Kawarau Bridge Bungy. This one particular activity was the highlight of our South Island trip. We both were looking forward to doing the Bungy jump. Before even arriving in New Zealand, we looked up quite a few videos of people bungy jumping. That made us excited yet nervous. We had never Bungy jumped in our lives & Kawarau Bridge Bungy was going to be the first one.
We are glad we chose AJ Hackett’s Kawarau Bridge Bungy because of various reasons. Kawarau Bridge Bungy is the world’s first commercial Bungy jumping site. It all began here. Our safety was paramount here & the staff of AJ Hackett took care of us so well that we almost lost the fear for the activity. The weather was a bit dull. It was slightly raining & the landscape was gloomy. After the Kawarau Zipride, our confidence levels were slightly up. Let’s go through mine & then Parichay’s experience of Kawarau Bridge Bungy.
A girl who wouldn’t jump in a pool was supposed to Bungy jump.
Do you sense the comedy and intensity of this situation?
Right after Ziplining, it was time for the key adventure. If you’re wondering why was I even doing it even when I was so scared, my answer is that bungy jumping was on my bucket list. It wasn’t something I had planned or timed, but c’mon, I was in the adventure capital of the world, New Zealand, that too with AJ Hackett.
The Kawarau Bridge was the first commercial bungy jumping site in the world and AJ Hackett, the owner of the company was the man who invented bungy jumping by jumping off the top of Eiffel Tower. Their record, safety standards and reputation for all these years was a major reason why I couldn’t miss on this opportunity. Like I had mentioned earlier, I had promised myself that I would push myself to try 1001% for all the adventures ahead.
And that was exactly the reason why I walked up the Kawarau Bridge Bungy jump.
I stood in queue, waiting for my turn. I was so unsure and so uncertain of what might happen! And for the over thinker that I happen to be, I had also considered the worst situations that made me question if I really want to consider my way forward.
Between Parichay and me, I chose to go first.
So there I was, waiting for my turn while watching someone else jump!
It looked smooth, but really?
It was my turn to get all geared. The fabulous team from AJ Hackett got me talking while putting on the towel and the rest of the gear on my legs. Talking was the key.
Between the time from getting geared to jumping off the ledge, it was all these conversations to get to know me better, what I do, how to motivate me and above all how to distract my mind from all that fear was a key trick in even getting me on that ledge.
While waiting, I asked, “How many people chicken out from here?” And the team replied, “Not many. And you certainly won’t be joining those ranks!”
What choice did I have?
I can tell you, the next one minute was the most challenging one minute of my life in the longest. It was that moment where nobody could help me and I was on my own. I was scared. Shit scared!
And to be honest, I was questioning my life decisions.
Particularly the decision to be standing on that ledge, waiting to jump!
DID I EVEN LOVE MYSELF?
The funniest part was, there were cameras waiting to capture this epic moment of my life. And guess what? I was expected to smile and wave! Gosh, I look funny. But not as funny as scared I was.
I then asked,” What’s the easiest way to do this?”
There came a reply, “You want to do this fast. Don’t think much!”
I then told the instructor who asked me if I was ready that he should push me if I got scared. There, with that one statement, the decision was made that the only way that I’d get off that ledge would be by jumping or by getting pushed.
3… I told the instructor that I couldn’t do this! I JUST CAN’T.
4… He reminded me of my followers and readers of my blog. And I said I don’t care. Because if I did it, I wanted to do it for myself.
I was in the air.
I wasn’t sure if I jumped or if I was pushed.
But there I was, upside down in the air above the Kawarau River!
I am quite certain I had shut my eyes. When I opened them and tried getting a sense of what was happening, I was hanging mid-air.
It was a rainy day in Queenstown.
The Kawarau River flowing below me, the raindrops passing me and falling down.
Soon, I got lower and I saw a raft with 2 men waiting to get me on the boat. They were handing out a pole that I was to hold on to…
The first time, I missed it and swung in another direction.
The second time, I almost caught it and swung a little more.
And then the third time, again, I swung a little but caught the pole.
I lay upside down in a yellow boat on the Kawarau River as I looked up to figure, how far I had come.
I CANNOT, SIMPLY CANNOT DESCRIBE WHAT THOSE TWO MINUTES OF MY LIFE WERE LIKE.
No, not so much.
It was like MEDITATION. IT WAS LIKE LIBERATION.
Nothing else mattered.
I was there, happy, still looking funny, cuz I was smiling like an idiot!
