Bungee Jumping, the Ultimate Challenge!
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The Practical Guide of the Activity.
- 1A National Sport in New Zealand.
- 2How Does a Bungee Jumping Take Place?
- 3The Best Bungee Spots of the South Island.
- 4The Best Bungee Spots of the North Island.
- 5Three Funny Alternatives to Bungee Jumping.
- 6Is It Dangerous to Practice Bungee Jumping?
- 7Overcome Your Fear and Go Beyond Your Limits!
A National Sport in New Zealand.
Also known as “Bungee Jumping” and popularized in the 1980s by a few extreme sports fanatics, bungee jumping has become a true national sport in New Zealand.
For those who still do not know, the principle consists in throwing itself into the vacuum attached to an elastic.
The goal is to replicate the experience of a true free fall, although from the general point of view, bungee jumping provides even more intense sensations than skydiving.
The original idea was born in the Vanuatu Archipelago in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.
In the tribes, the rite of passage to adulthood consisted of throwing itself into the void hanging on a rope. The New Zealander A.J Hackett was inspired by this tradition to invent a modern version, but not less frightening, in the 1970s.
Since then, it seems that Kiwis cannot pass near a precipice without considering practicing bungee jumping. All pretexts are good, and one jump as well from the top of a bridge, a construction cranes or a cable car cabin!
The price to pay for a powerful adrenaline discharge remains high, but bungee jumping is more affordable in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world.
The beauty of the landscapes even improves the whole experience, with jumps platforms installed in the heart of the most beautiful panoramas of the country.
So if you are not afraid, and you are a candidate for the big thrill, I will present you how the jump takes place and the most spectacular jump spots of the country.
We will then talk about safety, and about some original variants you can try. You will realize that when it comes to getting scared, the Kiwis are not lacking imagination.
How Does a Bungee Jumping Take Place?
This time your turn has arrived and you cannot escape! It's time to be brave, so do not hesitate to scream to give yourself some courage, it is not the curious spectators who will mock you.
In the vast majority of cases, the elastic will be attached to your ankles.
There are variations, especially with the harness at the waist that allows greater freedom of movement, and wacky jumps to impress friends on holiday's videos.
Confronted with void, the legs tremble a little, but hesitation is a natural attitude.
The instructor will lightly press on your back at the count of three if you need encouragement, but he will never push you if you don't ask for it before.
Participants take an average of one minute to decide to jump, and canceled jumps are exceedingly rare. The more adventurous enjoy jumping by turning their backs to the void to get more sensation, but the leap of the angel is perfect to begin.
The fall is indescribable and provides an adrenaline discharge capable of waking the dead. Braced by elastic, the body transforms into yo-yo for a few moments. At this point, fear has already given way to euphoria and bursts of laughter.
When you'll be stabilized, you need to be detached from the elastic. You will be pull up slowly to the jump platform (or sometimes detached near the ground). A phase that presents no risk at all. I hope to have reassured you, and all you need to do now is to find the best jump spot for your first try!
The Best Bungee Spots of the South Island.
The jump spots are usually installed in very touristic zones, and you will find your happiness on the South Island, except if you wait for the last minute. The activity is very popular and booking is imperative several weeks in advance. Always book your jumps on the Internet to save money.
Queenstown, the world's capital of adventure, provides three breathtaking jumping points. You can defy gravity by jumping over heights between 49 and 134 meters (world record).
Here are the best jump spots of the South Island:
|Queenstown||Kawarau Bridge||43 m||$180|
|Queenstown||The Ledge||47 m||$180|
|Queenstown||The Nevis||134 m||$260|
|Hanmer Springs||Thrill Seekers||35 m||$169|
The first commercial jumps took place from the top of this bridge in 1983. The 43-meter drop even allows you to dive your head into the water of the Kawarau River or touch it with your fingertips. A boat collects you on arrival: it is perhaps the most famous jump in New Zealand, a great classic.
Some more crazy jumps- at The Ledge (Queenstown).A promotional video of AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand
One of the best jump spots in the country, if not the most terrifying, offers a fall of 47 meters above Queenstown.
The Ledge can be practiced by night, for tenfold sensations (the perception of distances is distorted).
The attachment of the elastic to the waist offers a total freedom of movement which allows to imitate superman.
