“ AJ Hackett / Bungy Jump at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown, New Zealand „
Back a few years ago when I was travelling I worked for a time in Queenstown in New Zealand. Queenstown is known as something of an adrenaline town, with lots of adrenaline activites to do. It was all kind of kicked off by the world's first commercial bungy site at Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown which opened in 1988. When approaching Queenstown from the north you pass this on the road.
The bungy at Kawarau bridge is by no means even close to being one of the biggest in the world, but it was the first. And I can testify, it is still pretty nerve racking. The bungy jump is operated by a company called AJ Hackett, named after the New Zealand man who popularised bungy jumping.
There is an AJ Hackett centre in Queenstown and here you can book your bungy jump. They operate 6 bungy jumps out of Queenstown and there are various combos that you can do which greatly reduce the amount of money you have to pay to do the jump. This is the weird thing, that I paid good money to jump off a bridge with an elastic band tied to my feet! What an idiot!
Anyway, I initially thought that I would do one of the combos, where you jump three bungys. So off I went to do the first, the Kawarau Bridge bungy. A bus comes and picks you up and drives you out to the bridge. here they ask you for your height and weight (best not lying about it here) and also whether you would like to be dunked in the river!
You get a number written on the back of your hand and then you go down to the middle of the bridge where you jump from. There you have to kind of shimmy under the bridge to a platform, where the employees are blasting music and getting people pumped up for their jump. This is where they tie the bungy rope around your ankles. It is really strapped tightly (thankfully)! You then have to shuffle over to the edge, where you stand looking out over the horizon and wonder why you about to jump off a bridge that is forty three metres above the river.
Basically then the guy asks you if you are ready and when you say 'yes' he gives you the countdown - '5-4-3-2-1-bungy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!', at which point you propel yourself from the platform towards certain death, or so you think, but thankfully the bungy cord tightens and as an elastic band would do, recoils.
This is the strangest point as you come back to nearly level with the bridge and momentarily hang there before falling down again! A man in a boat comes out into the river and unties you and lets you into his boat before dropping you off at the river side.
I have to say that I had a massive adrenaline surge. You are totally buzzing and feel amazing. However the massive high left me feeling totally drained soon after!
Although it was great and I am delighted to say I have done a bungy, I would never do another one - hence why I never did complete my combo of three different jumps! What a chicken!
There are a few requirements to do the jump:
Age: Minimum = 10 years
Weight: Minimum = 35 kg, Maximum = 235 kg
I had to debate what star mark to give this, but I gave it 3 because there are higher and undoubtedly scarier jumps, plus I both loved and hated it, so the good was cancelled out by the bad!
As I said before it is really strange to think that you have to pay for the pleasure of a near death experience! It costs $175 NZ dollars, roughly £65. They throw in a free video of your jump for good measure so you can relive your awful/great experience over and over again!
AJ Hackett / Bungy Jump at Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown, New Zealand