For anyone who knows me, they know that I like to play it safe. I don’t take chances and I am absolutely not an adrenaline junkie or a thrill-seeker.
However, there have been certain places and times in my travelling life where an opportunity to do something different and challenging (by my conservative standards) has presented itself. In most of these cases I have taken the plunge and just gone for it. This means that I have a reasonable number of ticks against Bucket List experiences, including canyoning in the highlands of Scotland, reaching the summit of Mt Kinabalu in Borneo for sunrise, elephant riding through the jungle in Northern Thailand, hot air ballooning over the plains of the Maasai Mara in Kenya and landing at the top of New Zealand’s Franz Josef Glacier in a helicopter.
Now I have a new one to tick off the list – ziplining! A recent conference in Auckland, New Zealand included a day trip to the beautiful Waiheke Island, an easy forty minute ferry ride from Auckland. Famous for fantastic wineries and olive groves, Waiheke is also a great place to relax on a white-sand beach, pick up a unique piece of art, sample some gourmet local fare, or try your hand at some of the activities available. There’s mountain biking, zorbing (rolling down hills inside a massive clear ball), clay target shooting, sea kayaking, fishing charters, golfing, scenic flights , stand up paddle boarding and what I did – ziplining.
Ziplining is described as “less scary than a bungy jump, but with enough excitement to take you up an adrenalin level” – and for a scaredy pants like me it was exactly that. You’re strapped into a seated harness on a stepped platform, and to take the “leap” you simply lift you’re feet and you’re off. There’s no technique, there’s no massive plunge you have to take. One minute you’re sitting there, enjoying the view, the next you’re soaring across a vineyard on a giant flying fox, having the time of your life.
The guys at Ecozip were fantastic. They can take care of everything, from picking you up from the Waiheke ferry terminal to wine tasting tours to various local vineyards around the island. They were so professional, passionate about Waiheke and wanted to ensure we all had the best experience possible.
So, aside from a day of plentiful wine tasting at Peacock Sky and Mudbrick Vineyards, a stroll along the beach, being given a guided tour by a quirky local and a enjoying a great overview of this little island, I can now say that I ziplined and I loved it.
Next time you’re headed to Auckland for a work trip, or as part of a longer visit to the North Island, try to fit in at least a day trip to Waiheke Island.
x Sonia x