The highest jump of Oceania! A dizzying fall of 134 meters for the bravest among you. The jump takes place from a cable car cabin, and it takes nine seconds (an eternity) before the elastic stops your fall. Undoubtedly the scariest bungee jumping from New Zealand.
One and a half hours from Christchurch, Hanmer Spring is a mountain resort mostly known for its geothermal activity and its hot pools. The area has many bridges and one of the oldest built in 1880 allows bungee jumping. The 35-meter fall proposed by Thrill Seekers remains “modest” but is high enough to scare beginners.
The Best Bungee Spots of the North Island.
The North Island is indeed one of the best bungee jumping location in the entire world, although it cannot compete with the incredible spots of the South Island. But you will nevertheless have the opportunity to go beyond your limits in exceptional landscapes.
Here are the best jump spots of the North Island:
|Auckland||AJ Hackett Bungy NZ, Auckland||35 m||$150|
|Taupo||Water Touch Bungy||47 m||$169|
AJ Hackett Bungy NZ - Harbour bridge
The AJ Hackett Bungy NZ company offered itself the luxury of setting up its fourth jumping point from the Harbor Bridge, an emblematic bridge in the city of Auckland.
A funny revenge, because the inventor of the bungee jump was arrested by the police during his first attempt at the very same place a long time ago.
It is up to you to reproduce the feat, and to jump the 35 meters that bring you closer to the sea.
Water Touch Bungy
A 47-meter jump to get your hair wet in the Waikato River. With the rare opportunity in New Zealand to jump in tandem with the love of your life. A poisoned wedding gift, or a real proof of love, it is up to you to see...
A somewhat artificial jump, practiced from the top of a 43-meter platform in the Rotorua’s Agrodome Leisure Park. A park landscape is certainly less impressive, but the fear remains the same. Good news, this bungee spot (the cheapest in New Zealand) allows tandem jumping.
Mokai Gravity Canyon
Close to Taihape, the Mokai Canyon allows jumping from the top of a bridge with an impressive fall of 80 meters (the North Island record).
A surprise awaits you at the end, because you will not be detached down as usual, but pulled up to the jump platform!
Mokai Gravity Canyon closed in 2018, but might reopen.
Three Funny Alternatives to Bungee Jumping.
If you have already practiced bungee jumping, or if you are looking for a similar activity to impress your friends, there are three alternatives that should delight you (and give yourself good fright at the same time).
Attention, if these three variants are perhaps a little less frightening than bungee jumping, they nevertheless require a good dose of courage.
The Sky Jump
The Sky Jump lets you jump from the top of the Sky Tower of Auckland (192 m).A Sky Jump promo video
A frightening jump from the top of the emblematic Auckland's Sky Tower! Instead of an elastic, two steel ropes slow down your fall and you will touch the ground on a platform at the very foot of the tower. The urban environment and the skyscrapers which run at 85 km / h over practically 200 meters gives an incredible feeling of speed.
Derived from the bungee jumping, the swing allows to realize an immense circle arc in the void. The activity invented by AJ. Hackkett (pioneer in extreme sports) is available in Queenstown (South Island) with “The Ledge Swing” and the even fearsome “Nevis Swing”.
On the North Island, you'll find the best swing experience in Taupo and Rotorua.
With a zipline, you can reach a mad speed of 160 km / h in the air and the flight over the Kawarau River Gorge stretches for nearly one kilometer!
An intense experience a little less scary than bungee jumping but lasting longer.
Is It Dangerous to Practice Bungee Jumping?
Watching the instructors walking around with no apprehension at the edge of the void, one might think that bungee jumping involves no risk. But this Zen attitude reflects a long practice: most professionals have several hundred jumps to their credit.
Bungee jumping is an extreme sport that leaves no room for error. The relaxed “redbull” atmosphere serves essentially to reassure participants who are never treated lightly. Every detail is reviewed by two different experts.
Even if one of the elastics would break, it would not be a problem at all...
Contrary to the what most people imagine, the elastic used is actually made up of hundreds of elastics grouped in a sheath. The set must be changed every 150 jumps. So if one of the elastic breaks, hundreds of others remain intact to carry your weight!
Most of the serious accidents occur in the bungee jumping amateur world where participants do not always evaluate distances correctly. Rest assured, the companies recommended on this page are not likely to make you jump with an elastic longer than required!
