GLIDING TRIAL FLIGHT.
Enjoy the exhiliration of flight without the noise and vibrations of an engine. A truly worthwhile experience, and you can easily take photos out the canopy of the lovely terrain below. Once you have released from the towplane, flight becomes vibration and noise free and you are up there with the birds!! Having no engine is a real plus, as you will see :-)
Check the GlidingMatamata website and view thru the webcam on their homepage.
*THIS IS CONVENIENTLY LOCATED BETWEEN AUCKLAND AND ROTORUA*
Trial flights cost $NZD120; $180 & $300 as at 2013.
They fly Sat/Sun and Wednesdays, and public holidays.
West of Rotorua and Taupo you will find the Waitomo caves. Waitomo is a small tourist town, which nothing else than the caves. But the caves are a good attraction. They are filled with glowworms, so if you want to see glowworms you can go on a tour with one of the companies.
If you want to do something more adventurous you can go cave tubing. This is a three hours during trip in the Rakiura cave. Cave. After dressing up in ridiculous outfits you are driven to the forest and from there you have to walk to the entrance of the cave for a great adventure. You put your bum in an inner tube and off you go, floating through the caves from one rapid to another. Occasionally you have to stop and jump backwards of the rocks and there you go again. At the end of the cave you have to turn the headtorch off and float to the end of the cave looking at the ceiling where you will see thousands and thousands of glowworms. It was like looking at the milkway.
The tour I did was with the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. They have three trips. One where you don't get wet and where the emphasis is on seeing the glowworms and two adrenalin filled trips. The Black Abyss, a five hour trip that takes you abseiling into the caves and then cave tubing. The trip I did was the Black Labyrinth, which is described above and which made the company that organises the tour famous.
This was surely the best fun activity of my New Zealand vacation. In the town of Ngongotaha, 5 km northwest of Rotorua (follow the signs to Agrodome), you have the possibility to enter a huge plastic ball (strapped inside or unstrapped if the sphere is filled a little water) and roll down a hill from ca. 150 - 180 meters with some speed. It is a hilarious feeling, over much too quickly and takes much less effort & courage than, let`s say, a bungee jump. Thumbs up for Zorbing !
This is a must-see and do if you are planning to go to QUEENSTOWN! You get sweeping views of Queenstown and expect awesome surrounds high above the city centre!
The best views in the region are found here spread out in a scenic 220 degree panorama, with breathtaking views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables mountain range and across Lake Wakatipu to Cecil and Walter Peaks. Truly sights that are worth remembering all your life!
Of course after the awesome sights we did enjoy a sumptuous lunch at the Skyline Cafe, serving up a taste of New Zealand chunky meat pies and lovely freshly brewed coffee and hot drinks for the kids.
Plus there's more dining available at night in the Skyline Restaurant for more NZ cuisine.
There's also fun and thrilling rides on tehe SKYLINE LUGE. Sadly, when we were there, they were not open yet!
We did have a professional shot of our family ride on the gondola.
Being the closest snow resort to Queenstown(25 minutes' drive) and most popular, naturally we trekked there! There were rolling terrain and awesome snow!
According to its website:
Coronet Peak’s dedicated race facility provides a training ground for world class athletes and hosts many prestigious race and social events including FIS Ski Racing, New Zealand Nationals and the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival.
Coronet Peak has 280 skiable hectares accessed by a six seater express chair, an express quad, a double chair, a t-bar, 2 surface conveyor lifts and a beginners handle tow.
There’s a dedicated Dirty Dog terrain park and the mountain’s longest run, the M1-Big Easy is 2.4 km long and popular with intermediate and advanced skiers and riders.
However, if you're like me, a wimp, just enjoy frolicking in the snow and it is still fun!
The snow wasn't as thick on the roads so we didn't need to use the snow chains included in the hired car we got. But it could get slippery climbing the mountains so caution is necessary at all times!
An unforgettable experience will be the Kaituna Cascades Rafting in Rotorua. Some very cheerful and experienced guides put you in a raft on the dry ground and explain the basic instructions that will be given in the raft. Once you have proven sufficiently apt to accept the challenge, you are let into the wild water. Try to keep your adrenaline in control.
The organisation offers you some magnificent action pictures afterwards. Not very cheap, but they are of outstanding quality and immediately put on a CD-rom.
Kayaking is possible as well.
