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Extreme Adventures

Are you ready to get your adrenalin pumping? Extreme adventures take you to the limits of your endurance or to the outer limits of our world! Check out these rewarding adventures, above and beyond the norm.

Helicopter over Minaret Station, New Zealand
Photo: Jeremaia Fisk

Mount Tarawera Volcano Heli-Biking, New Zealand - Take a scenic flight to Mount Tarawera, New Zealand, then scree run (a sort of sliding) down the slope of the volcano's main crater. This is followed by a 10km downhill mountain bike ride. It's the ultimate day out for adrenaline junkies.

Shotover Canyon Swing, Queenstown, New Zealand - They never stop inventing more thrilling activities in the adventure capital of the world. Now you can jump off a platform on the edge of a cliff, 109m above the Shotover River. Yes, you're fitted into a seat and chest harness and connected to the jump ropes then you're free to fall in any position you like as gravity takes over! It's so much more than your typical bungee jump.

Drift Dive, Rangiroa, French Polynesia - Considered to be the world's most extreme dive, this is also the most remote and peaceful diving location you'll find. Drift with the current from the lagoon to the open sea at Taputa Pass. The clear water let's you easily see the abundant marine life including Lemon, Reef and Hammerhead Sharks, Manta and Eagle Rays, dolphins and many species of tropical fish.

Ostrich Racing, South Africa - There's no safety equipment available as you ride the world's largest flightless bird. They'll help you get seated and take the reins then your ostrich starts running with you hanging on for the ride of your life. It's fun and frantic and not to be forgotten. Enjoy this event at the Cango Ostrich Farm in Oudtshoorn.

Drive a Super Car, Côte d' Azur, France - This adventure is luxurious as well as thrilling. You're in the land of the rich and famous so why not drive a luxury sports car? A Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati can be yours for a day. Get out for a thrilling drive along the stunning French coast. These roads are meandering and picturesque; perfect for an extreme ride.

Travel into Space, Phoenix, Arizona - Be a pioneer in space tourism. See the curvature of the earth and the inky blackness of space as you fly at an altitude of 61,000m and a speed of Mach 2, approximately 2,414 km per hour. The five-day, four-night pre-launch training program takes place in Arizona at a luxury resort. The price tag, including training: $95,000 USD.

Cosmonaut Training, Star City, Russia - Become a cosmonaut for a day when you participate in Cosmonaut training exercises at Star City, officially known as the Yuri Gagarin State Scientific Research and Testing Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC). Experience up to 4-Gs as you rotate in the world's largest Centrifuge machine, the Centrifuge TsF-18. This is both an exhilarating ride as well as a real space training experience. You can also take a space walk and attach an antenna to a mock up of the International Space Station at the underwater hydralab. These extreme experiences will give you first-hand knowledge of what it's like to be an astronaut.

MiG Fighter Jet Flight, Moscow, Russia - This is flightseeing with a difference. Prepare to be exhilarated as you don your flight suit and helmet and fly with a test pilot aboard the famed Russian jet. You'll perform some maneuvers and fly in a circle during this extreme adventure. Afterwards there are hearty congratulations and a flight certificate as a memento of the occasion.

Sky Dive Mt. Everest - Here's skydiving with a twist. You'll jump in front of the world's highest peak and land in the world's highest drop zone. You'll have supplementary oxygen for this high altitude jump. Be part of an elite group of daredevils who have the nerve to do it.

Mid Winter Dinner, Australian Antarctic Territory - Become an "Expeditioner" at Australia's Antarctic bases for this event which has been a tradition since Scott's 1901 Antarctic Expedition. The mid-point of four months of darkness is certainly something to celebrate. The 13-course feast takes place every June 21. The temperature outside is often around -40C so you'll want to stay indoors and keep warm.

By Susan Milne

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Ensemble Travel Group - Experience That Takes You Places