A crazy way to spend Christmas: extreme sports.

If you prefer dare-devil stunts to the drunken stupor that New Year festivities so often entail, you may want to consider the following adventurous option we’ve taken from a BBC list.

Extreme sports normally involve a high level of imminent danger and are counter-cultural. ‘Zorbing’ in Rotura, New Zealand, is positively wacky. For those who are not even sure what it is, it’s basically rolling down a hill in a ball. You don’t have to be especially fit, just a little crazy and willing to get very dizzy.

First you have to squeeze into a large plastic ball, alone or with up to two other people, then roll down a hill at speeds of up to 50 km an hour. You’re protected from bumps by a cushion of air and pinned to the inside of the ball by a ‘fairground-ride-style' centrifugal force. Real masochists can have a bucket of warm water poured into the Zorb, so you can proceed downhill absolutely soaked.

Rotura, voted New Zealand’s most beautiful city five times including last year, is three hours drive south of Auckland in the centre of North Island and a great ‘get-away-from-it-all’ destination. Take advantage of their summer sunshine to escape our winter chill, join the zorbers and get some adrenalin pumping action.

Check www.zorb.com/rotorua for special deals and where to stay.

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