10 Activities You Can Do With a Disability in New Zealand
Awesome activities for people with a disability.
The great thing about the adrenaline activities in New Zealand is that, as well as being epic, many are accessible to people with mobility, hearing and sight difficulties. All that is needed is a keen taste for adventure!
What activities you can do depends on the severity of a disability, so if you think you are fit enough to take on an activity, be sure to call the activity provider when making your booking to explain your situation. Then they will advise further. In our experience, activity providers have assessed the situation on the day of the activity and done what they can to make the activity possible.
For those who aren’t into flinging themselves from planes or bridges, walking tracks are very popular in New Zealand due to the sensational landscapes; so easy access/wheelchair access walking tracks are also available across the country. Here are our top 7 activities to do with a disability in New Zealand.
Depending on the severity of a disability, a physical disability is not necessarily a barrier to tandem skydive. A medical form is always completed before the dive to ensure you are able to do it. Skydive Abel Tasman in particular is able and equipped to send you hurtling from the sky at 16500ft. NZOne in Queenstown are also well-equipped. They assess each person on an individual basis, ensuring you will be in safe hands.
Skydive in these 12 Tandem Skydiving Locations in New Zealand.
2. Bungy Jump
As AJ Hackett, the leading bungy jump provider in New Zealand, puts it: “You can be a big strong guy or a little wee girl or a paraplegic or a very old person – it’s no problem to jump all these people because the thing about bungy is that it’s from the shoulders up not the shoulders down – so it’s inside your head.” All that said, you tend not to be able to bungy jump if you have major back problems.
Jump in these epic bungy jumping locations in New Zealand.
3. Jet Boating
Jet boating is a thrilling activity involving speed and quick turns between narrow river gorges. Severe back or neck problems may be an issue here, but with rails to hold onto to brace yourself, it’s likely you’ll get away with it. Always contact the activity provider beforehand.
Check out these awesome jet boating locations in New Zealand.
Although you need a bit of upper body strength to keep balanced, parasailing is one of the most accessible activities. Just glide, enjoy the view and hope the guy steering the boat doesn’t drop you in the water.
5. Accessible walks
The Department of Conservation provides brochures on easy access walks in the North Island and South Island. Explore the countryside and revel in the famous New Zealand scenery. You can also check our hiking guides to New Zealand where we mention if the walk is accessible.
6. Adaptive Skiing
Learning to ski with adaptive ski gear is made possible by Adaptive Snow Sports NZ, where each commercial ski field have a programme coordinator to help you get started. Admittedly, it isn’t cheap. In the end, it might feel worth it when learning is a huge thrill, especially when you get to explore insane alpine areas across New Zealand!
Check out the 24 Ski Fields in New Zealand.
7. White Water Rafting
This is usually assessed on a case-by-case basis. Plus, some rivers are safer than others. Even so, you’re sure to have a blast, well, blasting your way through river rapids. Usually, if you fall out of the raft, you just get picked up later. No big deal. Make sure to contact the provider prior to booking.
Check out these locations for white water rafting in New Zealand.
8. 4WD Tours
Go cross country to see some of New Zealand’s epic scenery. Sat in a four-wheel-drive or a 4×4, you can get to those hard-to-reach places. Usually, these tours stop at locations to do short walks, but you can choose how far you want to go on these short walks.
9. Whale and dolphin watching boat trip
Ok, so this isn’t always classed as “adventure” like the activities listed above. Nevertheless, New Zealand is a great country for seeing whales and dolphins all year round. These fascinating creatures are well worth seeing, leaping from the water.
Find out where to see whales in 5 Places to Spot Whales in New Zealand.
We’ll end our list with a favourite Kiwi pastime: fishing. With more than 15,000km of coastline, 775 lakes and countless kms of rivers, there is certainly not a lack of fishing spots in New Zealand. Plus, there’s plenty of local fishing charters who would love to have you aboard.
Find out more in Fishing in New Zealand.
Learn more about travelling New Zealand with a disability.
Pretty cool, eh? In addition to awesome activities in New Zealand, find out how to travel around New Zealand with a disability.
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