They don’t call New Zealand the capital of extreme sports for nothing. New Zealand has definitely earned its thrill-seeking reputation for its love of outdoors and its need for adventure. With so much to offer, this little country has something for everyone. If you are a beginner thrill-seeker, as I most definitely was, don’t worry; you have plenty of time to jump into action. Here are the country’s top 7 adrenaline-pumping adventures you must add to your New Zealand bucket list.

go Bungee Jumping

Of course New Zealand is home to the world’s first commercialized bungee jump. This means that if you are traveling to New Zealand you are practically obligated to participate in such an adrenaline-pumping event. For those true thrill seekers, Nevis, a 134m free fall, is the jump for you. If you are as skittish and nervous as I was, a tamer fall of only 43m isn’t so bad. For those jumpers, the ledge or the Kawarau bridge is the jump for you. Either way, everyone should shoot for a jump of a lifetime. It is a great time that will send your body into adrenaline recovery for awhile after. It’s a pretty cool feeling.

The Kawarau Bridge | TEAN Alum, Marne Wiklanski, University of Iowa
The Kawarau Bridge | TEAN Alum, Marne Wiklanski, University of Iowa

Complete a Great Walk

One of my biggest regrets about my semester abroad was not taking advantage of the Great Walks scattered around the North and South Islands. I was fortunate enough to do many other tramps, but a highly recommend completing a 2-4 day Great Walk. Seeing the country from a new perspective is something many people do not think about and often take for granted. The vantage points from these mountains are well worth the hike up.   

Great Walk

Kayak Lake Wanaka

If you are up for a challenge, take on kayaking. Explore the waters and cruise around the most beautiful parts of New Zealand. Make sure you stretch prior to take off. I was not prepared for the arm workout that was in store.


go White Water Rafting

White and black water rafting are the toughest and most exciting adventures to take while abroad. Working as a team to maneuver the boat is not as easy as it looks, but it is well worth the effort. Make sure your boat takes on all the big rapids and waterfalls. Also, ask your boat leader to surf. He will know what you are talking about and all I can say is prepare to get wet. If the photographer catches this moment, it will make a great Facebook profile picture.

White Water Rafting

Paraglide over the Beautiful Queenstown

This adrenaline-pumping, yet relaxing activity is a perfect way to start the day. Flying high over Cornet Peak, the scenic route is one to die for. Make sure you ask your partner to take you on a bumpy ride with spins and turns. It is well worth the stomach dropping feeling.  


Go Zorbing In Rotorua

If rolling down a hill in a giant ball doesn’t sound thrilling enough, just add some water and a winding track. Zorbing is probably one of the most addicting activities New Zealand has to offer. I promise, once you do it once you will want to keep the action coming. I know I sure did. Go wet and winding or go home! You WILL NOT regret it (plus they have a hot tub, so obviously this is the best option).    


Take A Milford Sound Boat Cruise

This relaxing tour offers the New Zealand traveler a glimpse into Kiwi culture. The cruise sends the boaters around the Sound giving a detailed tour of all that takes place in the waters. If you are a lucky boat, your captain will take you under the falls of youth! If you are even luckier you may see some wildlife! So, although this adventure is not high adrenaline, it is an awesome way to experience more of Kiwi Land.  

The stunning Milford Sound | TEAN Alum, Michaela Kaplan, The University of Tampa
The stunning Milford Sound | TEAN Alum, Michaela Kaplan, The University of Tampa

Emily Padilla is a TEAN Alum and recent graduate of Stonehill College. She studied abroad with TEAN in Wellington, New Zealand.