CONQUER NEW ZEALAND’S BIGGEST AND MOST EXTREME ATTRACTIONS

Ski down the longest glacier, swim in the largest lake, climb the highest[RS1]  mountain, walk the longest trail – these are just some of New Zealand’s biggest attractions and here’s how to conquer them all.

HORSE RIDE ALONG THE LONGEST BEACH[RS2] 

Golden sand dunes and shipwrecks – Ripiro Beach in the Northland region stretches 107km making it New Zealand’s longest beach. Visitors can horse ride along the golden coastline or trot to the top of the cliffs for spectacular views. Occasionally used as a ‘highway’, visitors can also drive a 4WD from Pouto in the south to Maunganui Bluff in the north.

HOW: Baylys Beach Horse Treks offers a guided and historical tour of the coastline. A horse ride costs £30/one-hour per person or £39/two-hour per person. For more information or to book visit baylysbeachhorsetreks.com

JUMP OFF THE HIGHEST BUILDING

Standing at a dizzying 328m, the Auckland Sky Tower offers a range of adrenaline fuelled activities. The SkyWalk offers visitors the chance to test their nerves with a nail biting circuit of the tower at 192 metres. The view of the city and beautiful Waitematā Harbour are the best antidote to inevitable jelly knees. Or for an unforgettable experience, take a leap of faith with the SkyJump, an 85km an hour controlled descent will see you safely at ground level. It’s not all thrills and spills as visitors can also enjoy the panoramic views of Auckland on the Sky Deck viewing platform or dine in one of its three restaurants.

HOW: The SkyWalk costs £66 per adult and the SkyJump costs £103 per adult. Admission to Sky Tower costs £13 per adult and includes entry to the 182m Sky Lounge Café and Bar, 186m Main Observation Level and 220m Sky Deck viewing platform. For more information or to book visit skycityauckland.co.nz

CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN

With a peak that stands 3,724m high, Mt Cook is a physically demanding and highly rewarding venture. The mountain was originally named Aoraki by the Māori, meaning “cloud piercer”. Standing tall in the Southern Alps and set under a star-studded sky, Mt Cook’s skyscraping peaks, permanent snowfields and glaciers make this a climb of a lifetime. 

HOW: Adventure Consultants offers a six-day guided tour for £2,585 [RS3] per person. Price includes ground transport, flights in and out of Plateau Hut, accommodation, all meals and snacks, equipment, and Department of Conservation fees. For more information or to book visit adventureconsultants.com

KAYAK THE LONGEST RIVER

Running 425km long, the Waikato River flows through the North Island, rising in the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu before joining the Tongariro River system and emptying into Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand. Visitors can kayak along the crystal clear waters, admire the stunning surrounding scenery and soak in the natural hot pools.
HOW: Canoe and Kayak offers a two-hour tour along the river with a stop at the hot pools and complimentary refreshments for £27 per adult. For more information or to book visit canoeandkayak.co.nz.    

CONQUER THE HIGHEST BUNGY JUMP

Standing 134m high above the stark and beautiful Nevis River, visitors will experience a thrilling 8.5 seconds of free fall when they jump off the highest bungy in New Zealand. While there, visitors can also have a go at the world’s biggest swing, which is suspended 160m above the canyon floor and rushes towards the other side of the valley at 120kmph.

HOW: Nevis Bungy is located 45mins from Queenstown. The Nevis Bungy costs £125 per person and includes a free Jump T-shirt. The Nevis Swing costs £89 per person, or a tandem swing costs £80 per person. For more information or to book visit bungy.co.nz.

CYCLE THE LONGEST ‘NGA HAERENGA’ CYCLE TRAIL

From the hills of Mt Ruapheu to the shores of Whanganui, the 297km long Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail takes cyclists through the majestic mountains, stunning native forests and the spiritual, cultural and historical highlights of the Whanganui River. It takes three to five days to cycle the 1,600m vertical decent, travelling through 200km of cycle trails and a 31km river section. The Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail gives visitors the chance to experience the diverse wilderness New Zealand has to offer[RS4] . The New Zealand Cycle Trail - Nga Haerenga – offers a wealth of cycle trails from mountain biking to leisure trails for beginners.

HOW: For more information or to plan a trip visit mountainstosea.co.nz. For more information on the New Zealand Cycle Trail visit www.nzcycletrail.com.  

COMPLETE THE LONGEST HIKING TRAIL

Hike the entire length of New Zealand, from Cape Reinga to Bluff, on the Te Araoa trail, which stretches 3,000km. Te Araoa offers a variety of natural, cultural and historic experiences, allowing visitors to explore New Zealand’s volcanoes, mountains, rivers, lakes and valleys. Hiking the entire trail takes three to six months, however visitors can also hike sections of the trail from a few days to a week or more.

HOW: For more information or to plan a trip visit teararoa.org.nz

SWIM IN THE LARGEST LAKE

Located in the caldera of the Taupo Volcano in the North Island, Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and second largest freshwater lake in Oceania. The 616sqkm [RS5] volcanic lake is bigger than Singapore and stretches as far as 46km in length. Kinloch is a 15-minute drive east from Taupo town centre and is a favourite swimming spot amongst locals. Visitors can jump off a cliff or pontoon into crystal clear water[RS6] .

HOW: For more information visit greatlaketaupo.com.

JET BOAT ACROSS THE DEEPEST LAKE

Within a mountain valley in Fiordland National Park is Lake Hauroko, the deepest lake in New Zealand. Shaped like an “S” and stretching 30km in length, Lake Hauroko reaches depths of 462m. Visitors can take a tour across the mysterious lake and enjoy the deep wilderness of the southwest Fiordland.
HOW: Wairaurahiri Jet offers transport across the lake for £45 per person (one way) or visitors can take a half-day tour of the lake and its surroundings for £68 per person. For more information or to book visit wjet.co.nz.

SKI THE LONGEST GLACIER

The largest of several glaciers in the Southern Alps of New Zealand’s South Island is Tasman Glacier, an incredible 27km long, 4km wide and 600m thick. Lying within the borders of Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, Tasman Glacier becomes the longest ski run during the winter months. Alpine Guides will take adventurous skiers for an unforgettable backcountry experience through seracs, ice caves and natural ice sculptures.

HOW: The Classic 2 Run package costs £423 per person and includes two ski runs, three scenic ski plane flights with snow landings, professional mountain guide services, a picnic lunch on the snow, safety equipment and free airport transfers from accommodation in Mt Cook. For more information or to book visit skithetasman.co.nz

For more information on New Zealand visit www.newzealand.com

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