New Zealand is known for bungee jumping and skydiving activities as they have the postcard-perfect scenery that comes with it — and since it’s an experienced industry, you have a variety to choose from (such as a package that includes a recorded video of your skydiving experience).
The difference between skydiving and bungee jumping is what you’re jumping off — you jump from an airplane wearing a parachute with skydiving, around 13,000 feet in altitude. With bungee jumping, you jump from a platform with your body attached to a bungee cord.
We’ve all added one of these to our ‘Bucket list’ at least once in our lives — especially when we were kids, fantasizing about what it’s like to be floating among the clouds. But now that we’re adults, we’re either 1. Terrified of heights or 2. Thrill seekers. If you’re the latter, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll guide you through where to go, and what to prepare.
Things you should know before your jump
- The minimum age is 10 years old (except for Nevis Bungy where the minimum age is 13 years old).
- Avoid wearing a skirt, dress or high heels. Depending on the weather, make sure you have the appropriate attire that will keep you warm enough.
- You can bungee jump barefoot or with proper enclosed footwear.
- The weight range is around 35kg – 220kg (depending on the place you’re jumping at).
- For tandem bungee, each jumper must be between 35kg – 117kg. The maximum combined weight of both jumpers must not exceed 235kg. The weight difference between tandem jumpers must not exceed 30kg.
- Spectators are allowed, but you may have to book or pay a small fee.
- The price range is about $50 to $275, depending on the place you booked at and the season you booked in.
- If you have any medical conditions (high or low blood pressure, heart conditions, asthma, etc), let your bungee crew know.
- The free-fall lasts about 4 – 5 seconds.
Best places to bungee jump
The Nevis Bungy and Swing
Just so you know, the Nevis Bungy is the biggest in New Zealand and is the third highest jump in the world. If you’re ready to go all out, this is it. Located 40 minutes outside of Queenstown, the platform is 134 m above the Nevis Canyon floor, so rest assured, the butterflies in your tummy will go crazy. But what makes this one what it is, is that the platform itself is suspended by wires in space, in the middle of the gorge. To get up there, you need to hop on a cable car. Mental preparation is key.
Kawarau Bridge is the home of commercial bungee jumping in New Zealand. You get to choose if you’d like to plunge into the water below or stay put after the thrill. The bridge is located at the Kawarau Bungy Centre where you can drive to, as they provide free parking. You can also take the Bungy Bus that departs from the Queenstown Bungy Centre.
Thrill Seekers at Hanmer Springs
This one’s a 35 m jump from the ferry bridge — yes, not quite within the same league as the ones above, but hey, a jump is still a jump. There are also other activities like river rafting, canoeing, quad biking, and more available at Hanmer Springs.
The Ledge, Queenstown
This one’s extra interesting because you can do a night jump to enjoy the scenic night view of the city! But nevertheless, The Ledge offers a dramatic descent, with gorgeous views of Lake Wakatipu and the Southern Alps.
Now, on to skydiving!
Things you should know before skydiving
- Skydiving isn’t a roller coaster ride. It’s fun but it’s also a serious sport where safety is very much prioritized. You’ll receive a brief prior to your jump, so you know exactly what’s going to happen.
- One of the misconceptions is that you can’t breathe while you’re high up in the middle of nowhere. But rest assured, you can breathe and it’ll be okay!
- The minimum skydiving age is 16. You’ll need a signed consent from a parent/legal guardian.
- Wear comfortable clothes and have a light meal before your dive.
- Your package can cost up to $700.
Best places to go skydiving
Taupo is a popular place for skydiving, and it’s also one of the more affordable ones. You get the view of Mt. Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom in Lord of the Rings) and Lake Taupo, the biggest lake in New Zealand.
Bay of Islands
This one’s special because it’s the only beach landing available in New Zealand, alongside the best view of the 144 islands on the Pacific Ocean.
Queenstown is the heart of all adrenaline-pumping activities! Skydiving here will have you descend above the Wakatipu basin, and be blessed with the views of endless mountains and lakes.
Be mentally prepared for the highest jump! Lay your eyes on a terrific view of Mount Cook, Franz Josef Glacier, and Fox Glacier.
If the safety part of it is scaring you, don’t worry, as the whole procedure for bungee jumping and skydiving is a lot safer than you think. Fatalities occur mostly due to human error, so it’s very important to pay attention to the crew before your jump. You can also do your own research to familiarize yourself with the process, so that you can be mentally at ease, and be prepared to have the best time of your life!