Our Visit to the Kawarau Suspension Bridge
We made our first trip to the spectacular country of New Zealand. Here I jumped out of my comfort zone and made a memory that would last forever. Bungee jumping (or bungy as spelled in New Zealand) has always been a curiosity of mine, but the right opportunity had yet to come along. As we drove near Queenstown, known as The Adventure Capital of the World, I knew my chance was getting closer.
No Turning Back
We arrived at the Kawarau Suspension Bridge, and I remember being so nervous as I watched each brave person fearfully jump off the bridge. Bev strongly encouraged me to follow my impulsive yearning and just do it. These words added to the burning feeling that I would always regret this one opportunity if I chickened out. So, without hesitation, I marched to the counter, pulled out my wallet, and signed up. After swiping my credit card, it became not refundable, so there was no turning back and wasting the $130.
Final Preparations Before the Leap of Faith
I was weighed twice (your exact weight is very significant for some obvious reasons), and we walked across the old wooden planks of the Karawau Suspension Bridge, built in 1880. Bev continued with words of encouragement and took some photos as the inevitable moment got closer. The next phase was stepping into my harness, which is a secondary safety device. Lastly, the instructors carefully wrapped my ankles with a towel for cushioning. They then wrapped the black nylon bands around my ankles and connected me to the bungee cord. Once hooked up, and my legs were bound together, I inched my way to the platform for last-minute instructions for what I knew would be an experience of a lifetime. And so the countdown began, “5,4,3,2,1 and BUNGY!!!”
7 Reasons to Consider Bungee Jumping in New Zealand
Here are seven reasons why you absolutely must consider bungee jumping at the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bungy Center near Queenstown, New Zealand:
1. Kawarau is the Birthplace of Bungee Jumping
Kawarau Bridge was the world’s first commercial bungee jumping site in November 1988. AJ Hackett first developed and then grew the sport in New Zealand. Bungee jumping off this bridge is a thrilling experience, and I had a chance to be part of this historic venue. It is also a wonderful place to take your first jump because of the famous location’s cheering crowds, beautiful views, professional staff, safety focus, and the nostalgia of this incredible place.
2. Incredible Views of the Kawarau Gorge and River
Located in the beautiful Queenstown region, Kawarau Bridge offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the turquoise waters of the Kawarau River. It’s a breathtaking place to jump from, assuming you actually look down the 43 meters at the river below you. Instead, I chose to look at the various cameras, my instructor, the crowds, the bridge in the distance, some birds flying by, and basically ANYTHING else that would distract me from looking down.
3. It is a Safe and Reputable Operation
AJ Hackett, the company that operates the Kawarau Bridge bungy site, has an excellent safety record and uses state-of-the-art equipment to ensure the safety of all jumpers. I was very impressed with every aspect of the process, from signing up, paying, hooking up the bungee cord to my ankles, getting last-minute instructions, and helping me overcome my fears as I prepared to jump. AJ Hackett is truly a first-class organization with an impeccable safety record. As a result, about 38,000 people safely jump off this incredible bridge each year.
4. Various Jump Options
There are various jump options: Whether you’re a first-time jumper or a seasoned pro, Kawarau Bridge has different jump options to suit all experience levels. You can choose from a classic bungee jump, a tandem jump with a friend, or a water touch jump. The water levels were quite low the day I jumped, so they were more cautious about letting people touch in the water. It all happened so quickly during the jump, and while I felt I was very close to the water, I didn’t actually touch it. That was more than fine with me!
5. Overcoming Your Fears
It’s a tremendous personal challenge. Bungee jumping takes a lot of courage, and it can be a significant challenge to overcome any fears or doubts you may have. It is hard to describe my emotions when they instructed me to put my toes over the platform’s edge. I just didn’t want to let go of the pole behind me. However, I overcame it, and I felt such an incredible sense of accomplishment. You will feel that too. It was worth it to me looking back now.
6. Unforgettable Experience and Memory
It’s a unique and memorable experience. Bungee jumping at Kawarau Bridge is a safe and unforgettable experience that you’ll be able to remember for the rest of your life. It’s a great way to push your limits and make a lasting memory. When I finished and returned to the visitor center, I received a T-shirt highlighting my accomplishment and was given an opportunity to purchase the video and photos. Note: The video and photos were an extra $45, and worth the money. Honestly, looking back, it happened so fast that I’m glad I got to see myself doing it.
7. Be a Superhero for a Day
It’s an adrenaline rush like no other: Bungee jumping is an intense rush that’s hard to replicate. The feeling of free falling through the air for several seconds before bouncing back up is an unforgettable experience. I was surprised at how smooth everything felt. It was speedy, but no hard jerks or awkward movements. The exciting part was the adrenaline rush lasted for hours and days! I felt like Superman that day and when I look back at my pictures, I think I truly was.