We became extremely adventurous during our stay in Queenstown. First, we went to Kawarau Zipride. After going on a 130m long zipline, we went for Kawarau Bridge Bungy. This adrenaline-filled activity set the bar very high for us. The next up was Nevis Catapult.
Nevis Catapult is the most extreme catapult in the world. It is also the only human catapult in the world. It is very different from other adventure sports & that’s how it entered our ‘things to do in Queenstown’ list.
Nevis Catapult literally throws you like a stone. The speed of 100 km/h is achieved in just 1.5 seconds. This makes it a lot more thrilling than many other adventure activities around the world. After the throw, you are hanging in the valley from where you can look at the mountains, the river, the valley & of course, the station from where you were thrown. As usual, Parampara went first & then I followed but let’s read my experience first.
Parichay’s Nevis Catapult Experience
I had never heard of Catapult in my life until the time I started researching about adventure activities in New Zealand. This activity is called Nevis Catapult created & managed by AJ Hackett in Queenstown, New Zealand. I was amazed at its creativity when I saw some of the videos.
As the name suggests, Catapult is truly a human catapult. They strap you in their safety gears & you are flung across the valley like a stone. Sounds simple & easy, but it is even more fun when you do it. We reached Nevis station in the afternoon. The road to Nevis station is not easy & not open to the public. All the participants have to take up AJ Hackett’s special 4×4 bus from the city.
After all the formalities, I was directed to go to one of their stations hanging between a valley. The only way to that station was a narrow bridge. This was truly a work of art by AJ Hackett. It looked incredible from the distance & even more amazing once I reached the station. Looking at their safety features, I automatically felt at ease while doing the activity. By this time, I had already done 2 activities – Kawarau Zipline & Kawarau Bungy Jump so I knew the drill with them.
Once my turn came, I was prepped with all the safety hooks & belts. I listened to their instructions (this is very important, please pay attention to every word that they say. If you don’t understand something, ask them promptly then & there before doing the activity). I took my camera in my hand and adjusted as per their instructions. I was standing on the ledge again & then I was lifted a bit up like the zipline because they were about to fling me across the valley!
They asked me to keep my attention in the center (where there was a mountain). When their countdown came to 0, I suddenly felt a pull & the mountain which was so far, came so near within a couple of seconds! I went from 0-100 within a matter of a couple of seconds, that too without any vehicle. The speed, the cold breeze & the view-filled me up with so much happiness which I can’t describe in words (Maybe, you should see the video where my expressions are captured).
After the flinging part, I thought the activity was over but there was another part which was equally fun. I was hanging from a station which was between valleys, so except the ropes, I was hanging on, there was nothing else. I felt like a bird who could just see everything that he wants to from above. It was a true 360-degree view from there. I was hanging there for a couple of minutes & trust me, I never got such a beautiful view from such a different angle in my life. Was I a bird? Was I a plane? I was a grateful human who had gotten to experience such a wonderful activity.
I will recommend that you go for all the activities that AJ Hackett offers but for some reasons, you can’t do many, go for Nevis Catapult. You will not regret it.
AJ Hackett had launched a new activity, Catapult, about a year ago.
Was this going to be thrilling after our jump? Absolutely! We realized this only after we had reached the station to get geared up while watching others swing and catapult. I guess the bungy jumped had geared me up with a sense of adventure and I was all up for this. A little less nervous and scared this time.
I had carried forward the lesson of doing it faster to avoid all the overthinking, hypothetical scenarios and ideas that constantly keep clouding my head. This time, I was to make little to no room for all these thoughts.
I was again at the ledge and it the valley looked deeper this time. I was lifted up in the air. That’s when I tried smiling a little more for the cameras. Gosh! That height is always scary.
And then, I felt a thrust hitting me in the back, and there I was thrown at the mountains.
So all those minutes of gearing up and getting started are always the toughest. I could say so after 3 adventures. But the moment you decide to take a step forward is the best moment. Because what looks like hanging mid-air is the best time that you spend with yourself.
This time, I could literally feel my happiness. I was mid-air, with no one around. I was safe.
And I swear I was so overwhelmed that I was thanking God for this life and all the wonderful experiences that have been coming my way.
Little had I imagined, even as a little girl that somewhere South of New Zealand I would be enjoying the thrills of life with so much joy and gratitude.
Since it was still raining, but slowly, I was trying to catch the raindrops before they fell to the ground. My arms were wide open, it was like I was fearless and flying.
How often have I ever felt this way in life?
I couldn’t remember.
But this was that one moment where I was happy in life and not scared and I could feel that happiness in my nerves.
Soon, I was pulled up and back to base.
I had loved this Catapult.
And I was proud of myself for taking on to adventures which I never thought I could accomplish.
At the cost of sounding corny, I am not sure if anything had changed in my life. But if I were, to be honest, I’ve been filled with gratitude, confidence and tons of positivity ever since. And maybe, I’ve even given overthinking some rest.
Had real-life adventure calmed my sense of anxiety?
I cannot say for certain, but I feel good. And I would recommend everyone to experience that mid-air hanging moment in their life!
Here are some tips for you based on our experience.
- Nevis Catapult is very quick & thrilling. Keep your senses intact because the initial few seconds are the most important ones.
- Make sure you are comfortable with the safety equipment around your neck & shoulder because that’s where maximum force is felt. If you are feeling even slightly uncomfortable, let the staff member of AJ Hackett know about it immediately.
- When you are hanging in the valley, make the most of that experience. It was literally meditative for me.
- From the same station, you can also do Nevis Swing which looks equally thrilling. If you are inclined to do it after Catapult, just go for it. It is totally worth the price.
All the pictures in this blog were taken by the photographers at AJ Hackett.