Before I left for New Zealand, I wasn’t convinced I’d have what it took to do a bungee jump. Six weeks later, you’d be forgiven for thinking I was a bungee addict! I’d already tackled two and was about to embark on the highest – the Nevis Bungee.
The silliness began in Auckland, when my sister – with the best intentions – booked us both in to leap off Auckland Harbour Bridge as a belated 30th birthday present. I was scared. Very scared. But somehow, I summed up the mental strength to jump.
With the logic of ‘I did it once, I can do it again’, I chose to give the Ledge Bungy in Queenstown a go next. It was definitely a step up from Auckland. Despite the drop being almost the same distance, the Ledge is located on top of a 400-metre hill, so you feel pretty nauseous when you peer down over the edge.
WHY A THIRD?!
If you’re going to do something crazy and adventurous, you may as well go all out and if you tell people you’ve done a bungee in New Zealand, there’s one in particular that will impress. This jump blows any other out of the water in terms of the fear factor. In fact, it allows you to fall three times the distance of any other in the country. This is the best of the Queenstown activities….The Nevis Bungee.
Suspended over a canyon, the brief journey to the Nevis bungee pod is enough in itself to make you work up a sweat. They use a pulley system to bring you across in a small metal cage. As it lurches forward, swinging slightly in the breeze, you can see through the grid at your feet and the immensity of your upcoming leap hits you like a solid punch to the stomach.
THE WAITING POD
When you reach the pod, part of the floor is clear glass and the swaying is much more noticeable. I became quiet and withdrawn as I waited 20 minutes for my turn.
The heavier people go first, which generally means that girls have a longer wait. We saw a few people fail to pull the leg release and watched as they were lifted all the way back up while still dangling upside down. One or two had major freak outs too, and had to have pep talks to encourage the to jump. All of this just added to our nerves.
When my turn came, I went through the motions on autopilot. As they tied up my feet, I still wasn’t convinced I’d be able to do it. When I waddled towards the edge, I was gripping tightly onto the guy behind me and refusing to look down. And before I knew it, they were counting me down.
This was it! Either I jumped and got it over with, or I hung about on the edge of a swaying platform and talked myself out of it.
Did I go through with the Nevis bungee? I guess you’ll have to watch the video below to find out.
GETTING TO QUEENSTOWN
Intercity Buses provide services to Queenstown from the following popular destinations (rough times in brackets): Wanaka (1 hour 30 mins); Mt Cook (5 hours); Franz Josef (8 hours); Christchurch (8 hours 30 mins). Further transfers are available from these locations. Use the tool below to search for specific journeys or click through to their home page for more information about the different types of multi-journey pass. Intercity also arrange activities.
WHERE TO STAY
Finding accommodation in Queenstown can be tough. It’s the adventure capital of New Zealand and people flock there year round. In the ski season in July, hotels were filling up weeks in advance. I didn’t book ahead and it resulted in me having to stay in three different hostels in five different dorm rooms. If you don’t fancy checking out and in every morning, get your reservations in early. Of the three places I stayed, Haka Lodge was by far the best. It’s clean and sociable, with all the amenities you could need. There are outdoor decks and two kitchen areas as well as a large TV lounge, and all of the beds have curtains for added privacy.
I was offered a discounted jump by the AJ Hackett bungy team. They did not request that I write a favourable review and any opinions expressed here are my own.