[Review] : Outdoor Activities in New Zealand (Week One)

We spent last month of 2007 set off for three weeks adventure in South Island of New Zealand. Flew from Taipei we were then stop over in Singapore for three days before continued flight to Christchurch en-route Melbourne (outbound) and Sydney(inbound). We were using Qantas Airways to NZ combined with budget flight JetStar, which I bought from Zuji about six month previously

Most of activities list here booked in NZ rather than make arrangement before hands. It was a busy time (summer in Christmas and New Year) but we managed to get everything fit in our purposes. We’ve only have sort of grand idea what we would like to do with few changes depends of situation and physical conditions. Using the phone card in public phone was the best way to deal with the Adventure Operator. Please be ready with your credit card in hand because that’s the only way your booking guaranteed.

I review activities based on :

Availability –how easy to book
Value for money –is it worth for doing these
Adrenalin level –scary enough for you
Scenery –the landscape surrounding
Photography opportunity -manage in difficult environment

The point based 1-5 which are: naf (1), ok(2), good (3), very good (4) and awesome (5).

Tandem Across the longest swing bridge in NZ
Price each NZ$25
Booked on the spot
Contact :
Highway 6, Upper Buller Gorge, Box 77 Murchison, New Zealand
Phone (03) 523 9809 Fax (03)523 9807,
Email: swingbridge@bullergorge.co.nz
Website : http://www.bullergorge.co.nz/

Comment: We did walked bits after 100m long cross the Buller Gorge. It was quite scary. But the tandem foxing was exciting. Not really thrilling for me though. I need more challenge!

Points :
Availability 4
Value for money 4
Adrenalin level 2
Scenery 2
Photography opportunity 3
Overall : 13

Whitewater rafting in Buller River
Price NZ$105 per person afternoon session
River Class 3-4 duration 4.5 hrs
Contact :
51 Fairfax Street, Murchison New Zealand
Ph: +64-3-523 9899
Fax: +64-3-523 9811
Free phone: 0800 RIVERS (0800 748377)
Emai ultimate@rivers.co.nz
Website : http://www.rivers.co.nz/

Comment : This is definite thing to do in South Island. The river was great specially the Ariki Falls. Experienced guide, lovely café next door, very good facility, nice cup a tea, and excellent photo taking! Highly recommended.

Points :
Availability 4
Value for money 4
Adrenalin level 5
Scenery 3
Photography opportunity 2
Overall: 18

Underworld Rafting at Nile River
Price NZ$135 per person
Duration 4 hrs afternoon session
Contact :
Norwest Adventures Ltd.
182 Queen St
New Zealand
Phone: ++64 3 788 8168
New Zealand Freephone: 0800 11 6686
Email contact@caverafting.com
Website : http://www.caverafting.com/

Comment : great experience for rafting using big tracktor rubber in the cave. Glowworm was the best one! It’s even better than glow worm cave in Te Anau. Recommended!

Points :
Availability 4
Value for money 3
Adrenalin level 3
Scenery 3
Photography opportunity 3
Overall : 16

Helicopter Flight to Fox Glacier and Mt Cook
Price NZ$250 per person in 30 minutes flight
Contact :
Glacier Helicopters Ltd
Main Road
Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Freephone: 0800 800 732 (within NZ only)
Phone: +64 3 751 0803
Fax: +64 3 751 0709
Email: fox@glacierhelicopters.co.nz
Website : http://www.glacierhelicopters.co.nz/

Comment : originally we were looking for heli hiking which take you to the glacier and walk up to the top. Because we were not have a good preparation, most of flight was fully booked in Franz Josef. Yes it was quite expensive but trust me it worth for every penny!

Points :
Availability 2
Value for money 2
Adrenalin level 4
Scenery 5
Photography opportunity 5
Overall : 18

Ice Climbing at Franz Josef Glacier
Price NZ$220 per person
Duration all day, start 06:30am to 4:00pm
All equipment provided
Contact :
State Highway 6,
Main Road, Franz Josef Glacier
Telephone +64 3 752 0763
Freephone 0800GUIDES (484 337)
Fax +64 3 752 0102
Email : walks@franzjosefglacier.com
Website : http://franzjosefglacier.com/

Comment: Highly recommended for adrenaline junkies. If you are adventure enough you should try this first hand. It was quite stamina challenging as you have to walk up moraine for about an hour the set up several climbing walls. The climbing was straightforward with several technical opportunities.

Points :
Availability 3
Value for money 3
Adrenalin level 5
Scenery 5
Photography opportunity 5
Overall : 21