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8 Must-Do Queenstown Activities for the Thrill Seeker That Loves Heights

Heart pounding. Hands trembling. Blood racing - these are all the results that come from finding moments of sheer excitement, moments that make you come alive.

For some, falling in love is the thing that dreams are made of. For others, it’s stepping into a boardroom and kicking butt. And then there are those who love nothing more than to hurtle 80 km/h down a 1,600-foot volcanic slope on a “volcano board”, leap from a plane 18,000 feet in the air, and whoosh down white-water rapids on a flimsy raft. For these, thrill-seeking is the ultimate fantasy.

What’s the deal with thrillseekers?

Back in the 1980s, Frank Farley, a professor of educational psychology at Temple University, coined the term Type T personality. A person with Type T personality craves variety, novelty, intensity and risk. These are people that long for exciting, meaningful challenges that come from being scared silly or pushing oneself to the extreme. Thrill-seekers tend to be creative folk who like to make up their own minds. “They’re energetic and self-confident,” Farley says. “And they feel in control of their own fate. When they climb Mt Everest, they figure they’re going to come back. If someone tells them not to do it, that sounds like a rule, so away they go”.

Sound familiar?

Thrill-seekers need the opportunity to test themselves, to test their own tolerance. They need to put themselves in terrifying position after terrifying position, and when they get through it unscathed it’s a rush that’s unimaginable.

And where do thrill-seekers go for their rush of adrenaline, ecstasy and elation? To New Zealand of course.

Why New Zealand?

New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world. It’s a reputation well-earned, being home to everything a thrill seeker could want. Queenstown in particular is a place where magic happens, offering an endless array of adventure activities, tours and attractions, as well as amazing golf, biking and hiking trails, a rich Maori culture and a fantastic food and wine scene.

Indeed, Queenstown is the best when it comes to adventure, especially if you get your thrills from heights.

What “height” attractions does Queenstown offer?

Queenstown has long had a fascination with heights - after all, it’s the spiritual home of bungee jumping. The Queenstown landscape is perfect for making the most of everything “high”. Tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, it’s surrounded by mountains ideal for getting elevated.

Favourite activities include:

Queenstown Snowmobiles

New Zealand’s only wilderness snowmobiling experience gives you the opportunity to enjoy the ultimate winter day on the mountains. Snowmobiling is one of the most adrenaline-pumping, action-packed winter activities, and throughout the experience you’ll be treated to stunning scenery and views. Groups are kept small (up to 6 people) and tours run from June to late October.

Oh, and if you’re wondering how you’ll get to your hard-to-access wilderness location, you’ll be lifted there by helicopter! A double-whammy adventure! Queenstown Snowmobiles fles participants over the aptly named Remarkables Mountain Range, the Hector Mountains and across the Nevis River Valley before landing at the base of the Garvie Mountains, where you can then fang it skyward on your snow machine to a whopping 1,800 metres above sea level.

Fat Tyre Adventures

Any thrill seeker that loves to ride will tell you that hurtling down a mountain on a mountain bike is a whole lot of fun. The only downside to it is the fact you need to get up the hill in order to come down it. Fear not, though, as Fat Tyre Adventures will fly you in a helicopter to not one but two incredible locations, where two massive descents equal a 2,900 metre descent in one day. After an awesome flight into the Remarkables Range, the helicopter will land at just over 6,000ft, the highest of all heli biking in New Zealand. There are four trail options to suit all levels of riders.

Sandboarding

While sandboarding doesn’t have quite the same heights as other activities in New Zealand, it makes it onto our list because of its affordability. Both Sand Safaris and Harrison’s Cape Runner offer day trips via bus to Ninety Mile Beach, and the whole package will cost around $50 NZ. Once there you can plunge down steep white sands that will definitely get your heart racing.  

Bungee jumping

Bungee jumping began in Queenstown and transformed the sleepy town into its current buzzing self. As a result there are tonnes of bungee jumping options available, including the Kawarau Bridge Jump (the site of the world’s first commercial jump), and The Ledge (the only jump located IN Queenstown). But for those wanting to experience the ultimate thrill, The Nevis is New Zealand’s highest bungy jump at 134 metres (440 feet). You also get to jump out of a pod that’s suspended on a wire over a gigantic canyon, which in itself is exhilarating.  

The Nevis Swing

The Nevis Swing would have to be the world’s most famous swing, suspended 160 metres above the canyon floor. After being lifted out above the launch deck you suddenly find yourself rushing towards the other side of the valley at 120 km/h. Want to go upside down? No problem. Want to do it backwards? That’s fine. How about the Truck & Trailer, Ying & Yang or alone? The Nevis Swing offers plenty of choice. You can even combo it with the Ben Nevis bungee jump.

Skydiving

It’s no secret that New Zealand is home to some spectacular scenery and there’s no better way to enjoy it than from the sky. Queenstown’s snowy peaks, rolling hills and deep blue lakes make plummeting to earth an experience that can’t be rivalled anywhere in the world. A “must-do” for thrillseekers, skydiving in New Zealand is often described as a “life altering” experience.

Heliskiing

Queenstown is home to a number of different ski fields, all world-renowned for their quality snow, accommodation, weather and heights. While these ski fields are amazing, the real adventure lies elsewhere. Off-the-beaten track skiing is an experience every serious snowboarder or skier should experience. For those who really want to get the heart pumping, arriving to your remote ski spot via helicopter should just about do the trick.

Paragliding

Paragliding is a wonderful mix of adrenaline and serenity. If you’re just starting out your thrill seeking journey, paragliding is a good way to wean yourself in. Paragliding offers the excitement of having to jump into the sky, but as soon as you’ve made your leap it’s smooth sailing all the way. Paragliding, like bungee jumping, had its birthplace in New Zealand, so it’s only fair that you give it a whirl. Coronet Peak Tandem is just a stone’s throw from the Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak too.

While getting your thrills in Queenstown you’ll need somewhere to sleep off the adrenalin of the day and refuel for the next adventure! Stay at the Swiss-Belresort Coronet Peak for an unforgettable experience in Queenstown, New Zealand.

8 Must-Do Queenstown Activities for the Thrill Seeker That Loves Heights