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8 Adrenaline-Pumping Activities in Queenstown

Do you have a need for speed? The thirst for the thrill? The inclination for invigoration?
We could go on, but you get the point. If you want the wind in your hair, there’s not any
other city in NZ better suited to your desires than the adventure capital of NZ:

We’ve written about what you can get up to in Queenstown – you can find that post
here. We’ve also written about Queenstown more generally.
We’re yet though, to write up a post on the best things to do in Queenstown if you
want that burst of adrenline. So here we go…

1. Canyon Swing & Canyon Fox

We’ve picked a good one to start with.
The Canyon Swing (and the recent addition Canyon Fox) are sure to get the heart
racing! If you take a look at their website, under their description of the Fox swing,
you’ll find this precarious proverb:
“A contraption aimed at encouraging a stream of the most profoundly unsavoury
foul language of any adventure activity in the land.”

To be more specific, you can either step off the platform 109m up, drop 60m before
swinging 200m across the canyon to the other side (that’s the Canyon Swing), or give
the new Canyon Fox a whirl. Here you slide off the rail and flying-fox to the other side
(182m up), before coming back again.
Sounds badass if you ask us. When can we jump?!

2. Shotover Jet

If our first suggestion leaves you disinterested somehow, there’s another way to explore
the beautiful Shotover Canyon: from right down below.
You might think that because it’s closer to the ground, it’ll be a piece of cake. A walk in
the park. You’d also be wrong.

A post shared by Shotover Jet (@shotoverjetnz) on

The Shotover Jet has been around since 1965, and has become an institution of sorts.
The bright red speeding hunk of craziness is likely a familiar sight if you’ve looked at
a Queenstown activity brochure. And there’s good reason for the mention.
The boat rockets down the Shotover River at hold-your-breath speeds, and the drivers
make sure to bring the boat as close to the canyon walls as possible – just so you can
really fear for your life.
This is a must do!

3. Bungy

The Bungy Jump (or bungee in some places) is now an internationally recognised
thrill-seeking activity, but not many know the significance NZ has in its history.
The Kawarau Bridge Bungy is in fact the first commercially operated Bungy Jump
spot in the world – started by kiwi A J Hackett. The eager entrepreneur operates
what is now a massive multi-national bungy-jumping business, but there’s
something to be said about taking a leap in a place that was at one time – one of a

A surefire way to get a kick of adrenaline is to let gravity bring you inches from the water.
Or, if you like – into it.


4. Paragliding

So far all of our activities have been, shall we say, fast but if you wanted a taste of
adrenaline at a slightly more leisurely pace – we’ve got the formula.
Paragliding is the perfect way to blend excitement and the opportunity for spectacular
views all at once. Queenstown is lucky in that it’s nestled in the mountainous Otago
region, and the surrounding landscape is arguably the best in the country. What better
way to take in the gargantuan mountains (blanketed in snow in the winter), and the
deep blue Lake Wakatipu, than by drifting through the skies?

Head to G-Force Paragliding at the top of the Skyline Gondola, that leaves right from
the city center. The view from the peak of Ben Lomond is incredible in itself, but
you’re definitely at an advantage if you’re brave enough to take the leap.

5. Skydiving

Speaking of taking leaps, none of those we’ve listed even come close to that of the
Jumping from 182m is one thing, try jumping from 15,000 feet! #5 probably takes
the cake for the most adrenaline-pumping activity on the list, and also provides
you with the best sight-seeing opportunities. Yes, in the beginning you’re free-falling
and “having a look around” is probably the last thing on the mind.
But the last 5 minutes are a slow descent by way of your Tandem Master’s parachute,
so you can focus solely on the jaw dropping sights sprawled out below you. We can
safely say this is the most thrilling and most spectacular activity if you want to get
the heart racing and, well, have a look around.

We suggest paying a visit to NZONE Skydive for an incredible jump every time. By
the end your feet will be back on the ground, and your head still in the clouds.

6. Skiing/Snowboarding

Obviously, this is an activity limited to the winter months (June-August), and usually
the first month of spring (September). If you happen to be in the area at this time of
year, you’ll quickly see what Queenstown is all about when the snow falls: snow
sports, snow sports, snow sports!
The ski-fields of Queenstown (and the nearby Wanaka) are world-renowned thanks
to the range of options at your fingertips, top-notch facilities and first-class scenery.
So if you’re presented with the opportunity to hit the slopes, it’d really just be rude
to decline. Time to hit the powder, and get the heart pounding!

This is the view from The Remarkables ski-field. A name that was earned, evidently.

7. Heli-Mountain Biking

If you want the slopes, but none of the snow, perhaps pedaling down is the way for
As we’ve mentioned, Queenstown is a town surrounded by hills, and where there are
hills – there’s the chance to hop on a mountain bike (ahem again). In the greater
Q-town region, there are hundreds of flat and downhill dedicated biking tracks that
cater to all ability levels.
For the best tracks though (and particularly for the more experienced riders), we
suggest hitting up someone like Fat Tyres Heli-Biking. These guys will take you to
the skies before dropping you at the top of the more secretive trails – again complete
with killer views.
Oh, and your adrenaline will definitely be pumped.


8. Luge

Rather be on four wheels than two?
Last but not least, is the famous Luge. We’ve mentioned this popular tourist attraction
in previous posts, so we don’t need to go into too much detail.
Basically, you’re in a cart going downhill, racing your friends – and there’s yet again a
killer view of Queenstown. It’s exactly like it sounds: AWESOME.
You can find the luge at the top of the gondola (same spot as the paragliding), so it’s
particularly handy if you’re staying in town.


As a matter of fact…

All of the 8 activities above are available as extras when booking a Haka Tour
(provided of course Queenstown is included in the itinerary).
So if you’re feeling the need for speed, the thirst for the thrill, or the inclination
for invigoration – head to the adventure capital of NZ!

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