Adventures In New Zealand
New Zealand is one of the most alluring countries in the world for adventure-seekers. Known for its otherworldly landscapes and action-packed activities, it’s basically as good as it gets if you want to find thrills in a foreign land. In this article we’ll cover a few basic logistics about traveling to the area, and then get into some of the best adventures you can find there.
Traveling To New Zealand
Airports – Of course it depends where you’re flying from, but for much of the world, New Zealand looks fairly remote. It’s definitely a little bit of a trek to get there unless you happen to live in Australia or Southeast Asia, so it pays to do a little more research than you’d ordinarily do before setting off. There are actually several international airports in the country, and just last year a New Zealand paper did us the courtesy of ranking the best ones. Queenstown International Airport was rated as offering the best experience, though Christchurch International Airport was essentially identified as the most convenient, which may be more important for incoming travelers. It’s also worth mentioning that both of those airports are on the South Island of New Zealand; if you’re planning on adventuring primarily on the North Island, Welington International or Auckland Airport might suit your needs better.
Currency Exchange – New Zealand uses currency called the New Zealand Dollar, which at the time of this writing is worth about 0.73 U.S. Dollars and 0.61 Euro, for reference. Exchanging is easy enough once you’re on the ground. However, if you’d like to avoid the process, New Zealand has also proven to be relatively open to Bitcoin usage, which is increasingly viewed as an alternative for international travelers. Bitcoins are purchased through exchanges and have universal value, such that you can either exchange money for Bitcoins in New Zealand, or at home before you travel (thus negating the need to do currency exchange on the ground). It’s a convenient option in ways, though keep in mind if you’re going to be doing remote adventuring you may not always be among vendors or individuals who will accept Bitcoin.
Adventures To Pursue
Surfing – Australia may get most of the attention as the legendary surfing destination in the area, but make no mistake, New Zealand is hot on its heels. One of the best outdoor adventures in the country is simply spending a few days at a gorgeous beach and learning how to surf (or simply riding the waves, if you already know what you’re doing). Beaches like Raglan, Piha, and Shipwreck Bay (all on the North Island) are renowned for surfing activity.
Hiking – Particularly if you’re into backpacking and trekking adventures in general, hiking may be your favorite activity in New Zealand. The country is full to bursting with incredible trails – some easy, some challenging, but all beautiful beyond belief. Twilight-Te Werahi Loop and Charming Creek Walkway are among the famous hikes you should look into, but the best of the bunch may be the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. As one overview put it, this is where the scenery was made famous by the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and it does not disappoint. Be warned though – it’s essentially a full day’s hike, and a strenuous one.
Skiing – Most travelers are probably looking into visiting New Zealand during its warmer seasons, when the beaches can be enjoyed and the full range of natural scenery is on display. But this is an outstanding country for skiers and snowboarders as well, offering several different mountain ranges. The best are generally around Queenstown on the South Island, where places like The Remarkables and Cardrona Alpine Resort attract a lot of winter sports activity.
Caving – Caving certainly isn’t for everybody, but if you’re going to do it, it probably ought to be in New Zealand. The Ruakuri Cave outside of Auckland is the main draw, in part because it’s about more than just wandering through a cave there. If you sign up for the full experience, you’ll also get to do some boating, climbing and rappelling, not to mention you’ll see the eerily beautiful glow worms that populate the cave’s interior.
Bungy Jumping – New Zealand is known for skydiving as well, but the bungee jumping is arguably the bigger thrill. Queenstown and Auckland are the two main areas to try it, with Auckland perhaps having a slight edge. Supposedly, the Harbour Bridge Bungy Jump in Auckland was started when bungy was still not technically legal, and has since blossomed into a popular (and legal) tourist attraction.