New Zealand is the perfect adventure holiday destination for a nature-loving thrill-seeker. Surfing, rafting, kayaking, sailing, snorkelling, swimming with seals or dolphins — name the adventure you seek and you'll definitely find it here in the crystal clear waters of NZ.
In New Zealand, the dreams of every water lover come true. Submerge yourself in an abundance of water-based adventures. The coastline of New Zealand is among the world's longest coastlines, and it offers white sandy shores, rocky wild beaches, and towering cliffs. The diving experiences are second to none. Beneath the surface of New Zealand’s still waters hides rich, prolific and unique aquatic life that will make your eyes pop.
You shouldn't leave New Zealand without completing a few adventures. Fearing the unexpected can have a way of reining in your adventurous spirit, so make sure your flights and holiday are covered. Air New Zealand Insurance, for instance, provides a range of plans and options to meet your needs.
Ngarunui Beach, Raglan. Credit: Tim Marshall
Manu Bay is the number one spot for surfing enthusiasts. It has the longest peeling left-hand break in the world and is located 8km from Raglan — serious waxheads should head here. Ngarunui is beautiful too, but its waves are less foreboding. The Raglan Surfing School is also there to help first-time surfers, to help prove just how co-ordinated you think you are (or not).
Diving the Poor Knights
One of the many caves at Poor Knights Reserve. Credit: Peter Southwood
Jacques Cousteau, the aquatic legend, listed the Poor Knights marine reserve among the world's top ten diving spots. The underwater cliffs around the island form a maze of archways, tunnels, and caves through crystal waters. The area houses a bright display of underwater vegetation. You can’t see it all though- Poor Knights Island has so many layers that keep peeling back, revealing more beauty.
Tongariro River Rafting
Fly-fishing on the Tongariro river. Credit: Robert Engberg
For many anglers, Tongariro is one of the best rivers to fish in the world. The river is flanked on both sides by ancient beech forest, and its rollercoaster rapids make it an attractive play-centre for many thrill seekers. Go on a fishing excursion, a kayaking trip, or choose any one of the various rafting options. If you're lucky enough, you'll catch sight of the native blue ducks on the river — their name in Te Reo is ‘whio’ and they are an endangered species.
Auckland Harbour. Credit: JosephWatkins
Auckland's scenic Waitemata Harbour provides a racing platform for professional sailors. You are welcome to tack and grind along the windward course against another crew on a genuine America’s Cup yacht. If you wish to take the helm, there's a professional crew to guide you, or you can follow orders and support the crew by sitting on the appropriate side of the boat and following orders! It's not necessary to have sailing experience to participate.
Kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park
A kayaker getting ready for the Abel Tasman. Credit: Tobias Thierer
Abel Tasman National Park is an earthly paradise where golden sands are fringed by the forest while turquoise waters await you. Stretch your legs when walking the 51km coastal track, or have fun while paddling on the smooth, cool water. Find a combination you enjoy- paddle in the sunset, bay-hop on boats, combine kayaking with walking, or enjoy catered camping for three days, the choice is yours. Kayaking operators will guide you and provide gear for you. Explore secret coves, watch the native birdlife flit and dart around the coast and relax in this peaceful paradise.
Kayaking the Okarito Lagoon
The Okarito Lagoon. Credit: Krzysztof Golik
The Okarito Lagoon provides you with an awesome opportunity to explore the wetlands from the comfort of your kayak. You can see the majestic kotuku wading in the reeds, watch the tuis flit through the trees, and you’ll be able to hear the melodious bellbird. The magnificent Southern Alps could be your backdrop if you are lucky enough to visit the lagoon on a clear day.
Swimming with NZ fur seals in Kaikoura
The beautiful surf in Kaikoura. Credit: Tim Marshall
Besides being a famous place to watch whales, Kaikoura is also the number one destination for swimming with seals. As the playful fur seals twist and dive, you can join with them on this totally unique experience that you shouldn’t miss.
Aquatic life in New Zealand is diverse, and includes dolphins, whales, seals and fish, while the birds wheel in the sky above you. Surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, white water rafting, kayaking and swimming are all common activities on the crystal clear (and action packed) waters of NZ. So, get your paddles, put on your flippers and dive into adventure.