There are two types of gliding experience available in New Zealand. Classic gliding in a two-seater glider (sometimes called a sailplane) and hang-gliding.
Flying without the assistance of an engine is something that everybody should do at least once in a lifetime. It’s quiet, except for the sound of the wind, and it provides you with a whole new perspective of the world below.
Several gliding clubs around the country offer instruction courses, for would-be glider pilots, or you can pay to go on a flight purely as a joy-riding passenger. Omarama is one of the country’s most famous gliding areas - on a trial flight you can experience the beauty of soaring over the lakes and mountains of the Mackenzie Country.
Hang-gliding is an altogether different experience - about as close to being a bird as you’ll ever get. For a taste of free flight, you can take a tandem glide with an experienced pilot. Your other option is to learn how to fly with a course of hang-gliding lessons.