Whether you are the type to seek out adventure at every turn or are just looking for a gentle nudge outside of your comfort zone, check out the great heart-pumping activities on offer throughout the Hamilton and Waikato region and start planning your autumn adventure.
The Waitomo caves are world famous for spectacular glowworm displays, but the thrill-seekers among us will head underground for the more adventurous tours.
Black Water Rafting tours will have you donning a wetsuit and floating, climbing, jumping, and squeezing your way through the underground passageways on tours with names like the Black Abyss; while dry tours include ziplining and abseiling (up to 100m) into caves with names such as the Lost World. These tours may sound extreme, but a moderate fitness level and a keen sense of adventure is all that is needed for most of these exciting trips.
Plus, those with adventurous kids will enjoy the new Troll Cave – a man-made cave with the tour designed specifically for children which will have them do their part for ‘troll conservation’.
On the Water Adventures
If on the water adventures are on the cards, head to the west coast town of Raglan. A surfing lesson will see you experiencing the thrill of surfing on one of the world’s longest left-hand surf breaks. Then explore the rugged and ancient limestone coast and discover hidden beaches in the harbour on a kayak or paddleboard tour; or leap off and climb up waterfalls on a canyoning adventure below Mt Karioi.
Lake Karapiro also offers a truly awe-inspiring experience. Take a guided kayak tour at dusk up the Pokaiwhenua stream, before floating back down stream after sunset, guided by the stars and light of the glowworms that line the canyon walls. Or speed things up a bit with an adrenaline-pumping jetboat ride along the Waikato River in Cambridge.
Top Cycle Trails
The region’s cycle trails also offer some great adventures. The Waikato River Trails and The Timber Trail both boast hair-raising swing bridges to cross, and the more advanced sections of the trails are perfect for those with a lot of experience on two wheels. Riding alongside the Waikato River or exploring ancient forests can offer a great day out or turn into a multi-day adventure, while the many smaller mountain bike tracks also offer some technically challenging rides.
If the rev of an engine gets your blood pumping, head north of Hamilton to Hampton Downs. Challenge friends and family to see who has the best time around the Go Kart track, or really feed your need for speed with a V8 Muscle Car or Supercar experience.
Sky High Adventures
Get sky high with a gentle Hot Air Balloon ride over Hamilton City, take a personal
helicopter or light aircraft flight over Waikato, or experience the thrill of free-fall with a 13,000ft skydive – all offering truly spectacular views of the region.
For more information on these and even more great activities and attractions, check out hamiltonwaikato.com