It’s hard to imagine jumping out of a plane at 20,000 feet, dipping your head into a river at the bottom of a bungy, or popping on a swimsuit to roll downhill in a water-filled ball when we’re in the middle of winter. But despite the cooler weather, there are still a slew of adrenaline-pumping activities to keep you going (and keep you warm) at this time of year!
Read on to discover the best spots to visit in the Central North Island for some real adventure this winter!
1. ZORB’s ‘Drygo’ ride
Yes, we may have mentioned above that rolling down a hill in a giant ball is not typically a cold weather must-do. But ZORB here in Rotorua now offers you the option of doing this world-famous activity fully dressed and completely dry! The perfect way to ZORB and move on to another activity for the day. You can ride solo or with a friend, and you won’t get flipped upside down (so no worries about your winter hot chocolate coming back up to greet you…).
2. Take to the skies (without leaving the plane)
If reaching great heights is more your type of thrill, then consider a plane or helicopter flight over stunning Kiwi scenery. Bundle up warm and bring a thermos along for a hot cuppa, and enjoy a guided tour of your own backyard. Rotorua’s Volcanic Air is the easy choice if you’re already in the area after a ZORB ride. Choose their Tour 7A to take your ride to the next level – a trip to the toasty Lake Rotoiti Thermal Pools that are only accessible by plane or boat. Fancy!
3. Take a ‘steamy’ bike ride
If the mere sight of hot water and rising steam makes you feel a bit warmer in the Kiwi winter air, then mountain biking alongside it will certainly help! The Te Ara Ahi ‘Thermal by Bike’ trail is a great choice for the whole family. You can opt for the 16km or 30km stretch, with four major geothermal parks of bubbling pools of mud and hot geysers to look at. There’s a long list of other stop-worthy destinations along the way too, so making this bike ride a short holiday all of its own is worthwhile for the July school break. Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything if you’ve already got your own bikes!
4. Go jetboating – no really!
Climbing into a boat and zipping out over some rapids on a winter’s day may feel counterintuitive to staying warm…but Rapids Jet in Taupō is a year-round adrenaline rush for the whole family. You’ll get to see some pretty amazing scenery along the shoreline. And your driver is also a super friendly guide, pointing out some cool spots along the way where massive Hollywood movies have been filmed. To make sure you enjoy yourself despite the cold, the boats have heated handrails and they’ll fit you with a cosy, waterproof jacket beforehand. Sweet!
5. The quintessential winter ski trip
There’s nothing that says ‘winter fun’ like a skiing or snowboarding trip. So pack the car with your warmest jackets and snow pants, and get the family out on the slopes of Whakapapa ski field on Mt. Ruapehu. Kids never been on a set of skis before? No problem! Happy Valley is the absolute perfect place to learn and adopt a new skill and winter sport for life.
6. Velocity Valley
With a few layers and a whole lot of energy, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying our rides here at Velocity Valley during the winter. The Shweeb and the Freefall Xtreme are as fun on a crisp, cool day as they are under the hot summer sun! To top off your adventure park thrills, enjoy a dip in the warm pools of Polynesian Spa as well, with our Ride & Relax Family Package these school holidays. Your aching muscles from laughing and squealing so much will thank you!