Sunday, March 16, 2008

There are a Lot of Things We Have Not Done in NZ

This is not Tom Warren flying off the Auckland Sky Tower!

As mnay of you know, I write regular travel articles for the American Bar Association and monthly articles for the Chelan County Employee Newsletter. The following was written for that purpose. If you have already received it as a part of my travel writing distrubution, maybe you missed part of it the first time. Let's go zorbing!

Whenever you talk to people about their travels to New Zealand you hear about the friendly people, the gorgeous scenery, and all the TRAVEL ADVENTURE opportunities. Now no one has ever called me an adventure guy. I am famous for my quote of “if it is outside, if it is wet, if it is cold, I do not do it.” But that doesn’t mean you should not consider doing “it”, or maybe you have already done “it.” I thought I would give you a taste of some of the opportunities we have not done, and in fact which even scare the Hell out of me thinking about some of them. By the way, from my review of the promotion materials and websites, being real adventurous is not cheap, so bring lots of money. The following is just a sampling from the North Island.

The bungy jump off the Sky Tower in Auckland: Okay, now visualize the Space Needle. Then visualize jumping off. The jump here is 630 feet with all of Auckland watching you from the street. Yikes! The Kiwi’s seem to have a thing about bungy jumping. They claim to have invented it.

The Skywalk around the Sky Tower: Again visualize the Space Needle, but this time you are walking around the roof on the OUTSIDE! Not for those with fear of heights it would seem.

Go sailing on an authentic America’s Cup yacht: Now I might be able to handle this, but why? If you are a sailor it would be quite a thrill. They take about 20 people at a time and I think they want you to work for goodness sake. Pricey however for a couple of hours.

A forest adventure with 8 different woodsy courses north of Auckland: This is kind of a challenge ropes course for the really eager people. I was always successful in avoiding those employee group feel good confidence team builder things in the U.S., so why would I ever do it in NZ.

Gondolas and luge rides in Rotorua: Now gondolas, trams, and sky-rides I can handle. The three wheel luge looks like fun but I couldn’t get Mary Ann interested. I have noticed they have one in Queenstown on the South Island, so I have another chance.

Kayaking with a thermal pool swim at the end: I am sure I could Kayak…for awhile. This sport is available all over New Zealand on the many rivers and lakes. Opportunities abound for the beginners to the extreme wild water kayaking, and sea kayaking.

Zorbing: This is another one that the Kiwi’s claim to have invented. I am sure you should not eat before you do it. The object is to roll down an 820 foot slope inside a huge plastic bubble, with or without water inside. To make sure you break or injure yourself, you can also do it with your friends along.

For those of you who want to just keep active with the usual stuff without a lot of danger, you can find horseback riding, mountain biking, white water rafting, golf, organized walking (for goodness sake!), four wheel drive adventures, and flightseeing (helicopters and floatplanes) just about everywhere. We really have done a lot of things in New Zealand, so if you want to see what we have done, you best check out my travel blog at:
© Thomas C. Warren 2008

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