MORE than 20,000 Hong Kong tourists a year are now heading for New Zealand, although it is open to question whether the word 'holiday' is appropriate to describe the adrenalin-charged adventures they seek. Many tackle the country's challenging ski slopes or plough through white-water rapids in jet boats or on rafts. Others para-glide from hilltops, dive into subterranean caves lit by millions of glow-worms, or leap into the great unknown for a breathtaking bungy jump. Alternatively, how about a four-day trek along the stunningly beautiful and world-famous Milford Track? Or fly-fishing for plump salmon and trout in one of the world's most famed fishing paradises? Or galloping along beaches on horseback? Or communing with dolphins in their own element? Or panning streams in historic goldfields for nuggets left behind by the miners of yesteryear? Or whale-watching in Kaikoura, which last year won the Tourism for Tomorrow's eco-tourism award? If it is an adventure holiday you seek, New Zealand has fine-tuned the options on offer to an art form. Clearly, the lure is appealing, for the number of tourists from the territory is growing at a rate of 20 per cent a year - equivalent to two per cent of all tourists visiting the Land of the Long White Cloud. New Zealand's overall tourist growth rate of 16 per cent makes it the world's fastest growing tourist destination. It generates 14 per cent of the nation's foreign exchange earnings - making it the biggest single earner at close to US$6 billion - and it is expected to create 270,000 jobs by the turn of the century. Air New Zealand, the national carrier that flies from the territory three times a week, has ventured into the package tour market with holidays designed specifically for Hong Kong people. Apart from countless opportunities for thrill seekers, the 'Ideal Holidays' packages priced from $9,000 to $15,000 offer a leisurely meander in a hire-car, or a guided tour of New Zealand's most spectacular golf courses. The packages were only launched a few months ago but Angela Sue, Air New Zealand's Ideal Holiday marketing executive in Hong Kong, said: 'Car and camper-van rental holidays have taken off. They are really popular.'