Top 10 adventure things you can only do in New Zealand


White Island, 48 kilometres offshore from Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, is one of the most accessible active volcanoes on earth – so accessible, in fact, that you can land a helicopter in the crater. Frontier Helicopters runs tours from Whakatane Airport that take in the steam vents, fumaroles and ashen slopes, stopping for a hike around the crater. See


What do you do when an old branch railway line is closed down? Why, you adapt golf carts to run along the tracks and let people drive themselves through gorgeous countryside, of course. Forgotten World Adventures offers trips of varying lengths through numerous tunnels, past country towns and hillsides, between Okahukura and Stratford. See


Two things New Zealand does extremely well are trout fishing and jet boats. And now Fishjet in Te Anau has come up with the marvellous plan of combining the two. Heading down the Waiau River next to Fiordland National Park, the boat pulls off all the tricks and spins, then settles in for a couple of hours of coaxing out brown and rainbow trout. See

See also: Why New Zealand might just be the best destination in the world


Also on the tick list for Te Anau should be Real Journeys' trip to the glow-worm caves. After a boat trip across Lake Te Anau, visitors end up clambering through the caves on the western shore, then getting into a smaller, tin boat. The lights then go off as the boat floats through the caves, the walls and roof lit by the glow-worms that live there. See


The glow-worms aren't just limited to the South Island. The caves at Waitomo in the north are full of them, too. It's possible to do boat trips there, but the true thrill-seeker can up the ante on the Black Abyss experience. This involves abseiling down into the caves, taking zip lines through them and downstream floating in rubber tubes. See


Coolest adventure ever.

A photo posted by nikki 🍉 (@nikki_bigger) on


Kiwis might be New Zealand's national bird, but the comical little darlings can be surprisingly tricky to spot in the wild. That's partly because they're usually nocturnal, and partly because they prefer to hang out in spots where humans rarely venture. The best spot for sightings is Stewart Island, where they're relatively undisturbed and less timid. Bravo Adventure Cruises runs a boat trip out to a remote beach where the big-beaked beauties like to hang out. See


See also: The best day walk in New Zealand


Checking out Routeburn Falls at dusk.

A photo posted by Laurie Winter (@wellykiwi) on


At Tatapouri on the East Cape of the North Island, wild stingrays have progressively become content with human contact. Dive Tatapouri's Reef Ecology Tour kits guests out with waders, gets them walking out into the ocean at low tide and teaches them about the fish swimming around their legs. And then the rays come over to feed. You hold fish out in your hand, and they suck it up, vacuum-cleaner like. See .


Dive Tatapouri can also kit out adventurers with body boards to take on the Rere Rockslide, a natural slope in the Wharekopae River with just enough water running over the top of it to make for a speedy 70-metre plunge into the pools below. It's marvellously untamed – rocky bobbles in the slope can send you in all directions. And it looks much steeper from the top than it does the bottom. See

See also: Flight test: Air New Zealand business class


Queenstown isn't exactly short of adrenalin rushes, but one of the weirdest is also the most fun for soft adventurers. The Luge at the Skyline Gondola station sees you sit in a rudimentary go-kart, then charge around a fairly steep and often bumpy downhill racetrack. See


High up in the Alps, in the shadow of Mount Cook, an extraordinary glacier lake has formed. Tasman Lake would be beautiful to kayak on purely based on the mountain views, but what makes it truly special are the icebergs that periodically break off the glacier. Glacier Kayaking takes visitors out for a paddle around the baby bergs. See

The writer was a guest of Tourism New Zealand.

See also: Twenty things that will shock first-time visitors to NZ
See also: What to do in four days in Queenstown