Skydiving was a word that used to strike fear to my heart, and quite honestly would make me feel a little sick. However, during my trip to New Zealand and Australia last year I decided that it was time for me to get over all my fears and man the fuck up. This included white water rafting grade 5 rapids, black water rafting, freediving, swimming with a 5 and a half metre long croc, hugging a Komodo dragon, bush camping in the desert - you get the point. Anything that my immediate thought equalled possible death or discomfort I went for as a rule of thumb. Skydiving however, the activity that was most terrifying of all for me was actually the one I enjoyed the most. I think it's one of the world's little tricks that generally we love what we have hated or feared and this was definitely the case for me.
Now it's well known that New Zealand is THE place to launch yourself out of a plane, it's got the highest safety record in the world for skydivers and the scenery will take your breath away (as you hurtle towards it of course). So being helpful as ever, I've written up for you the top 5 places to jump in New Zealand based on my experience and from friends I travelled with along the way who shared their thoughts. Unfortunately I couldn't plummet 16,000ft in each of these locations due to the fact I was on a budget - you're looking at between $300-$550 NZD per jump depending on the height. But, I have been to each place and can only imagine how stunning it is from above!
Queenstown - NZone
Queenstown makes the list as it's considered the adventure capital of the world, so why would you not considered skydiving here? With tandem jumps from 9,000, 12,000 or 15,000 feet you are spoilt for choice. Queenstown from the ground is stunning so I can only imagine what it would be like from 15,000 feet with a Birdseye view! You'll get to experience the mountains, lakes and rivers from above - what more do you need to see? While I couldn’t jump here, fellow traveller Michael gave me his view.
Taupo is one of the most popular skydives in New Zealand due to the price. It really is the cheapest place to jump and you're definitely not compromising on the view as it's still awesome. In Taupo, you're also able to jump out of a big pink plane which made me a little jealous as the one I jumped from was just white (but still awesome). One of my closest friends, Erin of Canada did this jump last year, and this is what she has to say about it!
Franz Joseph Glacier
In the South Island, New Zealand is pretty special in that it's one of the only places in the world that has a glacier going into a rainforest. Doesn't make sense, but I'm sure science can explain it better than me. In Franz Joseph, you can do one of the highest jumps in the world, 19,000ft, and do it right above a glacier! With this, you can free fall for almost a minute and a half taking in the view as you go - what more could you ask for when adrenaline seeking?
Bay of Islands
The bay of Islands was one of the first places I visited in New Zealand, and I can understand why everyone would want to skydive here. It is what it says on the tin, a bay full of islands with sandy beaches and blue waters. The guys who skydived here got picked up in the biggest limousine I’ve ever seen and whisked away for their big moment. Tyne, one of the brave people who took the first opportunities to jump told me her thoughts!
Skydive Abel Tasman - this was my chance. Abel Tasman national park is near the top of the south island, and the view you get is spectacular. Both the snow capped mountains, the beautiful ocean and best of all, you can see BOTH islands during your free fall. For me, this was so magical and the moment I jumped out of that plane was the moment I smashed through my biggest fear. From the moment we were picked up to the moment we jumped, the team here talked through exactly what was going to happen and ensured we were happy with our safety information. Essentially, when doing a tandem jump you have to do very little (which is lucky because I was enjoying it so much I probably would have forgotten to pull the parachute cord!) I cannot recommend the venue enough - so get your boots on and give it a go!
Now please don't take it that these are the only places to jump in New Zealand, these are just the only places I know people who jumped and told me about it and I hate to recommend things I know nothing about! Reviews online say that Wanaka is another incredible place to jump, and having visited the town I can see why. Auckland is also a cracking place to free fall and if you're itching to jump it's literally 1 hour from the international airport so you won't have to wait long if coming from afar. There are so many places to drop in this beautiful country so take the opportunity when it arises and don't give yourself a chance to question it just go go go!