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, 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…
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.
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
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
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, 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
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!