7 of the World’s Craziest Zip-Lines

January 6, 2016 by Hazel Plush

Hold on to your harness! Fast, long, and with utterly awesome views, these zip-lines just shot to the top of your bucket list. Terrifying or terrific? You decide…

Louisville Mega Cavern

Louisville Mega Cavern

Louisville Mega Cavern, USA

BEST FOR: Underground adventure

The world’s only fully underground zip-line, Louisville Mega Cavern certainly has novelty in spades. The former mine features a whopping 17 miles of underground passageways, with six zip wires and two challenge bridges (where you’ll dangle 20 metres above the cavern’s base) – all designed to make you squeal like a primary school girl. It’s rather echoey too, so everybody will hear you scream…

Superfly, Canada

Superfly, Canada

Superfly, Canada

BEST FOR: Chilling but thrilling

Whistler is best-known for its super-cool snow sports resorts – but this zipline (just a stone’s throw from Whistler village) is more thrilling than any downhill slalom. It’s lovely in the summer, but in the winter Superfly will see you soaring Peter Pan-style over a valley of pine forests, untouched snow and frozen lakes – all with a mountainous backdrop. Magical.

XDubai (image: Flickr/Guilhem Vellut)

XDubai (image: Flickr/Guilhem Vellut)

XDubai, UAE

BEST FOR: Urban extremes

The first person to try this white-knuckle swoop through Dubai’s urban jungle was Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai and a serial adrenaline junkie. Spanning the spectacular Downtown area of the city, this zip wire runs alongside the world’s tallest building and over the famous Dubai Fountains – indeed the Crown Prince got a soaking when he took his first flight. Impressive stuff. The catch? Just a handful of people will ever experience the thrill – you have to apply for your ticket in a monthly competition on XDubai’s Facebook page.

Flight of the Gibbon, Thailand

Flight of the Gibbon, Thailand

Flight of the Gibbon, Thailand

BEST FOR: Monkey antics

Lush Chiang Mai was seemingly made for zip lines: this 4.3-mile route tickles the treetops of Mae Takhrai National Park, with incredible views in every direction (including downwards, where mountain streams gurgle and monkeys swing through the branches). But Flight of the Gibbon isn’t just about adrenaline: the proceeds from this attraction are spent on the conservation of gibbons, and many of the guides and guards are from nearby villages – so it’s an eco-friendly triumph too.

TreeTop Crazy Rider, Australia

TreeTop Crazy Rider, Australia

TreeTop Crazy Rider, Australia

BEST FOR: Rollercoaster rides

Fancy something a little more frightening? Xtreme TreeTop Crazy Rider has got a surprise in store for you. This isn’t just a zip-line: this is a rollercoaster ride – spinning, twisting and zig-zagging through Ourimbah State Forest in New South Wales. Hang on for dear life as you brave half a mile of slaloms with 360-degree turns and hair-raising loops. Yikes.

New York Zip-line Canopy Tours

New York Zip-line Canopy Tours

New York Zip-line Canopy Tours, USA

BEST FOR: Speed demons

“This is an extreme activity and it is not for everyone”, states New York Zip-line’s website. You’ve been warned! Reaching speeds of up to 50mph, this 4.6-mile route certainly isn’t for the faint hearted: it’s the longest, highest and fastest zip-line in North America. There are even parallel wires so you can race fellow ‘pilots’ (they take their speed credentials very seriously here), and a ‘zapline’ on which you’ll have to ‘self-power’ to the other side. Who needs the gym?

Ziptrek Ecotours, New Zealand

Ziptrek Ecotours, New Zealand

Ziptrek Ecotours, New Zealand

BEST FOR: Eco-adrenaline

Queenstown is New Zealand’s action capital, but it’s all too easy to miss the area’s natural beauty when you’re dangling from a bungee cord with your eyes shut. That’s why Ziptrek Ecotour is so brilliant – it’s thrilling, but not so scary that you can’t keep your eyes open – indeed, looking around is half the fun. Up in the treetops you’ve got a bird’s-eye view of this incredible spot, and there are guides on hand to tell you more about the area. Too tame for your liking? Oh, okay then. You can do the course upside-down.


 

Inspired to get out there and get zip-lining? Check out our tailor-made holidays and start planning your next adventure today!


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About Hazel Plush

Drawn to places that most people dismiss, I love digging out juicy stories in off-beat locations – whether that's poking around the furthermost corners of Europe, travelling overland in East Africa, or venturing beyond the malls and beaches of Dubai. I've travelled all over the world on assignment, but still haven't mastered the art of packing lightly. Tweet me @hazelplush