What is it with the Kiwis and their 'adrenalin sports'?
I think it is true to say that bungy jumping was invented here but, since then, they have come up with a bewildering number of ways to kill yourself. White water rafting, jet boating, zorbing (throwing yourself down a hill sealed in an inflated plastic ball), tandem sky diving, lion wrestling and hand grenade juggling are on offer in virtually every town ( though I may have made up the last two).
In the Gumboot Capital of the World they also offered GRAVITY CANYON. You know those little zip wires that the scouts set up at the village fete? Well Gravity Canyon is the same thing but it runs down the entire 1km length of a canyon.
The oddest thing about all these thrilling ways of filling your pants is that they seem to be sufficiently popular that the operators can charge pretty much whatever they like. The 1000 meter zip wire, for example, costs an impressive £80.
If you have any adrenalin, or money, left there are then all the helicopter and aeroplane excursions. Every small town has an airfield with several light aircraft and a couple of tiny helicopters and these are used for sight-seeing trips and to deliver people up into the mountains to hike or ski. Mangawaka 'international Airport' is a typical example. Worryingly it is not uncommon to find the drivers of these things getting royally hammered in the bar of an evening.
You will be pleased to know that today was cold and wet which was a great pity as our road over the hills to Fielding (14 times voted as New Zealand's most beautiful town – a pretty low bar if anyone fancies having a crack at the title) was especially lovely.