Beyond Bungy: 5 Wacky Things to Do in New Zealand

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New Zealand will forever be known as the home of bungy jumping (thanks, AJ Hackett!) and Queenstown’s gone on to build a reputation as the adventure capital of the country. But there’s plenty more options here to get your adrenaline flowing and blood pumping…

Zorbing

What is a Zorb, you might ask? Essentially it’s an enormous plastic ball that spins down hills at up to 50 km per hour. Thrill seekers are strapped in and sent on their way.

The Zorb was invented in Rotorua after an attempt to walk on water by Kiwi brothers David and Andrew Akers. It’s spread to Europe, Asia and South America but there’s no better way to try it than in its birthplace.

Zorbing in Rotorua
Zorbing in Rotorua. Photo by Planetgordon

Hydro Attack

Fancy shooting across a lake inside, er, a giant shark at 80 km per hour? The Hydro Attack bills itself as a cross between a fighter jet and a torpedo. You’ll find it, of course, in Queenstown.

Hydro Attack Queenstown NZ
Tearing across Lake Wakatipu. Photo by Hydro Attack

Jetboating

The jetboat was originally developed in the 1960s by farmer Bill Hamilton to navigate rivers. Today thrill seekers line up for jetboating trips through narrow river gorges around Queenstown, Canterbury, and at the Whanganui and Waikato Rivers in the North Island.

Jetboating in Wanaka
Jetboating in Wanaka. Photo by Pablo

Blokarting

The blokart, in a nutshell, is a three-wheeled wind-powered land yacht – you may have seen it at some point on The Amazing Race. It was dreamt up by Mount Maunganui man Paul Beckett, who set out to create a portable toy for all ages. The blokart can be folded down into a lightweight bag and taken to the beach, a sporting ground, or wherever you want to take it for a spin.

You can go blokarting in various places around New Zealand, including Muriwai Beach on Auckland’s west coast, and the world’s only custom-made blokart speedway at Papamoa, near Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty.

Blokarting at 90 Mile Beach
Blokarting at 90 Mile Beach. Photo by Blokart NZ

Shweeb

We can thank cyclist Geoff Barnett for this one. The Shweeb is a human-powered monorail racetrack which sees riders hanging in pods from an overhead rail and pedalling their way around the circuit as fast as they can.

The Shweeb Velodrome opened in Rotorua in 2007 and since then more than 30,000 people have whizzed around it at speeds of up to 70 km per hour.

Race around an airborne track in the Shweeb!
Race around an airborne track in the Shweeb! Photo by Shweeb
Beyond Bungy: 5 Wacky Things to Do in New Zealand was last modified: November 17th, 2015 by Esther Goh
Author: Esther Goh (56 posts)

Writer and digital specialist hooked on travel and food. Calls Auckland home but desperately misses Mexican and Italian cuisine. Esther blogs at NZ Muse.