9 Wind, Air and Water Sports in New Zealand

Wind, Air and Water sports in New Zealand are extremely popular.With the wind coming off the sea, we are a windy country. This lends itself to a plethora of activities reliant on good winds.Combined with our many waterways and coastline, along with the scenic delights from the air, these wind inspired adventure activities provide plenty of fun.Yachting or Sailing are major national sports. School children learn and compete in the small Optimists, and progress through the ranks to the America’s Cup, and many classes of yachting. There are many sailing opportunities for tourists to New Zealand, from crewing on an old Tall Ship in the Hauraki Gulf of Auckland, to chartering a yacht and sailing the Bay of Islands or Marlborough Sounds.Wind Surfing or Board Sailing is a sport enjoyed by many, and New Zealand has always excelled on the world stage in this competitive sport.You will usually see windsurfers in the harbours, and on lakes, taking on the waves and wind at a great speed of knots! If you are keen to try windsurfing, there are several popular tourist locations where you can hire windsurfers.

Kite boarding is quite new, but is fast taking off. Inexpensive, and combining the skills, spills and joys of surfing, it is the perfect combination for those who love the sea, and tricks of surfing.Hang gliders have certain spots around the country where they love to soar above the crowds in solitude and peace, taking in the magnificent views below. Simple machines steeredby the users feet and body, it is probably the nearest to flying like a bird anyone can get. It is actually a very old sport. The first known hang gliders originated in the 4th century in China! Tourists keen to try hang gliding can do a tandem hang glide. There are restrictions on those bringing their own.You do need a permit, and there are specific areas where you are permitted to hang glide, for safety reasons.Paragliders, like hang gliders, float above us with their wide sails making a colourful arch across the sky. Unlike hang gliders who face downwards, paragliders sit, harnessed into a seat. Tandem paragliding is one of the most popular tourist air adventure activities. Queenstown, Wanaka and Canterbury offer the most choices, but Taupo, Auckland and Nelson are also good locations to try this exciting activity. Age is no barrier.The oldest person to paraglide celebrated her 100th birthday with a session!Parasailing is a simple version of Parasailing. Attached to a parachute, you are towed by a boat.You can experience the airborne nature of paragliding at a more comfortable height.Blokart Sailing is land yachting. Looking rather like a wind surfer with wheels, these land yachts race along the long wet sands.Another safe, fun activity anyone could try, there are a few rental companies where you can hire one and give it a go.

Hot Air Ballooning must surely be one of the most romantic air activities you can engage in. It is also a great family activity as children over 5 years are considered old enough, and the whole family can enjoy the experience together. The ideal conditions are usually early morning, when weather is more settled, so it may mean an early start. But watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon would surely be the ultimate!Skydiving is big! Found in most major tourist locations around the country, thousands try tandem skydiving every year. Solo skydiving is also an option for those with more experience. But by going tandem, anyone can try a sport that they would otherwise not do, due to lack of experience.With the magnificent views of mountains, lakes, rivers and coastline to soak up, the rewards when experiencing these air, wind and water sports is twofold.