Bungy jumping…just thinking back on it gives me the churns in my stomach. I did my first bungy jump at the place where bungy all started – Kawarau Bridge at Queenstown, New Zealand! Although it was only 43m high, it was enough to make my palms sweaty and my heart pumping hard. Follow me through my day of bungy jumping here~
1. Arriving on time for your slot
AJ Hackett offers exclusive access to the Kawarau Bridge Bungy and so we made sure to arrive on time at the AJ Hackett office to register ourselves for the Bungy. It is located right in the city centre of Queenstown and we had time for a relaxed burrito brunch before that. The office itself also had so many pictures of the other extreme adventures AJ Hackett offered and that just made me increasingly excited yet nervous at the same time. Check out their other activities on their website too!
It was really easy to register for our slot. Firstly, we keyed in our details on a self-check-in register, took our weight with all the clothes we were going to bungy in so they get your actual gross weight for the jump. The staff then wrote those numbers on our hands and also printed it on a little docket for us to bring it along with us. Then, we waited around the rest area of the office for the AJ Hackett Bungy Bus.
2. Get on the bus to your bungy location
The AJ Hackett bungy bus then arrives somewhere near the office to pick us up. It stops at various activity points around the area that’s under their care, so just make sure you listen for the stop where you’ll be getting off! The conductor will announce the activity at each stop very excitedly so I’m quite confident you would not miss your stop 😀
Then, just relax and enjoy the ride down to Kawarau Bridge~
3. Obtain your boarding pass and get ready mentally!
Arriving at the place is yet another beautifully built infrastructure of AJ Hackett. It’s shaped in a dome-like structure and we walked down this long pathway to get to the registration counter. Through this path, we saw many adrenaline-filled photos of people bungy jumping and that really got my heart pumping faster and faster too.
Here, I collected my queue number and decided if I wanted to get a photo or video package with AJ Hackett. I did not sign up for one since I was bringing along my own action camera and also had my friend taking a video for me by the side. Of course, the camera and video angles AJ Hackett offers are still the best for the activity since they are the experts, so by all means, sign up for their packages too if you want something memorable for your own keepsake.
4. Stand around the bridge and control your nervousness
We were told to hang around the jump area as soon as we got our queue number so we don’t miss our turn when we’re being called upon. So, we headed over to the jump point and saw a number of people jumping off the bridge ahead of us. At this point, all I could think of was “Oh my goodness. Oh noooo.” HAHA!
It didn’t help that there was one lady before us who didn’t dare to take off as she was at the final point of stepping out. She took a few attempts before the facilitators had to bring her back in so they don’t hinder the progress of others who were waiting in line behind her. Don’t be embarrassed if this ever happens to you because I personally feel that in an extreme sport, you never know how you’ll react till the last minute. So just take all the time you need until you’re ready to go! You got this!
5. Strap up
Finally, it was my turn. OH MY. They started strapping me in by first wrapping the bottom of my legs with a thick towel, down to my ankles. Then came the safety harnesses strapped tightly on top of these towels. I also triple checked that my action camera was tightly attached to my hands because it’s clearly stated that you only bring it at your own risk. Do take note that if it detaches as you bungy jump, it is not the responsibility of AJ Hackett and will not be retrieved by them if it falls into the waters below.
Also, a bit of quick advice from me for those of you with long hair – please remember to bring an elastic band to tie your hair up! I had to tuck mine under the hoodie because I forgot to bring one. After the jump, my hair was just a mess and absolutely horrible especially when I was hanging upside down HAHA!
I was all set and ready to bungy at this point in time! Since my legs were now tied together, I had to jump to the edge of the board after they attached the bungy cord to my harnesses. The only advice I have for anyone at this stage now is not to think twice for anything and just follow their instructions really closely. For example, if they say “Could you jump two steps near to the edge of the board?” Just do it. Then, as you hear them counting down for you with “3,2,1 Bungy!” Just do it. Take a deep breath and jump off straight at the sound of “Bungy”!
This is because when I think back on how I actually jumped off, I didn’t know where I mustered that courage. How did I happily jump to the edge of the board when I have a fear of height and motion sickness. How did I just leap off into the air without any second thought? If I actually did think that I was jumping to the edge of a board that leads out to 43m of air, I would probably be too weak to move any inch of my muscle. So, don’t think and just do it!
How much does it cost to bungy jump?
The average cost of bungy jumping is between $150 to $250, depending on the height and location. A bungy jump at Kawarau Bridge costs about $175 (as of Aug 2021) but if you’d like a more economical option, check out the combos they offer and enjoy an activity for as low as $100!
Where can I bungy jump in New Zealand?
AJ Hacket bungy jumping is the world pioneer of bungy jumping. The reason why I wanted to jump at Kawarau Bridge, apart from it being a digestable 43m, was also because it was the first place where bungy jumping started back in 1988. Hence, this made it a really significant location to try bungy jumping for the first time for me too! On top of the Kawarau bridge, there are many interesting places to bungy jump in New Zealand. Here are my recommendations for both the North and South Island:
- North Island
- South Island
- Shotover Canyon Swing – This is similar to a Bungy but slightly different – a Canyon Swing! This is the world’s 1st Canyon Swing and the best part is that they give you the freedom to decide how you like to swing off from the jump point.
- Nevis Bungy – Bungy off the highest in New Zealand from 134m high and experience a 8.5 seconds free fall!
Tips for bungy jumping
Bungy jumping is really not for the light-hearted in my opinion. There are risks involved but as long as you feel comfortable enough to do so and take all necessary precautions before then, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Also, make sure you:
- Are feeling well and strong for the adrenaline rush that accompanies the jump. You will be in an upside down position for a while until you get released from the line. Your blood will gush to your head and it does feel uncomfortable, so make sure you are ready for this.
- Listen to the briefing and instructions clearly before the jump
- Are dressed in loose clothing with no dangling accessories on you then just to prevent unnecessary impact
- Have a hair tie with you if you have long hair. I forgot to bring one and ended up trying to keep my hair in my hoodie, which failed terribly after the free fall.
- Do not panic!
So what’s next for you? Are you ready to sign up for your own unique Bungy experience? For me, I moved on straight to the Nevis Swing right after jumping off Kawarau Bridge. What’s motion sickness? What’s fear? LET’S GO!
Also, check out what’s on the list for my Top 8 adrenaline-packed activities in New Zealand that you can consider during your own trip too!