A Guide to Adrenalin Adventures in New Zealand's Christchurch Region
You're going to want to throw yourself off a tall structure.
If you're heading to New Zealand's Christchurch region for a short holiday, you can't leave without going bungy jumping. There are plenty of opportunities to get your adrenaline going, so why not live on the wild side of life? Experience breathtaking views of the Southern Alps, beautiful coastal vistas and lush green forest while you get reacquainted with the thrill-seeking side of yourself. If you're into the kind of fun that leaves your stomach in knots, then this guide will not disappoint. The adrenaline-junkie kiwis seem to know a thing or two about going on an adventure.
TACKLE THE RAPIDS IN HANMER SPRINGS
Drive for 90 minutes to Hanmer Springs and book yourself in for a white water rafting adventure. You'll find yourself situated within a stunning mountain range, with pink marble land formations heading all the way down the Waiau River canyon. The rapids are Grade 2 in Hanmer Springs, so expect medium-size rapids and low drops with waves less than a metre high. After all the twists, turns and drops you can still get your fair share of serenity — Hanmer Springs is known for its beautiful blue water and stunning scenery. Don't forget to pack something to swim in, there's no doubt you're going to want to relax with a swim at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools after a day out on the rapids. Even adrenaline junkies need some time to chill out.
GO JET BOATING IN WAIMAKARIRI GORGE
The Waimakariri River, translating to 'cold water' in Māori, is the home of jet boating in Christchurch, with canyons, gorges, rock faces and native forest lining an adventure trail through the water. You can choose between a 30- or 60-minute jet boating adventure in the beautiful blue water — expect 360-degree spins, hairpin turns and a high-speed ride that'll get your heart racing. The Waimakariri river is 90 minutes from Christchurch, but Alpine Jet organises transfers that pick you up from the city and drop you back when the day is done. Because there are so many beautiful rivers in the Christchurch region, there are many places to go jet boating. Another option is at Hanmer Springs. Once you've tested the strength of your stomach there'll be plenty of opportunities to sit back and take in the fresh air in both locations — catch a glimpse of the snow-capped Southern Alps if you're lucky.
BUNGY JUMP AMID STUNNING SCENERY
You're heading to New Zealand, which means you're going to want to throw yourself from a tall structure connected to an elastic cord — this is the home of bungy jumping after all. Why not let yourself free fall from a bridge for 35 metres towards a surging river to get the blood pumping and the bones jumping? It's an adrenaline rush like no other and one that you're bound to get addicted to. The idyllic Hanmer Springs Bungy, 90 minutes from Christchurch, is the perfect spot for first timers who may need to distract themselves with stunning scenery before taking a leap of faith.
MOUNTAIN BIKE THE EDGE OF THE CITY
The Christchurch region's beautiful scenery and stunning mountains make it an ideal destination for avid mountain bikers. There are many cycling tracks to discover, but the Port Hills is one of Christchurch's best kept secrets and one of our favourites. With its dramatic landscape of tussock grasslands and rugged mountain terrain, it's easy to see why. Ten different trails in this area each have their own unique highlights — and they're perfect for both new and experienced riders. The new Christchurch Adventure Park is another mountain biking option. The huge trails inside range in difficulty — from beginner courses to those designed for experts only. If you're new to mountain biking and want to learn some skills in a safe environment, head here. It's the biggest mountain biking path in the Southern Hemisphere — you won't be short on space.
FLY THROUGH THE ADRENALIN FOREST
If you consider yourself to be a little bit of a George of the Jungle, here's your chance to prove yourself in the tree tops. A 20-minute drive from Christchurch is the Adrenalin Forest, a two-kilometre aerial obstacle course set in the beautiful Spencer Park. We can't promise you'll have the opportunity to hang from vines, but there's more than enough to keep you challenged with over 100 activities and six courses to sink your teeth into. If you're a real adrenaline junkie, tackle the high-wire course. It's not quite walking between the twin towers Man On Wire-style, but you're sure to get up to 20 metres into the forest canopy — that's at least two or three stories off the ground and more than enough to get you shaking in your boots.
Published on May 10, 2021 by Sarah Murphy