Queenstown might claim to be the world's adventure tourism capital, but another New Zealand city is hot on its heels after sweeping the Travellers Choice awards for top adventure activities.
The annual Tripadvisor awards which recognise the top activities for tourists as voted by website reviewers, found space for two Kiwi adventure activities in their list of top overall travel experiences in the world. Both within the same New Zealand city.
Rotorua Rafting was voted the second-best adventure activity in the world. Right after a Jet Ski Tour of Dubai, and ahead of hand-gliding over Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, said it was among one of the "best activities you can do around the world, according to other travelers who love to do things."
The New Zealand operator, which takes visitors over the highest commercially rafter waterfall, recently spoke to the Herald about bringing an authentically Kiwi experience to visitors on the Kaituna and Ōkere rivers.
"It has served manawhenua as a source of kai and wellbeing for centuries, and now we share similar experiences where the awa (river) provides life and wellbeing for us 400 years on, as it did for our tupuna (ancestors)," said Sam Sutton, owner and four-times world champion white-water rafter.
A short distance away on the geothermal highway, the Canopy Tour Rotorua also found a space at number 11.
The attraction has been taking visitors through the Rotorua treetops on zipwires and rope bridges since 2008, to see the natural world from another angle.
Visitors who left over 1050 5* reviews dubbed the experience "exhilarating" and "time well worth spent".
Across the Ditch a Quadbike Tour of the Kangaroo Island nature sanctuary in South Australia bounded in at number 6, and Queensland's Magnetic Island reef adventure came in 8th.
Tripadvisor's 25 Best Tourism Experiences in the World
1. Jet Ski Tour of Dubai UAE
2. Rotorua Rafting, New Zealand
3. Hang gliding Rio de Janeiro, Rotorfly, Brazil
4. Clear Kayak Tour of Tampa Bay, Florida, USA
5. Arenales Caves, Puerto Rico
6. Kangaroo Island Quad Bike, South Australia
7. Aquascene Magnetic Island Discovery Tour, Queensland, Australia
8. The Deathly Dark Ghost Tour, York, UK
9. Paragliding Oludeniz, Fethiye, Turkey
10. Fins Course Scenic Zipline Tour, Colorado, USA
11. The Ultimate Canopy Tour, Rotorua, New Zealand
12. Hue to Hoi An Top Gear Bike Tours, Vietnam
13. Day Boat Charter exploring the "Best of the US Virgin Islands" St. John, Caribbean
14. Student-led Private Street Food Tour by Motorbike, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
15. Rome by Vespa Sidecar with Cappuccino, Italy
16. Mad Day Out Beatles Taxi Tours, Liverpool, United Kingdom
17. The Best Catamaran Day Sail in St Maarten, Caribbean
18. The Colosseum Underground, Rome, Italy
19. Whitewater Rafting on Soca River, Slovenia
20. ATV Beach and Mountain Tour, Costa Rica
21. Learn to Snorkel with Turtles, Puerto Rico, Caribbean
22. Private Blue City Tour, Jodhpur Rajasthan, India
23. Dubai Sea escape, UAE
24. Phuket Thai Cooking Class, Thailand
25. Private Tour to Manuel Antonio Park, Costa Rica