Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, New Zealand is blessed with 15,000km of stunning coastline. You may be thinking these vast beaches could provide you with all the water sports in New Zealand anyone could want – and you’d be right. However, hidden treasures lie within the landscape in the form New Zealand’s 3,820 spectacular lakes. All this makes for one huge playground for any water sport enthusiast with more activities than you could possibly imagine. To make sure your guided tour of New Zealand is overflowing with excitement, here’s our low-down on the best water sports on offer. If you like your water sports, New Zealand will not disappoint.

White Water Rafting

Whether you’re looking for a pulse-racing, frantic ride or a leisurely meander when white water rafting, New Zealand has the perfect blend of both. The stunning river gorges (situated all over the country) provide the perfect backdrop for what is undoubtedly an activity not to be missed.

Scuba Diving

Scuba diving in New Zealand gives you the chance to explore many hidden gems all around the islands. Whether you’re looking for eye-catching coral, stunning stingrays or vibrant fish, the diving spots of New Zealand have them all. Why not venture to the waters of Poor Knights Island, White Island or the Bay of Islands? Further inland, the Riwaka Caverns offer an excellent option for those who prefer fresh water diving in New Zealand.


For anyone wanting to try their luck on a stand up paddleboard, New Zeland offers an almost endless range of opportunities. Once you get your balance, paddleboarding is certainly one of the more relaxing ways to explore the magnificence of the New Zealand landscape. Get some advice on the best locations here: top 10 places to paddleboard in New Zealand.


By its nature, New Zealand has many hidden dwellings which can be difficult to access. However, take out a kayak and suddenly an adventure awaits. One sight not to be missed is the breathtaking Maori carvings located at Mine Bay, Taupo. In addition, if you choose to kayak in Auckland harbour you will be spoilt for choice with a vast number of offshore islands begging to be explored.


Regardless of your experience, New Zealand supplies every traveller with endless beaches to try your hand at surfing. In particular, the North Island offers some superb surf with the Taranaki Surf Highway 45 and Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges serving up the biggest waves. Not to be outdone, the South Island also provides a selection of surfing hotspots for you to enjoy.

Jet Boating

Developed by the Kiwis themselves, a New Zealand water sports round-up would not be complete without the exhilarating thrill that is jet boating. With this activity you can forget about a relaxing journey, breathing in the NZ landscape. Jet boating is non-stop excitement, which sees you tear along the river gorges and career down the sheer canyons. If this sounds like your thing, here are the best places to do it: top 5 jet boating locations.