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Paragliding and Parasailing

New Zealand has some great areas to go paragliding and parasailing.This adventure activity involves you getting strapped to an experienced paragliding or parasailing pilot. You then receive some simple take off instructions, you are taking off and soaring above beautiful New Zealand.

If you choose to learn to paraglide New Zealand has schools that can teach you, so you can experience the fantastic scenic views on your own solo flight.

Swoop 16 soaring New Zealand

The parapente, or paraglider, as they are sometimes called, is a clever combination of the parachute and hang-glider and possesses the unique advantages of both. It really is a modified parachute with wings that retain their shape by the inflation of multiple cells through air pressure. It has very little weight like a parachute (4 kgs compared with 25 kgs for a hang-glider), but the parapente has a glide ratio similar to a hang-glider, allowing it to be steered in any direction.

New Zealand has parapenting operators and training schools spread throughout NZ. The best way to experience the sport is to take a tandem flight, where you are strapped in front of an experienced pilot. You simply run down a slope and lift off into space, literally walking on air and then gently glide down to earth. The pilot uses steering toggles to slow the descent and make a soft, stand-up landing.

New Zealand's most popular parapente sites include the top of the gondola hill in Queenstown, Te Mata Peak in Hawke's Bay, Mt Iron in Wanaka, and various high places in the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Taupo, Nelson and Christchurch. Parasailing is another variation of parachuting. This provides an exhilarating ride under a canopy being towed by a boat or vehicle.

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