Black water rafting, zorbing (rolling down a hill inside a giant plastic ball), surfing chilly white-water rapids clinging to a foam board and the commercial sport of jumping off bridges with a giant rubber band around your ankles are just some of the weird and wacky adventure sports that have flourished in New Zealand.
Reasons for this taste for extreme adventures include the country's topography of mountains and wild rivers, its tough and innovative people but also the country's legal framework. New Zealand has a universal no-fault accident injury scheme administered by the Accident Compensation Corporation, which provides financial compensation to anyone in New Zealand who suffers personal injuries.
The Accident Compensation Act bars proceedings for damages for personal injury. If you are injured while skiing, rafting or shaving in the bathroom of your Queenstown hotel room, you might receive compensation but you cannot sue for damages. Thus activities that would have been quickly snuffed in a jurisdiction where injured parties are more inclined to head for court in pursuit of multimillion dollar negligence settlements have flourished.