10 Scary Places in New Zealand for Backpackers
The moments in New Zealand that will make your heart pound.
New Zealand is not often described as a “scary” place. Adventurous, safe, stunning, easy-going, but not “scary”! Well, there are a few places in this country that will make your heart pound and hair stand up on the back of your neck, from making your way through Customs to rafting the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall.
And the weird thing is, people consciously but themselves in these situations. Nevertheless, as the famous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt says: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
1. Auckland Airport
After a hideously long journey, you’ve finally made it to New Zealand! But now it is time to find your way through the airport. Do I have all the correct paperwork to pass through Immigration and Customs? Where is my luggage? We all over-stress at this point, you are not alone.
2. Bungy jump platform
Invented in New Zealand and marketed to backpackers all over the country, bungy jumping is a must-do. But at the point just before jumping, your stomach will be doing backflips and your brain will be screaming: “Why are you doing this?!”
3. Jailhouse Hostel
Converting an old prison into a hostel is a great idea, if not just a bit creepy. Getting other backpackers scared at night in the Jailhouse is all part of the experience! Find the Jailhouse in Christchurch.
4. Kaituna River
This river is home to the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. Hearing the roaring rapids of the waterfall getting menacingly louder as you approach just makes the anticipation all the more scarier! Check out white water rafting on the Kaituna River here.
5. Backpacker car market
Many backpackers will buy their first car in New Zealand to travel around freely. But buying the first car is always a scary thing. Did you check everything? Will the car last long enough? Check out our car buying guide to make sure that you did not leave anything unchecked.
6. Hanging out of an aeroplane
Another must-do in New Zealand is skydiving. Nothing is scarier than hanging out of a plane while somebody else decides when you will fall from 15,000ft!
7. Landing in Queenstown airport
Windy and lodged between mountains, Queenstown airport tests pilots’ skills to land smoothly. It’s a thrill in itself to land in New Zealand’s adventure capital!
8. Walking on the edge Sky Tower
If observing the view from behind a perfectly safe thick glass window inside the Sky Tower was not enough, you can hang off the ledge of the observation deck. It’s a pretty darn scary place to be on top of the Southern Hemisphere’s highest building! Check out the SkyWalk here.
8. Tombstone Backpackers
Despite the creepy theme, the hostel in Picton is actually welcoming and one of our favourite backpacker accommodations in the country.
9. Shark cage diving
The great white shark is one of the most majestic creatures in our oceans, but our instincts dictate us to be scared of it. Diving near it, even safely hidden in an unbreakable metal cage, is still scary yet thrilling. Do this in Stewart Island.
10. Auckland Airport (again)
The scariest of all: having to go home. What will you do with your life, now? What is waiting for you at home? Remember all the life lessons that you can take home with you.
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