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A heart pounding experience at the top of drop tower

Take a deep breath, get strapped in and feel the buzz.

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Lonely Planet brings you the thrill-seekers' list, from its 1000 Ultimate Experiences book. The Big Shot runs on compressed air, which, with incredible force, rockets you in your harness from the ride's base to the top of the Big Shot's 49 metre tower in just over two seconds.

  • Then the train is off and the tower starts rumbling again;
  • When the two rides do line up, the Lex Luthor gondolas will be overtaken by the notoriously loud and shaky Superman cars launched up their tower at 100 mph.

It's on the boulevard, on top of the Stratosphere Hotel. Often the injured rider or passenger is carted off to hospital in a passing tuk tuk.

Look for the orange vests worn by licensed taxi riders, who are legally required to carry a spare helmet; motorcycle taxis are usually down the alleys just off the main roads.

By submitting your email you are agreeing to Fairfax Media's terms and conditions and privacy policy. They say Yosemite Valley is climbing mecca, with climbs coveted by 'rock heads' far and wide, and a degree of difficulty that has necessitated many technical innovations. Even today, as the most demanding ascents have crumbled, aficionados still point to El Capitan, Yosemite's 915m granite wall, as the planet's greatest rock climb.

Be prepared to self-rescue: Read the climbers' guide at www. You take off from the beach and you land on the beach.

Reap thrills: world's top 10 heart-pounding experiences

Operators abound at Contesa Beach and are easy to arrange except during the busy spring holiday season. One of the rapids is called 'Oblivion' and is said to flip more canoes than any other on the planet.

  • The Big Shot runs on compressed air, which, with incredible force, rockets you in your harness from the ride's base to the top of the Big Shot's 49 metre tower in just over two seconds;
  • From there, the gondolas are dropped into a five-second free fall with a terminal velocity of 85 mph;
  • Commercial operators like Safari Par Excellence www;
  • Escape from Krypton tower, this Intamin vertical drop ride now holds the world-record for tallest drop at 400 feet;
  • Unlike many other drop towers that use air to push the cars up or down, this ride employs a cable-lift system to move the cars and only gravity to send them back down;
  • Drop of Doom Grand Opening image:

Commercial operators like Safari Par Excellence www. July to January serves up the best water conditions. Once you start running it is technically illegal to stop. The climb takes over three hours and it's a hairy thrill, with cars and people below like ants, and lovely Sydney Harbour before you.

Book online at www. Try swimming with a great white off Dyer Island.

‘Lex Luthor: Drop Of Doom’ Opens as World’s Tallest Vertical Drop Ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain

All you have to do is jump in a cage and be lowered into a school of hungry sharks. As they peer in helplessly with those dead black eyes, you might think 'this is soft! Smaller sharks have been known to butt their way through the bars.

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From April to August most operators can almost guarantee the sharks will appear. The pilot might even let you take the controls, but make sure you're not too jittery and bank too far, otherwise you might be forced to draw upon that ejector-seat training they put you through.

For details visit www.

They get frisky and acrobatic only if they feel like it, so a new trend has taken root: Apparently Elvis tunes do the trick nicely. Tours leave from Kaikoura; book online, www.