Travelling New Zealand can be life-changing, from the turquoise blue of the rivers and oceans to the rolling green of the hills, the mountains that tower above the clouds, and the wonders of the caves below the ground. The natural beauty is breathtaking and humbling, and the choice of tours and experiences can be well…overwhelming.
So how do you choose? Luckily, at Rentabus we’ve already done the work for you. This winners list reflects the best adventure activities for your next group adventure. These adventure operators have all been delivering an outstanding and unique experience for their customers for many years, putting your safety at the forefront. This year’s winners list features sites on both islands, with a range of experiences to help you find the perfect adventure activity for your next adrenaline kick.
Whether it’s diving into the pristine waters off The Bay of Plenty, bouncing down the grassy hills of Mt Ngongotaha, or galloping along the sands of Muriwai Beach, there’s an adventure activity that’s perfect for everybody in New Zealand, and here’s our pick of the best.
Canyoning New Zealand
If exploring the natural beauty of New Zealand, while abseiling, climbing, jumping and swimming your way down some of the most beautiful and untouched valleys of the South Island sounds idyllic, then Canyoning New Zealand might just have the perfect adventure activity for you.
A full-day tour sees you descending into river canyons with some of the largest abseils in Queenstown. Followed by a thrilling adventure from natural waterslides, to massive stone gorges, pumping waterfalls and tranquil pools, all upon the backdrop of the South Islands breathtaking scenery.
Passionate guides, exploration and nature, a tour with Canyoning New Zealand is a must for those thrill-seekers wanting to feel part of something bigger.
The Waitomo caves are a world-renowned destination boasting an abundance of glowworms, extensive underground river systems and stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations. Waitomo Adventures pioneered expeditions through their unique Lost World cave system over 30 years ago and have since expanded to have access to more than 20 kilometres of caves in the area.
With all these caves to discover it’s no wonder that Waitomo Adventures offers such a diverse range of activities. From abseiling more than 100m on the Lost World tour, to climbing, swimming and tubing your way through the spectacular Tumu Tumu caves on the Blackwater Rafting tour, a trip to the Waitomo caves is a trip to another world.
With expert guides and experiences for thrill-seekers and sightseers alike Waitomo Adventures cave exploration tours are a worthy addition to this list.
Have you ever thought of stepping into an inflatable ball just to bounce, roll and slide down a mountain? While the thought may never have occurred to you, if adrenaline and next-generation water slides are your thing, then Zorb Rotorua will be the perfect rush. Pop on your togs, dive into a giant Zorb ball, and splash, slide and roll down Mt Ngongotaha. Roll on your own, or grab a friend, either way, it’s an unforgettable ride.
This unique experience, owned and operated by the Kiwi inventors has four tracks, all designed to create the bounciest and most hilarious experience possible. Don’t worry, you won’t get cold between rides! Zorb Rotorua has hot spas, barista coffee and an outdoor fire in winter.
Probably the wackiest activity of this list, just one look at their Instagram page, and you’ll see why we couldn’t get enough of Zorb Rotorua.
Rafting New Zealand
Whitewater rafting, the quintessential New Zealand adventure activity! The roaring rivers of New Zealand are famous for their beauty and power, and Rafting New Zealand has been traversing the mighty Tongariro River since 1991. With skilful navigation and a perfect safety record, it is the guides and owners that sets this rafting tour apart.
Maori owned and run, these expert raft guides incorporate authentic Maori culture and storytelling while navigating river boulders and masterfully traversing the wild currents. With two levels, you don’t need to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy the stories and culture along the way.
It is this integration of safety, knowledge, culture and of course adventure which finds Rafting New Zealand firmly on this list.
Muriwai Beach Horse Treks
Watch the scenery fly by as you canter along the picturesque black sands of Muriwai Beach on New Zealand’s West Coast, your tracks slowly washing away behind you as the waves roll in. The wild ocean, the majestic horses, the open expanse of sand stretching out before you, this is the experience offered by Muriwai Beach Horse Treks.
Explore Muriwai Beach, and venture into the forest trails of Woodhill on a horse or pony selected specifically for your experience level. Their guides provide all necessary equipment, while their expertise ensures you will enjoy the scenery and feel the rush of the salt spray through your hair regardless of your skill level.
There are very few experiences that compare to riding a horse along the sand framed by the crashing waves. Include the famed scenery of Muriwai Beach and expert guides, and you have an experience you’ll never forget.
Known for its turquoise blue water and white sand beaches, The Bay of Plenty in Tauranga is a majestic wildlife encounter not to be missed. Dolphin Seafaris provide an abundance of experiences to connect with the diverse wildlife. From the viewing platform on their custom-built power catamaran where you can spot the playful fur seals and little blue penguins, to in-water experiences with dolphin pods.
Learn from the passionate and knowledgeable crew as you cruise through some of the clearest water in New Zealand on an unforgettable dolphin excursion.
The blue waters of The Bay of Plenty provide the perfect backdrop for this family activity, and with a crew that has a real talent for finding dolphin pods, you won’t find a better nature activity in the whole of New Zealand.
Bay of Islands Kayaking
Explore New Zealand’s marine paradise atop pristine waters with the Bay of Islands Kayaking trip.
The Sea Kayak Tours are half, full, or multi-day scenic adventures with experienced leaders who will take you on an unforgettable kayaking journey under waterfalls, past white-sand beaches, and through the rugged coastline of the islands. For more adventurous souls, the Sea Kayak Rentals let you set your own pace as you bask in the sunshine surrounded by rich marine life. Bay Islands Kayaking pride themselves on looking after their manuhiri (guests) and whenua (land), while showing you a piece of true Aotearoa (New Zealand) on your adventure in the Bay.
Enjoying the freedom and exploration of open water kayaking, whether with Bay of Islands Kayaking’s experienced guides, or fully kitted out kayak rentals enables you to immerse yourself in the backdrop of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful locations.