NZ: Day 32
Before we were to leave Queenstown there was of course one last thing to conquer and tick off the bucketlist.
At 134m in height the AJ Hackett Nevis Bungy jump is the third highest in the world.
Having already skydived over lake Taupo a few weeks prior, we were up for the challenge. We even had our various flips and superman-poses practiced in our head and of course donned our matching parrot-shirts-thinking we were it! However this was to be an altogether more terrifying, exhilarating and well basically a much more shit-yourself moment.
After weighing in and going through all the checks at the AJ Hacket headquarters in Queenstown we were whisked off on a bus that took us higher and higher up into the surrounding valleys.
When we reached the location of both the Nevis jump and Canyon Swing, we discovered that all the jumps were currently on hold due to the high winds. Of course this just did more to tremble the nerves.
After an hours wait, everything was back on again. While we waited our turn for the Nevis, we watched little Ben get whisked away into the valley on the Canyon Swing- nerves now through the roof.
Soon enough it was our turn to step onto the cable car and get whisked across to the platform that dangled on a few cables across the valley.
Pumping music within the platform is all but drowned out by everyone’s vivid fear and before you know it you’re name is called and you’re strapped into a little dentists chair.
Jay was up first, being the heaviest and all; 3-2-1…a slight stutter…pause…and then a swan dive towards the pencil sized river below. Shit.
He returned dangling, shouting and screaming from the tiny cable, before scrambling to the safety of the platform- which once again I reiterate was literally being supported by 3 or 4 cable spans. Will and Ben followed, before it was my turn to embrace the dentists chair.
In my mind I was replaying the Idiot Abroad episode in which Karl Pilkington fails to jump the very Bungy chord despite a berating from the Kiwi’s ‘encouraging’ him with shouts of ‘come on snowflake, jump you ponce!’ That’s literally all I could think about, ‘jump you ponce!’
Don’t look down. Well that’s literally impossible. Ambling towards the edge like a penguin, I felt my heart sink. Perhaps the worst part, for me, was when you are ushered onto a small tray, ambling 134m above the ground and then the bloke behinds you throws over the weight cable. This is enough to jerk your legs and cause a momentary wobble that absorbs all feelings of vertigo. Christ!
3,2,1….and I wouldn’t call it a jump, more than a fall…I fell into the valley below.
To describe those feelings throughout the 8 second free-fall and then being thrown around the valley like a dog toy is almost impossible, however my facial reactions should tell a goof part of it! It’s a totally different feeling to the skydive- far, far scarier and for which the rewards and sensations are far greater.
Once I had completed my rotations in every which way possible, it is then normal to pull a little red chord which should flip you back around so you are upright on the return to dock. However, my cable wouldn’t work and its not exactly the nicest of feelings to be yanking away at a little cable while being dangled upside-down above a valley. Hanging on for dear-life I eventually made it back to the platform where the Kiwi bloke laughed at my incompetence and the fact that I looked like a raspberry as all the blood had now rushed to my head.
What an experience and another thing ticked off the bucket-list. Of course the only way to complete the day is to go all out with the Big-Al Fergberger, a few beers and then the accustomed crazy night out in Queenstown.
Nevis Bungy Jump: $270/ £135: *****