6 Exhilarating Auckland Adventures

19 November 2014
Read Time: 3.0 mins

The Kiwis like to think they invented adventure, and indeed, they are responsible for a great range of adrenalin-tapping activities including bungee jumping, jet-boating and white water sledging. They’ve also produced a number of great adventurers, including perhaps the world’s most famous adventurer; Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the summit of Mt Everest.

 Tick jumping off a building off your to-do list during your Auckland holiday

So it stands to reason you could expect to find yourself a decent adrenalin rush in its capital, Auckland. Here are a few ideas.
.........................................................................................................................................................

Sky City

.........................................................................................................................................................
The adrenalin starts pumping in the elevator on the way up Sky Tower, enroute to the best view of Auckland. Watch the ground grow further and further away beneath your feet through the lift’s glass-bottom floor and before long the walls disappear as well giving you a view of the city that gets wider and further by the second. At the top, you can stroll around the viewing platform, enjoy a gourmet meal at Sugar Club, the Tower’s 5-star restaurant, or, step outside for an even greater rush.

You have the choice of Walk The Edge or Sky Jump. On Walk the Edge, strapped to a safety harness, you walk along a (very) narrow walkway all the way around the Tower. With no handrail on either side, there's nothing but your harness and thin air separating you from the view. If that’s not scary enough, you can leap off the Tower and dangle in mid-air a few hundred metres above ground, and check out the view and perhaps your life as it flashes before your eyes. You’ll fall at a rate of about 75 km/h for 16 seconds on a controlled ‘free-fall’; unlike bungee jumping there’s no bouncing or hanging upside down, just a fast, smooth descent.
.........................................................................................................................................................

Auckland Bridge

.........................................................................................................................................................
If you’d rather hang upside down, then you can always try out the original bungee jump off Auckland Bridge: AJ Hackett Bungy. There are actually two different ways to get your heart racing here, the Bridge Climb and Auckland Bridge Bungy.

Auckland Bridge Climb is a sight seeing tour that lasts about one and a half hours along custom engineered walkways which you are harnessed to, so it’s perfectly safe even if it is 43m above the water and you can see air beneath your feet. Or walk along the bridge to the Bungy pod, enjoying the view of Waitemata Harbour along the way, before plunging boldly off it. You can also opt for a water touch or an ocean dip.

 Auckland Bridge sets the stage for one of the best bungy jumps in New Zealand

.........................................................................................................................................................

Sky Diving

.........................................................................................................................................................
If those heights aren’t enough to scare you, there is a even higher view of Auckland available with SkyDive Auckland. You can choose for a one-off thrill with a tandem dive, or learn how to sky dive and go solo.

On a tandem skydive, all the technical details are sorted for you, you just have to decide how high. There’s a choice of three heights; 9000 feet (2740m) with a 20 second freefall, 13,000 feet (3960m) with a 45 second freefall or 16,500 feet (5000m), officially the highest skydive jump on the North Island, with over one full minute of freefall. If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, with about 6-8 hours of theory and ground training, followed by eight jumps over a few days, you can get yourself qualified to skydive solo. And a free video to prove it.
.........................................................................................................................................................

Jet Boating

.........................................................................................................................................................
Here’s a way to see the sights of Auckland while skimming across the water at high speed. You’ll get a tour of Auckland (with commentary) while doing spins and tricks out on the water. The Auckland Adventure Jet boat goes in excess of 50 knots and is powered by twin engines at 300 horse power each, “turbo charged and super charged”.

 Getting wet and wild on a jet boat around Auckland Harbour

.........................................................................................................................................................

Kayaking

.........................................................................................................................................................
For a slower tour of Waitamata Harbour and the Pacific Ocean beyond, head across the harbour to Waiheke Island. Waiheke Island is a 30-minute ferry ride from Auckland Harbour and worth visiting for its beaches alone, not to mention its vineyards and micro-breweries.

Sea Kayak Waiheke can take you on a guided half of full day tour. A half day tour will take you to the North Western corner of the island, visiting caves, paddling through rock channels and archways to secluded beaches. On a full day one-way tour you’ll see more of the island, walk to some spectacular lookouts along the way and maybe even find a fossil or two at Fossil Bay.
.........................................................................................................................................................

Waiheke Eco Zip

.........................................................................................................................................................
If you’re after a faster tour and higher views of Waiheke Island, the guys at Waiheke Eco Zip can provide that for you. A shuttle will pick you up from the wharf and take you to the far side of the island to its highest point.

From here, your zipline your way to the valley below, high over the vineyards and skimming the tips of a pocket of thick virgin forest. When you reach the bottom you’re then taken on a guided hike back up the hill, and given a little lesson on the island’s history and biodiversity.

Deborah Dickson-Smith

Deborah plays the mother role in a blended family of seven. She's a travel blogger, diver and passionate eco warrior. She has lived in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Edinburgh, London and now resides in Sydney’s northern beaches with her Brady Bunch-style family - all seasoned travellers. Follow Deborah on Twitter @where2nextblog or visit her blog, Where to Next?, all about travelling with teens and mid-life style.