Saturday, May 17, 2014

Bungy Jumping in Queenstown

After our Mt. Cook adventures, we decided to drive to Queenstown, New Zealand's adventure sport capital.  The drive was lovely, through lots of pretty agricultural land, including one of New Zealand's wine countries (see the autumn-colored vineyard in the background below) and lots of apple orchards (mmm... the apples were amazing!):

Like I said, Queenstown is the adventure capital of NZ.  Skiing, heli-skiing, skydiving, bungy jumping, rafting, jet boating (see above), canyon swinging, and so on and so forth.  Tim and I discussed in advance that we were both on board with doing something adventure-y, but we were split on what that would be.  Upon arriving in Queenstown, we made an executive decision to go bungy jumping, for the following reason: Queenstown, specifically the Kawarau Bridge, is the original home of commercial bungy jumping, care of AJ Hackett back in 1988.  We (well, mostly me) figured that if we were to bungy, the OG bungy spot sounded like a good place to do it. When in Rome, as they say.

As such, we found ourselves here, inspecting the bungy cords up close (did you know they are comprised of a bundle of latex strands?), getting a little nervous and sweaty while waiting on the bus to drive us from Queenstown proper out to the Kawarau Gorge and Bridge:

Worth getting a little sweaty for, if only for the view (made even prettier by the fall colors)!:

But we weren't there just for the view.  We were there for the 47 meter (154 feet) jump off the bridge.  By bungy standards, this is relatively tame, but, like I said, it's the OG bungy site.  Original. Gangsta.

And, finally, here is our bungy-ing in action. Tim first, waving to the crowd/camera, as per instructions:

And here he is, in flight.  A graceful and composed swan dive:



Here's Tim, in the boat that catches you and ferries you to shore:

I, on the otherhand, just sorta launched myself out there, arms askew in no particular way, and then proceeded to be unsure of how to hold my hands because my arms felt weird. Up? Down? On the belt?  Nothing felt right.  I was a bit like Ricky Bobby:

You can see my awkward arms in action below, as well as the excruciating build-up to my jump.  As background, the folks there know that you are nervous and they try to distract you by chatting you up, asking all sorts of questions and such. They point you towards this camera and that, all while your mind is racing and you are taking peeks over the edge of the platform, soaking in the Led Zepplin.  I wasn't really listening because none of the chatter was really instructional, per se, and the extra time on the platform was increasing my nervousness.  The dude was talking to me, but I was just nodding and smiling... all I wanted to do was jump.  Which I did, eventually.

What you cannot hear is me, not screaming (phew! that would be shameful.), but letting out an "Oh... my... god..." as I reached the point where the bungy kicks in post-free fall.

Anyway, bungy jumping: definitely a cool experience!  Do I need to do it again?  Probably not.  But once, at the original bungy site, was pretty freaking cool!


  1. Those pictures of Tim are awesome! Nice photography - and nice composure, Tim. It looks like you are doing the butterfly during your jump... So glad you guys did it! You're much more OG than us!

    1. Ha ha- I can't take credit for the photos. They are the ones taken by the bungy company itself (like when you get off the roller coaster and they have a photo of you making a ridiculous face). But pretty cool nonetheless!


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