The jumps that take place over a river are calculated so that the participant gets lightly wet. It goes without saying that the distance has been carefully studied and participants must weigh between 90 and 285 lb (40 and 130 kg) to participate. Even so, a good safety margin is taken into account.
Before the jump, you will be shown clearly where the double fasteners are, and you will see that the carabiners are screwed to avoid any accidents. According to the company, an additional harness sometimes completes the equipment. Checked twice, padding prevents the elastic from wrapping around the legs during the jump.
You can be reassured, it is statistically twenty times more risky to drive a car than to practice bungee jumping. With a mortality rate of 1/500000, this sport is even less risky than skydiving. If you have a black sense of humor, you will be delighted to learn that 450 people die each year by falling from their beds, while bungee jumping has known only a few fatalities since its invention.
Overcome Your Fear and Go Beyond Your Limits!
Bungee jumping is the most incredible souvenir you may bring from a stay in New Zealand. But if you are petrified at the simple idea of jumping, or if your dizziness is far too strong, you can pass your turn. The spectacle of the participants who rush into the void should be enough to frighten you.
The first jump reveals people to themselves and beginners often become addicted immediately.
However, you'll need time before beating the world record of 158 consecutive jumps made in 24 hours by Beau Rettalick.
Some people, however, do not consider bungee jumping as a sport because it doesn't require any physical preparation. A point of view that is not shared in New Zealand: the heart that beats at top speed in the chest exhaust you more than a long mountain hike!
To immortalize your fall, ask a friend to film you, or simply break your piggy bank to buy the high-quality videos filmed by the organizer. The close-ups on your terrified face, and your last step before jumping deserve a few extra dollars.
Few seconds before your jump, you will probably curse me for having given you the idea to practice bungee jumping in New Zealand. But if you have the courage to shout “Kiwipal” while jumping, I promise to include your video here!
Our friend Ben is jumping for more than fifteen years. Feel free to ask him any questions about bungee jumping in New Zealand, he will be happy to help you.
Questions & Answers.
What can I do for you? I could explain to you how bungee jumping is fantastic for hours ... but nobody can jump in your place. That said, I would be happy to answer your questions on the subject!
- All topics ... 10 answers in total
- Vertigo 4 answers
- Organizing a Bungee Jumping 2 answers
- Budget for Bungee Jumping 2 answers
- Safety Instructions 2 answers
- Is the jump really scary?
All the activity is scary. You will be nervous as soon as you take your ticket, worried while waiting for your turn, terrorized before jumping, and deeply relieved and cheerful during and after the jump.
- What is the most frightening moment?
Some say it's when in the cabin while waiting for your turn. But nothing can equal the first moments of the fall.
- Does being drunk help to jump?
It depends on the individual, but be aware that most organizers do not accept participants who are intoxicated. Nothing prevents you from drinking a blow to give you courage, but it is better to take a drink after to celebrate the jump.
- Are people going to make fun of me if I do not jump?
It happens that some candidates take several minutes before jumping, but nobody laughs at them. Those who wait their turn are all the more frightened, and the simple spectators incapable of jumping are admiring.
Organizing a Bungee Jumping
- Can one become addicted to bungee jumping?
Yes, but it is a passion that is expensive, so you would do well to book this type of activity to celebrate birthdays.
- Can we practice jump bungee outside New Zealand?
And if you want to repeat the feat in another country, A.J Hackett, a pioneer of bungee jumping, is also based in Normandy, France and all around the world.AJ Hackett in France
Budget for Bungee Jumping
- Should we spend money on such a short activity?
I have never seen anyone ask for a refund or regret the money spent. It is a question of overcoming its own limits: this deserves a few sacrifices.
- Should you buy the videos proposed by the organizer?
Ask to view the videos before buying, the result is sometimes disappointing. Those proposed by A. J. Hackett are of good quality.
- Will I get tangled in the elastic?
The elastic is never in your legs, and does not drag on the ground, but in a small slot provided for this purpose.
- What are the health risks?
Stress is not beneficial in itself because the human body does not like to be hung upside down. Difficult to measure the impact of a bungee jump, but the pride of having exceeded its limits accompanies you the rest of your life, which is very positive.
Seek advice from experts in New Zealand:
A Kiwipal guide will answer to you as soon as possible. Thanks!