The Kiwis just love adventure—they do it right, and they’ve been doing it right for a long time. There’s something about the New Zealand psyche that has them pushing limits, that has them setting records. Just ask Braden Currie, a Kiwi Ironman who’s a three-time World Multisport Champion and spends a lot of time outdoors: “I think Kiwis are almost born with an intrinsic motivation to discover and explore because our country is so isolated,” he says. “We love an adventure, and I think our willingness to explore new places and challenge the limits has carried through the generations.
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It makes sense, when you think about their history. The first person to set foot on the summit of Everest, the world’s highest mountain, was Sir Hillary—a Kiwi. The pioneer of bungy jumping as a commercial sport was AJ Hackett—a Kiwi. It was another New Zealander, Geoff Barnett, who invented the ‘Shweeb,’ a cycle-powered monorail that tourists can check out in Rotorua. Kiwis also created the jet-boat—an activity available up and down the country—as well as the Zorb, a giant inflatable ball that you stand inside before rolling down a hill. Give it a try in Rotorua or the Bay of Plenty.
If you love to climb mountains, you can go to New Zealand. If you love to ski down them, you can go to New Zealand. If you love road trips on wide, open roads with minimal traffic, you can go to New Zealand. If you love to cycle on hardcore, single-track mountain-biking trails or just to pootle along on your bicycle on an old rail trail through wine country, you can go to New Zealand. “Driving from one place to another, you just can’t avoid stopping the car to soak in the scenery,” says Currie. “Things change so quickly within less than an hour’s drive, and every place has its own character. You could spend a year in New Zealand and still feel like you’ve missed out.”