I didn’t want to get off that boat.
I lay there staring above for about 10 seconds as the raindrops continued to fall, this time on me instead of with me.
I got off my harness and took the stairs up.
Watching another one taking the jump.
Still trying to soak in that I had done it.
I HAD BUNGY JUMPED! AND I HAD DONE IT FOR MYSELF, BY MYSELF.
If there are some moments of my life that I can relate to flying, this was one of them.
I was overwhelmed, overjoyed and smiling like a maniac.
When I got on top, I was asked, “Are you still scared?”
Hell yes, it’s still so very scary!
But would I do it again?
There’s no way in my life I’d miss the thrills of it!
A big thank you to the AJ Hackett team for talking me into it and making me feel so safe through out! Sigh, this has to be one of my greatest experiences to date.
Parichay’s Kawarau Bridge Bungy Experience
When we started planning our trip to New Zealand, the first thing that came to my mind was Bungy jumping. There are many activity providers around the world offering Bungy but I always knew that my first Bungy will be in New Zealand & with the company who started this very adrenaline-filled activity.
We decided to Bungy jump with AJ Hackett, the inventor of commercial Bungy jumping.
I get very excited about adventure activities like this & this was no different. I had seen videos online, pictures of my friends doing it & in movies as well. It didn’t look so difficult & I was confident that I shall be easily able to do it.
The day of Bungy jumping arrived, there were butterflies in my stomach because this was the first adventure sport that I was going to do. The team at AJ Hackett is super-friendly & they really calmed me down before the jump. It is a very difficult job, and their team is seriously amazing at it.
From the Kawarau Bridge, I saw many people before me jumping off the bridge like crazies & I thought to myself, “Eh! That’s damn easy. What’s the real challenge here?” This thought stayed with me until it was my turn. I was standing only 3 ft away from the ledge from where I was going to jump. The staff of AJ Hackett was prepping me up with their safety measures. They also made me at peace with the activity by interacting in a real friendly way, trying to divert my attention from the difficult part to the fun part.
I was ready with all their safety devices & the staff member invited me to stand on the ledge. Let me tell you this, standing on the ledge, looking down from there is THE MOST DIFFICULT PART of Bungy jumping. That one glance down shook me & my brain started asking me not to do it because it was pure madness. The staff member asked me to look at the cameras placed there for the pictures & videos part. I didn’t have any expressions; a very stoic face & my mind went numb.
There was a countdown in the background, GoPro in my hand, I was staring down at the river. There were only a few seconds between fear & achievement. I was hesitating initially but when the countdown came to 1 & the guy in the background said “Jump!”, I jumped.
I jumped from that ledge, I jumped without thinking anything. My eyes were wide open, I was unable to comprehend anything in those 2 seconds but all I knew that I was crazy & those 2 seconds were freaking incredible! Then I felt the pull, the rope pulled me up & threw me down again. There I was, hanging from this old, tall bridge. Between the sky & the river. I was hanging upside down, enjoying the best adrenaline-filled adventure of my life.
I came back to my senses when the guys in the boat asked me to catch the pole so that they can bring me back to the boat & end this activity. I caught it in the first go & I looked up at the bridge. It was too high but that’s the ledge from where I jumped!
I shall never forget this experience of my first Bungy Jump with AJ Hackett. All I can recommend is that whenever you are in New Zealand, make sure that you are heading to Queenstown & jumping from the very ledge that I jumped from with AJ Hackett.
Here are some tips for you based on our experience.
- Face your fear. We were scared as well but the fear was there only for those few seconds. Once you are off the ledge, you will have the best time of your life.
- I can’t stress this enough but please take the photos & video package while booking your jump. I simply loved the quality of pictures & even the video that I got. It is a great souvenir to get from New Zealand.
- Don’t freak out after the jump. Enjoy hanging in the mid-air. The boat will come & take you down. If you miss the pole for the first time, there is always enough time to catch it.
- Be careful while climbing up after the activity. It might get a bit slippery & your head might still be spinning. Take a rest, climb carefully & be safe.
Apart from Kawarau Bridge Bungy, we did 2 more activities with AJ Hackett. Read about our Kawarau Zipride & Nevis Catapult experience. Book your favorite adventure activities with AJ Hackett directly from their official website.
All the pictures in this blog were taken by the photographers at AJ Hackett.
We stayed with Sherwood Queenstown for 3 nights & it was amazing.