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Kiwi Country – Adventuring in Queenstown

Arrived in Christchurch November 23rd and Departed for Australia November 27th

With so many adventure activities to choose from, it was hard to narrow down our picks, but based on budget and timing we decided on bungy jumping, jetboating, and canyoning.

First up was the Shotover Jet. The views are gorgeous and the ride is pretty fun. The jet just barely skims the water and the driver of the jet is trained to drive it quite recklessly, doing several 360 turns and getting awfully close to the rock walls. Our review – save your money, this was not as impressive as it sounds or looks and we found the canyoning to be a much better way to experience the surroundings.

Next up, seeing as Bungy was invented by a couple of Kiwi’s and Queenstown hosts the oldest commercial jump site, it was tops on our list. AJ Hacket, the guy who invented the sport, describes the difference between bungy and skydiving with two words “ground perception”. The immediate sensory overload as you dive off something high and see the ground below you approaching FAST.

We elected to complete this rite of passage tandem style. Good choice if available and no you don’t clang together like church bells at the bottom.

Here is the summarized version of our experience.

Stand in line for processing.

Fill in paperwork; includes signing a waiver of liability that would be laughable in the US. Essentially it is a paragraph stating Bungy is “inherently risky” and could cause harm, including death – sign here saying you understand.

Step on scale. Step off scale. Step on scale. Get your jump card with accurate weight on it. They take the weight thing seriously for obvious reasons, so if you are weighed without your jacket, you stay without your jacket for the entire time.

Observation deck. Oh what a pretty canyon it is.

Walk onto the bridge. Stand in line. Peer over edge to watch a jumper in front of you. Become nervous. 30mph winds without jacket.

Think: ‘Fuck me, it is freezing on this damn bridge!’

Knot in stomach growing.

Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait (it was a busy hour and they had to switch ropes for a tandem jump).

Next in line.

Think: ‘Ok, we are really doing this.’

Called out to platform.

Towel around shins. Nylon strap looped around towel. Velcro belt around knees.

Think: ‘Really, that is it???’

Clip – Bungy is attached.

Stand up. Waddle, waddle, waddle to edge.

Think: ‘Oh shit, this is fucking crazy.’

Guy tells you to wave to camera.

Think: ‘Oh shit, this is fucking crazy.’

Guy counts down “Three – Two – One”

Lean forward and jump………………

Falling………..

HOLY MOTHERFUCKING SHIT! FAST, FAST, FAST!

Think: ‘Ground coming quickly – kick in bungy, PLEASE kick in bungy!!!’

Val – Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (loud entire time)

Beeoyying

Back up we go.

Stomach in throat.

Back down we go.

Val – Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (loud entire time)

Small bounce, small bounce.

Val – Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (loud entire time)

Chris: “Ok you can stop screaming now.”

Rest at bottom of bungy. Pulled onto raft. Back on shore. Climb 2642 stairs up from bottom of canyon. Get shirt and certificate.

Easily ten times more scary then skydiving, but one of the most fun experiences one can have. Surely a must do activity at some point in life.

Note: you have till age 94, which is the oldest jumper to date.

Last, but no least, of our activities was Canyoning. A couple of guides take you up into the mountains outside the city and you get suited up in wet suits – much needed as the mountain water is freeeeezing. After a brief hike up to gain elevation, you zipline across the canyon a couple times, absail down a rock face, slide down a couple water falls, jump off rock faces, swim, walk through rapids and do this James Bond maneuver in which you zipline out across the canyon and then absail down a couple meters and lastly drop off your line into a deep pool of water below. This was the most bang for the buck out of the activities we did. One word sums it up – AWESOME.

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