Being uncomfortable is part of growth. Every time we consciously choose to step outside of our comfort zone, the next uncomfortable thing becomes a little bit easier. This summer why not challenge yourself to try something new? We’ve put together a list of awesome summer activities to try, along with some tips and inspiration to motivate you to get out there and give it a go:

  • Canyoning: Canyoning is one of those things that looks awesome but can be really daunting to know where to start. New Zealand has some stunning canyons and experiencing these beautiful wild places is easier than you think. If you are like most people and don’t have a bunch of canyoning equipment at the ready and super strong rope skills we recommend seeking an experienced guide. There are a number of guide services around the country but if you are in Queenstown, we recommend taking a short day trip to the Mount Aspiring National Park with Canyon Explorers.
  • Free Diving: Despite the relative lack of equipment, there is much to learn when free diving, especially concerning safety, breathing techniques and being aware of the risks. We would always recommend a qualified instructor for your first couple of dives and always having an experienced buddy with you while you are diving. Some great free divers to follow on instagram and youtube for some inspiration are Chelsea Yamase and Ashleigh Baird. Jump online and book a course with the Auckland Freediving Club, PADI just to name a few.
  • Kayaking: You might start by borrowing a kayak from a friend or renting a kayak from your local rental service shop. If you’re not confident to get out on the water on your own you could also sign up for a class to get the boat, gear and fundamentals all in one package! Jump on trip advisor to find the best tours in your area or check out somewhere like New Zealand Sea Kayak Adventures to take you on a guided tour.

Ocean swimming: This is an easy one! Grab some goggles, your swim wear, towel and reef safe sunscreen and jump in the water. Research shows that swimming in the ocean is beneficial for conditions like eczema, hay fever, sinusitis, respiratory symptoms and your mental well-being. Be sure to check the conditions before you get in the water to make sure it is safe and familiarise yourself with how to get out of a rip if need be. Jump on to Wild Swim or this Lonely Planet guide to find beautiful outdoor swimming holes near you.

Surfing: Let’s ride some waves! Learning to surf can be a challenge but it’s all about patience and practise. Borrow a board or rent one at the beach, this sport is great to do on your own, with friends or as a family. Stick to the small swell to start with and work your way up to the bigger stuff. Keep up the momentum and fitness and get in the water on a regular basis. Here’s a link of the top 5 beginner places to surf. One of these might be your local. You can go all out and book yourself a surf lessons in the sleepy surfing coastal town of Raglan with Raglan Surfing School. They have qualified surf coaches all day, everyday to teach you how to surf. Check out youtube for some great instructional videos and follow these rad female surfers on instagram for inspo: Paige Alms, Stephanie Gilmore and long boarder Chloe Calmon.

Sailing: If you’ve never sailed before, the fastest path to the water is to join your local sailing club, complete some courses and offer to crew. Check google for some of the top sailing spots in New Zealand.

Slack lining: Slack-lining is when you walk, balancing along a suspended length of flat webbing that is tensioned between two anchors. This is a great activity with friends or on your own. Buy a slack line or borrow one from a friend! Jump you youtube for a how to video. It’s pretty easy, just repetition and practise and you’ll be a pro in no time! Get our inspired by the incredible Faith Dickey.

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