What better way to get a glimpse of the world-famous New Zealand scenic landscape than a bird’s eye view from your very own parasailing seat? The weightless feeling of being securely strapped in hundreds or thousands of feet in the air is second to none.
Parasailing is for sure a bucket list item, and what better place to tick it off than in New Zealand—a country that is near impossible to fault. Here are the best places to go parasailing in New Zealand.
Bay Of Islands
The vacation-feel and clear blue water of the Bay of Islands make it the perfect seaside spot to get a few metres higher than usual. Flying Kiwi Parasail is situated in Paihia and allows amazing 360-degree views of the Bay of Islands. The company has been family owned and operated since 1998 and has a perfect safety record to keep your mind at peace. While up in the sky you’ll be enjoying views over Paihia, Russell, Waitangi with 1300ft of tow rope from the back of the boat. It’s up to you whether you want to opt for a solo ride for a peaceful ride or enjoy with friends on a tandem.
There’s a never-ending list of thrill-seeking activities to do on Lake Taupo—you would be foolish not to make the most of the 46km long lake. Big Sky Parasail have taken full advantage of the magnificent lake in the middle of the town, with their parasailing trips operating from October to April. There are two heights to choose from—500ft or 1000ft—both providing views of the Taupo region and the stretching body of water from a bird’s eye view. The ride also has an optional free-fall dismount that allows you to slowly parachute back down to the water’s edge before being whisked back up into the sky again.
Of course, the adventure capital of the country has parasailing on the menu. Paraflights in Queenstown fly you across Lake Wakatipu on their 600ft high “World’s Greatest Parasail Flight”. Solo travellers, couples, and groups are more than welcome at Paraflights, with their solo and tandem flight options available to suit your needs. If you’re after a special one-of-a-kind event, private charter trips are also an option. Flights are completely customisable for your comfort, from gentle scenic rides to rougher and tumble water dips for the adrenaline junkies. The giant smiley-faced printed balloon will lift you as high as The Remarkables for full circle views of the stunning mountain ranges and chilling blue waters. Paraflights is the only company in the South Island with a permit to operate parasailing at this extent, so if you want to catch the beauty of the South Island from a height, this is the place to be.
For a more relaxed flight, Katoa Parasailing in Rotorua has you covered. Take a flight over Lake Rotorua 400ft into the air and marvel at the beauty of the great lake. You’ll gain panoramic views of the city from a whole new perspective, spotting the steaming geysers and Mount Tarawera. The take-off and landing are gentle, safe, and dry, with no plunges into cold water this time around. Katoa Parasailing makes sure you’re completely comfortable, with rides available for every type of skill level and solo or tandem flights available.
The final stop on the best places to parasail in New Zealand is none other than the mighty Lake Wanaka. Wanaka Parasailing wants to get you up in the air over the expansive lake to catch views of Mount Aspiring and Cardrona Valley. Jeno and the team will make you feel right at home out on the lake before sending you off hundreds of feet in the air for an unforgettable and once in a lifetime experience. The views from the balloon can be solo or shared, offering a rare outlook of the Otago region and priceless views of the peaking mountain ranges. The drivers will dip you into the chilling waters at your request, bringing a whole new adrenaline kick to the experience. They’ll be able to capture your entire flight on the built-in go-pros so you have memories to last a lifetime.
While you're at it, check out New Zealand's best scuba diving spots.
Image credit: Love Taupo