Wanaka is one of the best outdoor adventure destinations in New Zealand, primarily because of the canyoning in the area. Now, if you’re not familiar with canyoning, or the term sounds unspecific, that’s because it basically refers to a bundle of activities. Canyoning means working your way through a wild canyon by walking, climbing, rappelling, and swimming, all at once (and in an organized group of course). You can book several different canyoning trips in and around Wanaka, some for beginners and others for more experienced or adventurous types. But there aren’t many better ways to enjoy some of the wild nature of New Zealand than to get out and trek through it in all kinds of interesting ways.


Rotorua is known for a lot of things that have nothing to do with adventure activities. The lake of the same name is picturesque, a 30-foot geyser is a popular attraction, and people curious about indigenous cultures of New Zealand can learn a lot about the Maori people by staying there. But Rotorua is also the main hub for zorbing, the bizarre activity of climbing into a protective inflatable ball and rolling down hills. It sounds a little silly, and it most definitely is, but it’s also a ton of fun.


This awesome city on the South Island is a hub for skiing, skydiving, bungee jumping, and hiking, making it pretty much the total package for adventurers. It also has the added perk of some typical city luxuries, however, which can be nice in the evening after a day doing exciting things. There’s a high-end casino in town despite the fact that New Zealand has joined the international community in transferring casino gaming from the real world to the web. If you don’t grab a drink near the gaming tables there are also plenty of local bars and restaurants you might like to check out. All in all this is one of the better adventure destinations both because of the aforementioned activities and the chance to enjoy some recreation at night.

Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo is on the North Island just south of Rotorua, and it’s one of the best places to enjoy the unique, thrilling activity of jet boating. Jet boats are basically speedy vessels that stay mostly on the surface of the water, and while you probably won’t get the chance to drive one, riding along in one is a ton of fun. They’re fast, they can turn quickly, and they make you feel like you’re simply flying over the water. Lake Taupo is a beautiful place to try it, though some of the smaller rivers near Queenstown are also known for jet boating.


New Zealand is best known for its lakes, national parks, and beaches, and some don’t even realize it’s also an incredible country for skiing and snowboarding. There are a lot of great resorts – Cardrona Alpine Resort, Porters Ski Area, and The Remarkables, to name a few. But Turoa, on the North Island, is probably the best of the bunch.


Similar to skiing, New Zealand is home to a lot of awesome spots for surfing and other water sports (like parasailing or kiteboarding, for instance). But of the bunch, Raglan has been rated at the top, in part because it’s great for beginners and experts alike. Plus, when you’re not out on the water taking a lesson or carving up the waves on your own, you can enjoy an awesome North Island beach town.

Kate Webster is a travel journalist - travel writer and photographer who travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the places she visits. Born out of a life-long love of travel and fascination with the world around her, is Kate's inspiration behind her writing and photography. A passion of the ocean has lead Kate to be a part of Global Surf Sounds, as she continues to mix her love of travel and writing to now include surfing. When she’s not bouncing around the world on ramshackle buses, overcrowded trains, or on the back of a rickshaw, you can find her based in Sydney or the Gold Coast, Australia eagerly planning her next adventure.