Not many major cities in the world can claim to be a hotspot for culture, beaches, water sports and adrenaline activities. But this is Auckland. The iconic buildings and landmarks here are not just for admiring from afar, they are for throwing yourself off of, zooming around at white-knuckle speeds and dangling on the edge of. Auckland’s blessed proximity to wilderness and verdant native New Zealand bush, opens the city limits up to a myriad of outdoor adventure sports.
Here is our guide to Auckland’s best adrenalin and adventure activities.
Admire the spectacular views of Auckland from the iconic Sky Tower before throwing yourself off with a SkyJump. The adrenalin will surge through your veins as you plummet base-jump style (with harness and wire instead of parachute) from New Zealand’s highest building. You will freefall for 11 seconds at a breath-taking speed of approximately 85 kmph before coming into a gentle landing on the Sky City plaza below.
Not one for the vertiginous, the SkyWalk offers a unique and exhilarating experience of a 360° walk around the upper edge of the Sky Tower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere at 192 metres. There are no handrails to cling onto and nothing but air around you. Safety is of course paramount and sky walkers are clipped into a harness from above but with no railings and walls sky walkers will feel like they are living life literally on the edge. Real adrenalin junkies can even balance their heels on the edge with their back to the immense drop and dangle.
AJ Hackett Auckland Bridge Bungy
Bungy company AJ Hackett offers New Zealand’s only ocean touch bungy from Auckland’s Harbour Bridge. It’s not compulsory, but it is a refreshing way to experience your bungy jump by dipping your head and shoulders into the water. Full jumping creativity is encouraged with various permutations possible: ankle tie, harness or tandem. Bungy at sunset and admire the twinkling lights of Auckland at night as you dive off the bridge.
AJ Hackett Auckland Bridge Climb
This is the only bridge climb in New Zealand. Adrenalin meets sightseeing in this package of commentary and dizzying heights. Climbers are harnessed onto a safety wire as they tackle the gently curving arches of the bridge on the custom engineered walkways. The tour guide takes care of safety and also imparts information about the architecture of the bridge as well as key aspects of the Auckland skyline. This climb provides exclusive access to one of Auckland’s most iconic landmarks.
Auckland Jet Boat Tours
Auckland Jet Boat Tours operate tours on speedboats and jet skis around Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour and Rangitoto Island. The purpose-built speedboat has twin turbocharged and supercharged 300HP engines and is capable of speeds up to 85kph. You will tear around the waters of the harbour taking power slides and 180° spins. Never has sightseeing been so invigorating. Commentary on the iconic skyline and landmarks is provided so you can combine heady adrenalin with interesting information – all bases are covered.Skydiving
Possibly the ultimate adrenalin rush, skydiving combines jumping out of a plane and freefalling with a serene floating feeling as you parachute back to the ground. Numerous companies operate tandem skydives and learn to skydive courses in the Greater Auckland area. Jump heights vary from 7,500 feet to 16,500 feet with freefall speeds averaging at over 200kmph.
Skydive Auckland is home of the highest jump on the North Island at 16,500 feet. The jump site is in Parakai, just a 30 minute drive out of Auckland. Views from the air include Kaipara Harbour, the island-dotted Hauraki Gulf and north right up to the Bay of Islands. As well as tandem skydives, Skydive Auckland also offers an 8 level AFF learn to skydive programme.Canyoning
CanyonNZ is located in Hamilton, an hour and a half from central Auckland. Tours are run in the beautiful Coromandel and Waikato regions. These canyoning trips are full day tours led by expert guides and intensively active requiring a sense of adventure and a good level of fitness. Tours are multi-disciplined, encompassing abseiling down waterfalls, rock jumping, ziplining and sliding down rock chutes.