New Zealand is known as the adventure capital of the world so it’s fitting that it has embraced what many believe to be one of the world’s most exciting outdoor extreme sports, paintball. If you think paintball is solely for groups of men on stag dos, think again. Enjoyed by men and women, young and old, it’s a sport that is just as much about tactics and being able to think and act quickly and decisively as it is physical fitness and strength.
Two or more teams compete to capture a flag, trying to eliminate members of the opposing team from the game with a ball of paint fired from a specialised paintgun, and attempting to avoid that fate themselves. This can be played indoors or outdoors, on a number of different ‘fields‘ and is an adrenaline-fuelled, thrilling game of wits, tenacity, speed and agility. Perfect for a nation of adrenaline junkies!
We’ve compiled a brief list of some of the best paintball fields in New Zealand:
At Lock N Load you’re not simply running around a forest or a field, you have a selection of themed scenario fields to choose from. Decide whether you want to be a gunslinging cowboy in the wild west town of Deadwood, exterminating the undead in the Dawn of the Dead graveyard, protecting the world from aliens in the Area 51 UFO crash site, or in the Vietnamese jungle in the Platoon field. Its easy-to-reach, central location next to Auckland International Airport is also a major bonus.
With 10 hectares of native bush, creeks, hills, gullies, open areas, bunkers, military props, and even an old bus, Mission Martinborough promises military-style paintball in challenging natural terrain. Its rural location heightens the feeling of getting away from it all and getting back to nature whilst battling it out in competition. End the day with a cold beer in the bar and a bite to eat from the barbecue or a traditional New Zealand keg hangi, where food is buried underground and slowly steamed.
Thrillseekers Paintball, Hammer Springs (Canterbury, South Island)
In beautiful Hammer Springs, a tranquil alpine village just 90 minutes north of Christchurch, Thrillseekers offers a great paintballing experience in the forrest but its real draw is that you can spend days indulging in one adrenaline sport after another. Try jet boating, bungy jumping, white water rafting, quad biking, and clay bird shooting on top of paintballing and that’s one action-packed, thrilling day!
Located just 15 minutes from Whakapapa, New Zealand’s largest ski area, and in the foothills of the active volcano Mt Ruapehu in Tongariro National Park, this is a great way to spend the day when the weather on the mountains is bad but you still want some adrenaline-fuelled action. The 1,000 square metre building contains smoke machines, UV lights, laser beams, and a huge assortment or urban-themed hiding places.
Whether you’re a paintball fan or a complete beginner, New Zealand offers some of the world’s best paintballing experiences. Go get ‘em!