Jetboating is somewhat of an obsession in New Zealand with operators all over the country competing for your business. While the Shotover Jet is the most famous, it’s difficult to believe there is a more personal or better jetboating experience than the one offered by Wilkin River Jet in Makarora. The scenery is amazing and the ride lasts for more than an hour (compared to the 20-minute ride with Shotover). Jetboat rides are undeniably great fun, but there is an obvious environmental impact. In addition to the wasted energy and the pollution, at least some of the jetboats regularly disturb birds that utilize gravel riverbeds for nesting grounds. In the absence of tighter regulatory controls, only consumers have the power to dissuade unscrupulous operators from such unsound practices.
White-water rafting is perhaps the most enjoyable of all the “adventure” activities offered in New Zealand. It also is one of the most fairly priced. Particularly well-run and fairly-priced is the rafting trip run by Rangitata Rafts near Peel Forest south of Christchurch. Trips last just under three hours and take in some great scenery in addition to two Grade V rapids. Those in the front seats generally get the best of it (or worst, depending on your perspective). If you survive the rafting and are game for it, there’s also an optional ten-meter cliff jump near the end of the trip. The day concludes with hot showers and a sausage barbeque back at the lodge (followed by a drive to Christchurch or Geraldine if you are not spending the night).
Hi, I found it a bit confusing before booking my trip around nz as soooo many options so thought it would be good to add a review of the flying kiwi trip I have just done.
I did the northern wanderer trip from Auckland to Wellington which took 8 days and loved it. But don’t want to sound too biased so heres the good and bad:
- good way to meet people and really laid back feel to trips
- food was really good (thanks to our resident swiss chef Stefan!!) and I only cooked about once every 4 days
- got to do lots of free stuff like hikes, volleyball most nights and bodybording once (though water in NZ in december is still cold!!!)
- bikes were in good condition though not heaps of off road tracks
- our guide (thanks ben) sorted all activities and accommodation so was very easy. I upgraded to cabin on a couple of nights to take a break from the tent for about $7 and that all seemed very easy
- sandboarding, zorbing and tongariro crossing were once in a lifetime activities and highly recommend them all
- not as many departures as other bus options
- you have to hire bike for your full trip not just daily
- quite a few of the bike tracks are on roads – not many mountain biking tracks
I hope that helps. I would say the bus was good if you don’t want the party bus feel and like nature stuff (hiking, cycling, beaches forest etc). Ages on our trip were probably from early 20s to mid 30s and a cool bunch of people. I would definitely recommend the trip to anyone.
Want to do something different in your life? This could be it. One of the world's remote places, Doubtful Sound would be a major attraction in N.Z. were it not for the more spectacular Milford.
Just getting to Doubtful is an exercise. For starters you have to take a ferry across Lake Manapouri, a scenic journey in itself, before you alight at the power station on the other side. This is an hydro electric one that taps into the water exiting the lake through a tunnel that finishes at Doubtful Sound.
It is doubtful indeed that tourists would be coming here and have a way to the far side without the station and its access road that takes you over the range and down to the sound.
Once there, you enter a different world. One of solitude, unlike Milford and its crowds, and the sounds of dophins blowing and the ripples of the boat are clearly audible, as are the splashing waterfalls.
Truly a unique and satisfying experience.
A few minutes outside the town of Matamata a sheep farm has the remains of what was Hobbiton on the LOTR movies. Over the course of a year part of the farm was turned into the set.
The set was supposed to be torn down and returned to its previous condition but bad weather stopped the construction company from demolishing so it was decided to leave it for a while. In the meantime, the three brothers who own the farm thought that they could 'diversify' and decided to welcome tourists onto their farm.
It took a couple of years of negotiations with New Line Cinema, who owned the gear etc, before they could start. The outcome being what was left being the preserved set that you see in the photos. Guided tours are now given to show the curious around.
What a thrill!! One of the most exhilarating activities. We used the only Sky Diving Company in Fox Glacier, Skydive New Zealand. The people were just terrific! You get a twenty-minute sightseeing flight over the glacier and then you get to jump out! It was incredible......
Hiking on a moving glacier between green mountains and forest!!!
An incredible journey over ice and through caves and very small passages.
You will get a pick, spikes to put under your shoes and a warm coat.
TIP : TAKE A FULL DAY TRIP AND NOT HALF A DAY!!
Ice Caving is a fantastic way to see the ever changing ice flow and the natural beauty of the west coast of the south island.
Tight squeezes can open into to beautiful tunnels that lead you to spectacular views over the ice flow.
COST....NZ$195.00 for a half day.
Another of the varied activities at Franz Joseph Glacier, Ice Caving is a fantastic way to see the ever changing ice flow and the natural beauty of the west coast of the south island.
COST....NZ$195.00 for a half day.