Deepblu Travelogues: The Aquatic Kiwi with Harper Reid

Our Deepblu Travelogues series documents locales via the words of those who know them. This week we take a trip around New Zealand with Harper Reid.

Thanks to their country’s size and shape, New Zealanders are never far from the sea, and much of New Zealand’s tourism economy is based on activities that take place in or near water. If you’re planning a visit to this spectacular country, check out the following waterborne activities to help you start crafting your itinerary.

Image Source: PxHere

River Rafting

Rotorua Rafting offers visitors the chance to get up close and personal with the town’s waterfalls. The Kaituna River, in particular, is often considered one of the best spots for whitewater rafting in the world, perfect for thrill-seekers.

You don’t need any experience to enjoy whitewater rafting, so this activity is suitable for anyone over the age of 13 who’s interested in exploring the world of extreme sports! While you might end up getting a little wet, it’s possible to take part year-round. The company also offers customised trips, so if you’re a beginner, you can take it slow.

Location: Rotorua

Price: Approximately $85 NZD ($55 USD)

Parking: Rotorua Rafting offers plenty of parking as well as a complimentary shuttle from central Rotorua for guests without transport. 

Proximity to food and amenities: While visiting Rotorua, you can’t miss ‘Eat Streat’ – an incredible dining destination packed with restaurants serving food from all over the world. After working up an appetite on your rafting trip, Eat Streat is the perfect place to stop.

Nearby Destinations: Rotorua is famed for its geysers, which can be visited on foot. If you fancy something a little more relaxing after a long day on the river, try the Polynesian Spa, which sources its water from natural hot springs.

Photo Credit: Oren Rozen via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 3.0

Hydro Attack

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Hydro Attack just might be the activity for you. The activity involves taking a thrilling ride in a Seabreacher X Watercraft (designed to resemble a real-life shark) on picturesque Lake Wakatipu. With a maximum speed of 80km/h above water and 40 km/h below, even the most adventurous visitor may find it difficult not to scream in delight.

Location: Queenstown (The adventure capital of New Zealand!) 

Price: Approximately $150 NZD ($98 USD)

Parking: Parking in Queenstown can be difficult, due to the high number of visitors the city receives. Your best bet is to park away from the city centre and walk to the attraction, or to take a taxi.

Proximity to food and amenities: Hydro Attack is located in Queenstown’s city centre, surrounded by excellent eateries (try the famous Fergburger!) and other great activity centres. It’s the perfect place to explore either before or after your visit.

Nearby Destinations: The opportunities for fun in Queenstown are seemingly never-ending. Try taking the gondola up to Skyline, where you can visit the Queenstown Luge and race your family before taking in the scenery. If you’d prefer a quiet afternoon stroll through a historic village, take a drive to nearby Arrowtown.

Sunset Sea Kayaking

Rangitoto, one of Auckland’s major volcanoes, serves as the backdrop for this incredible experience. Kayakers will head across the Waitemata Harbour, see one of Auckland’s spectacular sunsets, and walk to the summit of Rangitoto while learning about the history of Auckland’s largest volcano.

This activity is perfect for anyone with the ability to kayak and the enthusiasm required to trek for an hour or so, and upon reaching this great volcano’s summit, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible 360-degree views. The return to Waitemata involves kayaking under the stars, which is sure to be an experience to tick off of the bucket list. You may even spot a penguin or two on your journey!

Location: Auckland (New Zealand’s largest city.) 

Price: $185 NZD ($121 USD)

Parking: You should be able to find free parking in St. Helier’s Bay, close to the starting point. The company also offers free pick-up from the city for centrally-located visitors.

Proximity to food and other amenities: While Rangitoto doesn’t offer much in the way of amenities, you’ll be able to shop and eat to your heart’s content upon your return to Auckland. If you’re staying in St. Helier’s Bay, check out one of the many restaurants located right at the harbour. 

Nearby Destinations: Auckland is a great place to spend time exploring further. The city is packed with idyllic beaches, areas perfect for hiking, and plenty of opportunities for shopping. You might like to rent a car, as navigating public transport in the city can be difficult.

– Harper Reid, Contributing Writer

As a freelance writer based in Auckland, New Zealand, Harper loves enjoying adventure and water activities in her free time. She is a frequent traveler and has collaborated with travel and hospitality sites such as Tanoa Tusitala. Say a quick hello to Harper on Tumblr.

To plan your next journey, visit Planet Deepblu!