Hiking a volcano and walking on dried lava in Hawaii. Under $100.00 (per person)
Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see the real thing in action. You’ll get the chance to drive right up to the caldera- don’t miss the Cater Rim Drive, an 11 mild drive that passes through the various volcano landscapes from tropical rain forest to the desert like crater, itself, with scenic overlooks all along the way. You also have the opportunity to walk inside the Thurston lava Tube a no longer active part of the volcano. It allows you to walk 1/3 mile inside Kilauea where lava once flowed a few 100 years ago.
$15.00 per vehicle enters the park, $8.00 per individual if you enter by foot or bicycle and $10.00 per motorcycle. Free camping and hiking opportunities are also available, as are park ranger walking tours.
About an hours drive outside the park and along highway 130 is the entrance to Kalapana, a town that was completely covered in lava in 1990. Miraculously no one was hurt and the town got together and hauled their Church to a nearby town to escape the wrath of Hawaiian Volcano Goddess, Pele- you can still visit the Star of the Sea Painted Church today. Park your car where the road ends, (It’s literally blocked by a wall of lava), grab a pair of sturdy shoes, and go for a hike on the dried lava field. The hike can take between 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how fast you go. Either way, be careful as dried lava can be very sharp if you fall on it. The trail ends at a beautiful black sand beach, but you can’t swim in it. Parking and Hiking are free, though.
Zorbing in New Zealand
What is Zorbing, you might ask? Well, it’s the art of rolling and bouncing down a hill while inside a giant, hamster wheel like plastic ball contraption. An adrenaline junkie’s dream come true. Zorbing has actually been popular since 1997 and is definitely one of those “only in New Zealand” type of experiences.
You have two options: Zydo, a sort of water ride version of the Zorb, and Zorbit, the dry version. Zorb Rotorua offers four track options and eight ride variations. Some strap in just one person, while others strap in up to three for a crazy, head-over-heels, trip down the half mile track.
Prices for one Zorb ride (either wet or dry) are $39.00 per person, pay $58.00 for 2 to ride in the same globe, and $78.00 for three people in same globe.
Zip lining over alligators in St. Augustine, Fla
At the St. Augustine Alligator Farm’s Crocodile Crossing just outside the town of St. Augustine, there’s nothing quite like zip lining and completing an aeriel obstacle course over a park full of crocodiles, alligators, and hundreds of other reptiles.
Not to worry, though. Everything is totally safe. You are trained by experts and even get to do a practice zip line before you go out on your great adventure. You can choose from the 45 minute Sepik River Course which takes you 20 ft up and gives you three zip lines to go through or you can choose the 90 minute longer, higher Nile River Course, and aerial obstacle course 60 ft above the park and takes you through a total of 9 zip lines. Both courses are self led, but there are trainers beneath you to come to the rescue, should you get stuck or require assistance.
The 45 minute course cost $35.00 per person while the 90 minute course cost $65.00 per person. What a great thriller for your bucket list, don’t you think? Also if you purchase Zip Nile tickets, you get free admission to the zoo. If you purchase the Zip Sepil ticket, you get half price off admission. Admission cost are Adults: $22.95, children (ages 3-11)- $11.95, Guest in wheelchairs (adults)-$11.47, Guest in wheelchairs (children)-$5.97. They also offer discounted rates for AAA, Military and Seniors of 10%.
Driving among the buffalo in Cluster Park
Reaching Cluster Park is actually half the fun. You drive along plenty of twisting roads, gorgeous views and incredible wildlife encounters. It’s one of the few places you can get stuck in traffic due to herds of buffaloes deciding to cross the road. Always keep your cameras handy.
Once you’re inside the park, opt to spend the night camping in the South Dakota wilderness or visit one of the Cluster Park Resorts. The Game State Lodge, a beautiful historic property that once served as the “Summer White House” for President Coolidge in 1927 and was later visited by President Eisenhower in 1953. The best part is it’s the launching point for the Buffalo Safari Jeep Tours. This is a spectacular way to get up close and personal with the park’s diverse wildlife. You also have the option of a chuck wagon cookout.
It cost $4.00 admission to get inside the park, or $15.00 per vehicle for 7 days. Children age 11 and under get in free. Rooms at The Game State Lodge start at $115.00 per night. Adults pay $82.00 each, children age 12 and under pay $62.00 for the Safari Tour plus Chuck Wagon cookout. Prices for just The Safari Jeep Tour are $43.00 for adults and $36.00 for kids 12 and under. Just The Chuck Wagon cookout cost $47.00 for adults and $37.00 for kids 12 and under.
It’s amazing at the different things you can find to do if you really look for them. Depending on how far away you live and the cost of transportation to get there, I thought these were some amazing things to add to your own “bucket list”
I would love for some of you to share your ideas for my other readers to add to their list if it sounds like something they would enjoy doing.