From skydiving and heli-skiing to extreme white water rafting, for those who are seeking an instant rush of adrenaline, there are so many outdoor activities in New Zealand that’ll get your heart racing. If you’re keen to visit this beautiful country, we’ve rounded up the top 10 things to do in New Zealand, so you can conquer your biggest fears head-on.

Bungee jumping 

If you’re looking for a popular outdoor activity in New Zealand that will help you face your biggest fears, this country is home to the best bungee jumps and swings. If you’re visiting Queenstown, this is an extreme adventure you don’t want to miss out on. 


While not for the faint of heart, if you’re ready to take the plunge and enjoy a thrill-seeking New Zealand adventure, skydiving should be at the top of your bucket list. There are various locations where you can soar through the sky and soak up the gorgeous scenery, including Wanaka, Queenstown, Lake Taupo and Bay of Plenty. 

The canyon swing 

If you’re ready to take a leap of faith and plunge yourself off a cliff, only to fall 60 metres to the ground, the Canyon Swing will be right up your alley. While your stomach may churn on the way down, as you glide through the crisp air, you’ll be distracted by the magnificent views Queenstown has to offer. Is it terrifying? Yes. But is it worth it? You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees. 

White water rafting 

If you’re a daredevil who enjoys the water, you’ll love shooting the rapids and racing through the long and winding Auckland rivers. One of the most incredible outdoor activities in New Zealand, white water rafting will allow you to brave the wild and choppy rapids while having a 360 view of the country’s awe-inspiring landscape. If you’d prefer to up the ante, visit the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world (it’s more than seven metres), located in Rotorua. The rapids quickly shift from a gentle grade one to an extreme grade five. 

Jet boating 

A scenic jet boat ride must be on your bucket list of the top 10 things to do in New Zealand. If you book a ride on the Shotover River, you’ll experience an unmatched thrill as the expert captain glides across the water and shoots through narrow rocky gorges at lightning speed. While you may be tempted to shut your eyes in fear, you’ll have a full view of New Zealand sites of interest, along with the country’s jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery. Overall, you’ll spend around 25 minutes on the water but allow yourself plenty of time to travel to your destination in Queenstown. 

Zip lining

One of the best outdoor activities in New Zealand, zip lining is a must! Prepare to fly through the treetops at a rapid pace while you gawk at the gorgeous harbour views and towering mountains that make this country so unique. While there are dozens of zip lining adventures you can partake in, thrill-seekers should head to Kawarau Zipride — just 20 minutes from Queenstown. Whether you ride single, tandem or alongside six of your travel buddies, you’ll reach speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour. As if this wasn’t enough for one day, you can bungee jump there too! So, if you’re ready for another tummy-turning adventure, you can safely throw yourself off a cliff while you’re there! 


The ultimate winter outdoor New Zealand activity, fly to the top of the mountain, strap your skis in, and head down the winding tracks while ploughing through fresh, virgin snow. While it’s no doubt an extreme New Zealand adventure, if you’re a seasoned pro or you want to traverse through untouched parts of the mountain, you’ll love every single rip-roaring moment! 


Staged in remote mountain locations around Auckland, Coromandel, Nelson, Canterbury and Wanaka, if you’re up for an extreme New Zealand adventure, add canyoning to your bucket list. Under the watchful eye of your guide, you’ll be able to leap off waterfalls, climb jagged rocks and abseil off deep cliffs.  

Off-road driving 

With magnificent views and rugged terrain, New Zealand is one of the best places to enjoy off-road driving. Whether you strap yourself into a monster truck and fly through the puddles or go zipping through the trees in a speedy go-kart, you’ll push yourself to the limit. Rain, hail or shine, this is one of the country’s most popular activities, so book your action-packed adventure in advance before you visit other New Zealand sites of interest

Hike a volcanic island 

Looking for a less extreme outdoor activity in New Zealand that’ll still get your heart racing? Head to Rangitoto Island and climb the country’s youngest volcano, which erupted a mere 600 years ago. The walk to the summit begins at Rangitoto Wharf and climbs through the forest to the island’s peak at a whopping 259 metres above sea level. At the summit, you’ll experience magnificent views of the surrounding Hauraki Gulf islands, and on your way back down, you can visit the volcano’s incredible lava caves.


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