5 Wacky and Wonderful Must-Dos for your NZ GOAT (Greatest Trip of All Time)!
There’s definitely an electric sense of excitement in the air around town. The borders have opened up to the vast majority of countries around the world, and the ski season has hit Queenstown with an energy we haven’t felt since 2019!
If you’re new to our little part of the globe or are returning to New Zealand for a fresh adventure, there are the usual bucket list items to tick off your list like Fox Glacier in the south and Cape Reinga in the north. But we like to do things a little differently here at iFLY Queenstown, and that extends to the sights and activities we add to our travel itineraries!
Read on for an insider’s guide to all the wacky and wonderful must-do’s (in our minds) for your next – or first ever – great Kiwi trip!
1. Hydro Attack on Queenstown’s lakefront
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an aggressive shark on the hunt, diving beneath the water, pursuing prey at breakneck speeds, and twisting and turning at a dizzying rate through the ocean blue? Neither have we, but we really like fast rides.
Hydro Attack is an adrenaline rush in a mini shark-shaped package. The Seabreacher x Watercraft is a YouTube sensation, and you can experience it yourself on Lake Wakatipu! You’ll be strapped into the ‘shark’ behind a skilled driver, then dive, jump, spin and roll around in the water for a fun-filled fifteen minutes.
This is a truly quirky experience above and beneath the water, with ‘wild or mild’ options depending on your age and preference (anyone over 6 is welcome).
2. iFLY Queenstown (of course!)
Skydiving has become synonymous with adventure activities in New Zealand. But have you ever done it indoors?
The sport of bodyflight is a growing phenomenon and accessible to any one of any age and physical ability. Unlike stepping out of a plane, you can step into a wind tunnel, feeling perfectly safe while also having the absolute time of your life on a smooth cushion of air. It also means you’re not dependent on the weather for your next thrill.
We’re situated on Brecon Street, just up from the buzz of Queenstown’s shops and restaurants, and near fan favourites like Skyline. So pop in to see us for a unique way to fly inside when you’re next coming up for a gondola ride or luge!
3. ZORB, a bouncy ball of fun
Further up on our neighbouring North Island in the geothermal hot spot of Rotorua, is ZORB. ZORB became a cult classic in the ‘90s, when two Kiwi guys decided to add some giant inflatable goodness to the world.
The blow-up clear ball is filled with 40 litres of warm or cold water (depending on the season) which keeps you super safe while splashing, rolling and belly laughing down Mt. Ngongotaha. In the winter you’ll heat up at either end with their gorgeous hot tubs and blankets, or cool off in the summer by drip-drying in the open rural air.
Fast forward to 2022, and Zorb Rotorua now has multiple tracks on its famous hill, meaning you can climb into the ball and bounce to the bottom at varying speeds and angles. Our fave is the sidewinder – pushing off a fence from inside a massive ball is a bizarre highlight of life.
4. Hobbiton, to indulge your Middle Earth fandom
If we didn’t add the ultimate movie set to the list, are we even Kiwis?
Hobbiton in Matamata is a huge landmark on any Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit film fan’s pilgrimage around New Zealand. Don some comfy walking shoes and wander around the permanent hobbit hole structures on the perfectly-manicured 12-acre farm. Real cloth costumes flap in the breeze on the washing lines and smoke billows from the chimneys as if a village of furry-footed characters just left in a hurry. You’ll meander through their village with an expert guide and learn more about the making of these generation-defining films that you ever could online.
We recommend the Evening Banquet tour; arrive for a sunset tour of Hobbiton before dining in true hobbit style at The Green Dragon. Then head back to your coach with a lantern, seeing a whole new night time dimension to the hobbit holes and props, as well as the starry night sky.
5. The Ohakune Carrot (yes, a giant vegetable)
We could’ve picked a slew of giant, pretty random sculptures and statues for this number five spot. But there’s something uniquely Kiwi about a massive carrot.
Standing at almost 8 metres high in the North Island’s ski town of Ohakune, the fibreglass Big Carrot has been a world-famous landmark since 1984. It’s symbolic of the region’s rich agricultural opportunities. And was actually originally created for a bank TV commercial. Now, it’s a prime road trip stop thanks to the playground and walkable track nearby, and a fabulous photo opp – wrap your arms round this hero of a veggie for your next ‘gram.
The best step forward with these 5 top spots for weird and wacky fun? Plan your New Zealand adventure with your dream locations and accommodation in each one mapped out first, then slot in these iFLY Queenstown recommendations along the journey! Have a blast, flyers!