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5 lesser-known extreme sports to try in New Zealand

Thrill-seeking adventures for when you've done it all.

Silhouette of mountain bike rider in Queenstown, New Zealand

New Zealand is world renowned for its natural beauty, its rich Indigenous culture, and its extensive range of extreme sports. Bungy jumping to skydiving, zip-lining to heli-skiing – if you’re looking for that thrilling rush of adventure, New Zealand should be right at the top of your travel bucket list.

But what do you do when you’ve tried every well-known extreme sport? How do you get your adrenaline fix without jumping out of a plane or hanging off a rope line?

Luckily the adventure gods have got you covered, constantly inventing newer and weirder ways for thrill seekers to get active in the great outdoors. And we’ve outlined five of them below

1. River surfing

River surfing is what happens when you combine whitewater rafting and boogie boarding. Fitted with a wetsuit and a specially designed board, you’ll be dropped into the raging Kawarau River in Queenstown. A guide will then help you navigate the river’s huge rapids for approximately 12 kilometres.

2. Ice climbing

Ever watched James Bond scaling vertical sheets of ice and thought, “I could do that”? Well, now you can put your money where your mouth is and show the world just who the real action hero is. Strap on some crampons, tie a rope around you, and spend a day climbing the famous Fox Glacier with other thrill seekers.

3. Zorbing

If you like your extreme thrills with a side of extreme silly, climb into a giant inflatable bubble and be pushed down a very steep slope. Who wouldn’t want to do that?

“Discover the stunning underworld of Ruakuri Cave by crawling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, swimming and floating your way from one end to another.”

4. Heli-biking

You’ve probably heard of heli-skiing, which is hugely popular in New Zealand in winter, but what about heli-biking? A private helicopter will drop you and your bike somewhere over the Remarkables Range. From there you’ll spend a few thrilling hours descending fast down a mountain (and you’ll probably get to top it all off with an ice cold beer at the end).

5. Blackwater cave rafting

Can’t decide whether to go caving or rafting? Now you don’t have to. Discover the stunning underworld of Ruakuri Cave by crawling, climbing, jumping, abseiling, swimming and floating your way from one end to another. That should be enough to satisfy your inner adrenaline addict for at least a day or two.

Extreme sports are great fun, but even the most experienced thrill seekers can find themselves in a spot of trouble now and then. Protect yourself from all that nature might throw at you with comprehensive travel insurance. Get a competitive quote from Medibank today.

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