Strap in, sit tight, and brace yourselves for one helluva ride to Adventureland.
So, this post was prompted by a video fellow Go Away editor Vanessa shared recently. There are only two possible outcomes from watching the video: Your grin wider than the Cheshire Cat’s and your eyes gleaming with excitement, you ask to watch it again; or, you grab the nearest object – or unfortunate human – in a white-knuckle grip and simultaneously throw up a little in your mouth. Either way, it promises to send your heart racing into overdrive.
Without further ado, here’s the video in question – and also the first on our list of extreme activities for thrillseekers.
1. The Nevis Swing, New Zealand
Just think of it as a Hulk version of your favourite childhood swing at the playground – and by Hulk, we mean being suspended 160 metres above the canyon floor and swinging 300 metres from one valley to another at a whooping 120km/h. The two guys in the video are facing forward in a sitting position, but feel free to choose other thrilling positions such as upside down, backwards, back-to-back and, um, 69.
2. Unreal Zip 2000, South Africa
With an average speed of 120km/h and the highest ever recorded speed at 185km/h, the Unreal Zip 2000 is officially the world’s fastest zip slide! Previously, it also held the record for being the world’s longest, though the Volo dell’angelo Zip Line in Italy recently clinched the title (Unreal Zip 2000 stretches 2km, while the latter, 2.213km).
3. Mountain biking in the Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland
Fancy mountain biking your way through steep and narrow slopes? Among the various trails available in the Mourne Mountains, choose from the Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails – these offer some of the most challenging trails that include singletrack descents and promise absolutely stunning views of Carlingford Lough, a glacial fjord.
4. Extreme kayaking at Boulder Creek, US
The kayaking we know involves leisurely paddling through calm waters, pausing every so often to take in the natural beauty surrounding us. Not this one. A section of Boulder Creek features a 20-slalom gate course with purpose-built obstacles and heart-stopping drops for serious kayakers.
5. AJ Hackett Macau Tower Bungee Jump, Macau
Officially the world’s highest bungee jump, the point from which you jump off the AJ Hackett Macau Tower measures 233m above ground. What makes this even more exhilarating is that the bungee cord rebounds when you’re merely 30m from the ground! If it makes you feel better, the bungee cords are specially designed to ensure you do not make contact with the tower. Reassuring, but I’ll pass.
6. Jungle trek to Machu Picchu, Peru
Most travellers would take the Inca Trail to get to the top of the ancient architectural wonder, but adrenaline junkies should totally opt for the four-day jungle trek. The journey begins with a bus ride that takes you 4.26km above sea level, followed by a half-day winding downhill mountain bike ride to Santa Maria. There, you can enjoy whitewater rafting in the Urubamba River against Class III and IV rapids. That’s just Day 1. The next day, brace yourselves for a full-day hike to Santa Teresa, where South America’s highest and longest zip line – the Cola de Mon Zip Line – is located. Finally, take a steep hike up Huayna Picchu for the perfect view of Peru’s most impressive Inca ruins.
7. Dive into Cenote Esqueleto Temple of Doom, Mexico
If its ominous name hasn’t put you off yet, this cenote – a natural pit formed as a result of the collapse of limestone bedrock – has a maximum depth of 16m and reveals a complex cave system. Oh, and because there aren’t stairs to lead you down to the water, the only way to get into the Temple of Doom is to jump. How in the world do you get out? Well, there’s a galvanised pipe ladder that leads you to the lip of the cenote. You’d better make sure the ladder is still there and in good working order before diving any deeper.
8. The Slide at ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower, UK
This recently launched attraction in London is another playground favourite of mine: it’s a slide – on steroids! Simply called The Slide, it measures 178m, making it the longest tunnel slide in the world. The 40-second descent features 12 turns around the tower, including a tight corkscrew section.
9. Take a leap off the Kaunolu Cliff, Hawaii
Where better to cliff-jump than from the very rock ledge that is supposedly the birthplace of cliff jumping? At 19m tall, the Kaunolu Cliff may not be the tallest, but the shallow waters and rocky ocean floor make this cliff diving spot one of the world’s most dangerous.
10. Water rappelling at Angel Falls, Venezuela
Why marvel at the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall from afar when you can make a rappel descent down it? At a height of 979m and with a plunge of 807m, descending Angel Falls takes time – to be specific, 16 hours.