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Central OtagoExtreme sports & adrenaline

Our most recommended Central Otago Extreme sports & adrenaline

Shotover River: Extreme Jet Boat Experience

1. Shotover River: Extreme Jet Boat Experience

Take on the ultimate jet boat experience on the Shotover River for a breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons, located less than a 10-minutes drive from Queenstown. A short drive from Queenstown will have you at the shores of the Shotover River. Meet your experienced guide and gear up for your high-speed jet boat ride. Hold on tight as the driver expertly navigates the jet boat over white-water rapids and squeezes through the narrow walls of the Shotover Canyon. Speed past rocky outcrops, skim around boulders, and zip through the dramatic and narrow canyons as its walls tower above you. After 25 thrilling minutes, return to the jet base and relax on the shuttle transfer back to Queenstown.

From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

2. From Queenstown: Mount Cook Heli-Hike and Tour Combo

Discover everything the beautiful Mount Cook and Tasman Glacier area has to offer on a guided small-group full-day trip from Queenstown. Meet your small group early in the morning and hop on the minivan which will take you to the Tasman Glacier, stopping at some of the area's most iconic sights along the way. Make your way through the Kawarau Gorge, passing the Kawarau Suspension Bridge and of course the famous Roaring Meg Lookout. Drive past sights such as the beautiful Lake Dunstan, Lindis Pass, and the Cromwell wine region, stopping for photos along the way, before arriving in Omarama. Here, spot Merino sheep and sample New Zealand's creamiest chicken pie before continuing to Lake Pukaki, where you can spot several Lord of the Rings filming locations. Next, get ready for the adventure of a lifetime with a Tasman Glacier Heli Hike. Combine the excitement of walking on New Zealand’s biggest glacier with the stunning scenic helicopter fly-bys of New Zealand’s largest mountain, Aoraki/Mt Cook. After flying to a remote part of the glacier, follow your guide as they cut steps in the glacier, using skills handed down from New Zealand's mountain pioneers. Finish your hike with another spectacular scenic flight back to the base. After your flight, stop for a quick photo stop in Mount Cook village before continuing to High Country Salmon, a local salmon farm, where you can feed the fish and taste some of the freshest salmon in New Zealand. Stop at Mrs. Jones Suncrest Orchard to try or buy her delicious local fruit or real fruit ice cream before returning to Queenstown with your group.

Queenstown: White Water Surfing Along the Kawarau River

3. Queenstown: White Water Surfing Along the Kawarau River

Bodyboard up to 12km down the iconic Kawarau River. You’ll enjoy riding white water rapids and even get a chance to try surfing on standing waves, riding whirlpools as well as catching some underwater currents if you are brave enough. The fast Kawarau River bursts with energy, and this trip will challenge your nerves from start to finish. About 1-1.5 hours will be spent in the river.  The bodyboards are light and highly maneuverable, allowing you to be more active in the water. It's the perfect choice for someone looking for the ultimate adventure. You can even choose your own board depending on how much adrenaline you can handle. River surfing is best suited for people who want the full white water experience. You'll get the opportunity to also enjoy some of New Zealand's spectacular scenery on the more gentle parts of the river, and you can also stop for a jump from the cliffs along the river.

Lake Dunstan Trail - Bike/Ebike Hire & Return Luxury Shuttle

4. Lake Dunstan Trail - Bike/Ebike Hire & Return Luxury Shuttle

Meet the nzbiketrails team at Cromwell. You will be provided with a route overview, a safety briefing and an introduction to your bike and setting up your seat height. Once ready you will cycle the Lake Dunstan Trail from Cromwell to Clyde - 42km of purpose built trail which was opened in May 2021. The Dunstan Trail is a Grade 1-3 Trail. The surface is good throughout (compact gravel). There are two 150m climbs which the e-bike option will help you to get to the top, with very little effort involved, if you choose to use your high 'power assist' mode! The trail is a stunning ride, opened in May 2021 - a feat of engineering. You will enjoy riding on the 450m of 'clip-ons' to the mountain side and also over the 85m long Hugo suspension bridge. In total there is about 2.5 hours of actual riding so you have time to briefly stop at the Carrick Winery and Burger Afloat for refreshments along the way. Once you get to Clyde you should have time for a quick celebratory drink before you are shuttled back to Cromwell in the nzbiketrails luxury Mercedes. The Dunstan Trail is a 'must do' one day adventure - nzbiketrails recommends e-bikes for this trail as there is no road access for 25km of the trail and goes to heights. We find that experienced riders will use the assist levels less than other riders. Our bikes can be ridden in the 'off' mode. E-bikes helps families and groups stay together and makes it a more sociable ride for the entire party. All riders should be confident on a bike, taller than 145cm and 12 years and over. Younger riders should be able to handle an e-bike which is heavier than a standard bike.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Central Otago

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What people are saying about Central Otago

Great fun. Expect a bit of water in your face or on clothing. A spare shirt in the backpack may be a good idea. Stunning gorge worth the journey. Heated grab rails in the boat were a nice touch.

Driver/guide was excellent. Friendly and interesting. The helicopter ride was well organised. Felt safe. Scenery and the glacier itself just astounding.

Great day tour with the glacier hike being a highlight. Well organised and friendly, knowledgeable guides.

Definitely a must to activity. Great family fun. Our driver was awesome.

Awesome time out on the boat. Driver Donald was unreal.