Bungee too tame? Then throw yourself out of a plane. From cruising with crocs to swimming with sharks, Cat McGloin reports on 10 of the new and most exciting adventure activities in Australia and New Zealand.
Calling all thrillseekers. Need new kicks on your next holiday? If you’ve already tackled the highest bungee jump in the world, you can throw yourself out of a plane at 19,000ft, swim with great whites or take a walk through the rainforest canopy. So, if you’re after new and more extreme adventures, check out these top activities for adrenaline junkies.
1. Skydive, Cairns, Aus
With great weather conditions and plenty of beautiful beaches to soar over, Cairns is one of Australia’s top sky diving spots. You can find some really good deals on tandem dives here. Alternatively, check out Mission Beach or Rainbow Beach for the chance to chuck yourself out of an aeroplane thousands of feet above the ground.
2. Swingbridge, Buller’s Gorge, NZ
Buller’s Gorge boasts New Zealand’s longest swingbridge, over which you can walk across the gorge and then zipline back, dangling over rushing rapids and jagged boulders. There’s also an old gold mining village and bush walk for those without a head for heights.
3. Crocodile river cruise, Port Douglas, Aus
Take a croc cruise along the Daintree river from Port Douglas and spot the crocs lazing on the banks soaking up the sun. These big boys can grow up to seven metres long. Sometimes guides feed them huge hunks of meat so you can see them jump full length out of the water. Don’t worry, the passengers get a snack too. This is possibly the only thrill ride that includes a cup of tea and biscuits.
4. Swim with sharks, Great Barrier Reef, Aus
If swimming with turtles, spotting sting rays and trying to find Nemo just doesn’t cut it, then you can always get up close with some of Australia’s endangered and protected sealife. Get the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience and cage dive with great white sharks. If you prefer cuddly to cut-throat, dive with sea lions or even tuna instead.
5. Heli hike, Fox Glacier, NZ
Take a short flight in a helicopter and land on the blue ice banks of Fox Glacier, one of only a handful in the world that is surrounded by temperate rainforest. Follow your expert guide through the ice, listening to the thunderous roar of the glacier breaking beneath your feet. Warm clothes and hiking equipment are provided, but a post-hike cosy by the pub fire is highly recommended.
6. Shotover jet boat, Queenstown, NZ
Got a need for speed? Forget leisurely sunset cruises, head out on the Shotover River just outside Queenstown for a boat ride with a rush. Waterproofs essential!
7. Rainforest sky walk, Daintree, Aus
Get up high above the canopy and walk among the ancient trees of this amazing rainforest. Over 30 metres above the rainforest floor, look out for poisonous snakes, cassowarries and a whole host of tropical birds.
8. 4WD tag-along tour, Fraser Island, Aus
Get behind the wheel of a 4WD land cruiser and race over the sand dunes, or follow the narrow rainforest tracks through the jungle to hidden lakes on beautiful Fraser Island. Climb to the top of Indian Head for cracking views and a chance of spotting whales, dolphins and turtles offshore.
9. Eureka Skydeck 88, Melbourne, Aus
The Southern Hemisphere’s highest viewing platform, Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne towers 297 metres above the Yarra River. For a small fee you can go all the way to the top of the tower for incredible views across the city. For a few dollars more, experience ‘the Edge’ – a glass cube which extends from the side of the building for complete 360 degree viewing!
10. Canyon swing, NZ
Forget bungee jumps, the canyon swing is the newest way to get your thrills by jumping off of massive rocks. Freefall for 60 metres until you glide out on a 200-metre swing. Flip off backwards, or drop off the edge on a chair, you better get practising your ‘jumpstyle’!