Bungy jumping is ‘so yesterday’ according to the latest batch of thrill seekers who are flocking to Rotorua to freefall, swoop and shweeb. Here are some of the more unusual ways to scare yourself silly in one of New Zealand’s newest adventure capitals.
Slip into a flight suit and fly like a super hero on a giant column of air with Freefall Xtreme. Unlike most of other virtual skydiving experiences which have started to pop up around the world, this one gives you an adrenalin rush in the great outdoors. Agroventures is the only place in the Southern Hemisphere where you can give skydiving a try outside, without the added fear factor of jumping out of a plane. It’s a lot of fun but think twice before you let anyone video this experience. You never know how much skin is on your face until it’s flapping around at 180kph.
See More New Zealand Holiday Ideas
You’ll climb through the air with the greatest of ease, surrounded by birdlife and beautiful trees on this eco-friendly aerial obstacle course. Suspended high above the forest floor there are loads of different challenges to choose from including suspension bridges, swinging logs, ziplines, cargo nets and more. Guides ensure each rider is buckled into their purpose built harness then it is as simple as choosing your first challenge. Any fear of heights is quickly forgotten as you’re too busy thinking about what comes next. This adrenalin activity is equally entertaining for spectators who can watch your adventures (and misadventures) as you navigate the course.
Daredevils of any age can experience the Swoop, a 40 metre high swing that sends up to three people hurtling through the air at 130kph. Each rider is suspended in a full body sling which makes it a bit less scary. Kind of. Anticipation builds during the slow winch to the top of the ride, especially if you’re not the one holding the release cord. Swooping is a great choice for families with children who don’t make the height and/or weight requirements for other adrenalin activities. Kids love getting revenge on their parents by pulling the rip cord.
Kaituna River White Water Rafting
Are you game enough to take on the thundering seven metre high Tutea, the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world? It’s just one of the challenges on this Kaituna River rafting trip which includes 14 rapids and 3 waterfalls. Don’t think ‘but I’ve never been rafting before’ is going to save you (or your pride). Newbies are welcome as this is a ‘pool drop’ rafting experience which means that after each of rapid, there is a calm pool which allows everyone to regroup. It is one of the few spots in the world where beginners can tackle a Grade 5 river. Watch out for the second last waterfall where the guides trick you into paddling backwards for an impromptu shower.
Shweeb means “suspend” in German but there’s no hanging around on this ride. You’ll need to crank up those leg muscles to power your bullet-shaped pod which hangs from an overhead rail; take the corners fast enough and you’ll swing out over a seven metre drop. With no need to steer, you can focus on going as fast as possible. Up to four people can challenge each other or individuals can race against the clock. If you peddle fast enough, it’s possible to hits speeds of up to 50kph. The Shweeb isn’t as scary as some other adrenalin experiences but it does force competitive types to face their ultimate fear: the fear of losing!