Extreme Sports in New Zealand


New Zealand is famous for extreme sports. Here are some teenagers talking about the sports they enjoy.

Zach, 18 years: Zorbing
I started zorbing when I was on holiday with my Mum and Dad. Last summer I worked at the Zorbing Centre in Rotorua. A zorb is a huge plastic ball with walls about 70 cm thick. The “zorbonaut” is in the middle of the ball. The air cushion in the wall keeps them safe as they roll down the side of a hill. The zorb can reach 50 kilometres per hour.
Emma, 17 years: Heli-skiing
I am a big fan of winter sports, and I love heli-skiing. Heli-skiing is when a helicopter takes you into an area of untouched snow, and you ski back down again. On some trips it is possible to make runs of almost 3000 vertical metres. Next August we are planning to try out heli-skiing in another region. Maybe we’ll go to Wanaka. It’s the largest heli-ski area south of the equator.
Esther, 18 years: Bungy-jumping
I have bungy-jumped a few times. Bungy-jumping is New Zealand’s most famous extreme sport. The sport started on an island called Vanuatu. Since my birthday, I have done it a couple more times. Once my mother and I jumped together at Rotorua. You just have to jump, don’t think about it. If you start thinking about what you are about to do, you’ll never do it.

Copyright: Getty Images
Shortcut activity
True or false?
a         Extreme sports are not popular in New Zealand.
b         A zorb is a big ball.
c         The air in the zorb keeps the person inside safe.
d         Heli-skiing takes skiers to areas with lots of people.
e         Bungy-jumping is not a well-known sport.
f          It is best not to think too much when bungy-jumping.