Cracking the Kiwi Code

Your Challenge: Choosing the right adventure in New Zealand, a place that offers the best of everything. Your Solution: Our heavily researched, carefully formulated, and totally brilliant ten-step plan.

Jan 18, 2011
Outside Magazine
New Zealand

On the job at Castle Hill Station, near Arthur's Pass    Photo: Photo by Kyle George

This Colorado-size country is home to more than four million people, nearly all of them rabid bikers, climbers, trekkers, paddlers ... you get the idea. There are world-class opportunities for virtually every outdoor sport, and the unofficial national motto is "Get amongst it."

Start by choosing the right island. The North Island has yacht racing, trout fishing, mountain biking, volcanoes, hot springs, crater lakes, and under-the-radar surfing, as well as the cities—Auckland (405,000) and Wellington (180,000)—and most of the native Maori culture. The sparsely populated South Island has long-distance trekking, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, cycling, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, and adrenaline pursuits like bungee and BASE jumping. By habit, locals here tend to do many of these in the same day.