Yesterday I woke up with an exhilarating thought. Every step I made was one step closer to jumping off a bridge. While the thought gave me knots in my stomach, it also fueled pure excitement. I was on my way to bungy jump off Kawarau Bridge, the first commercial bungy site in the world.
Before coming to Queenstown I was told that it was known as the adventure capital of the world. That became an obvious truth when I saw jet-boats gliding through the water just behind our apartments and hang gliders casually drifting above the downtown area. Almost every street had some kind of office selling an adventure experience. So, if I was going to bungy jump it was definitely going to happen in Queenstown.
When the Alpine Living team was brainstorming story ideas we knew we had to take on a thrill while in New Zealand. We decided to do it through AJ Hackett Bungy, one of New Zealand’s most iconic bungy companies. Founded by the man who illegally bungy jumped off the Eiffel Tower in 1987, they are home to the highest bungy jump in the country, the first commercial site, a canon swing and zip line. The company did a fantastic job with transportation to the site, encouraging nervous jumpers and capturing the evidence that you conquered a 43-meter (roughly 140 foot) jump.
The entire experience was one of the best of my life; everything from the breathtaking views to the stomach-dropping jump. The worst part was the anticipation and standing at the edge observing the insane decision I was about to make. Pro-tip: do not sit around and give yourself too much time to think about it. When I first arrived to the bridge, the reality of a 140-foot jump hit me like a ton of bricks. I saw other jumpers taking their leap of faith and I wasn’t quite sure I was mentally prepared for it. But I forced all anxious thoughts out of my head and proceeded to the middle of the bridge to get harnessed up.
It was there that I found an employee who was the spitting image of Lane Kiffin. When he found out I was from Alabama he asked me if I was a War Eagle or Roll Tide fan. He told me that he mainly met Auburn people so I knew I had to make a Crimson Tide impression. After I was buckled up in all the ropes, I had to scoot my way to the edge where I was struck with an intense fear. But I took a deep breath, counted down from 3 and jumped off with an appropriate shout of “Roll Tide!”
The jump was worth it.
I would recommend this experience to anyone with even the slightest bit of an adrenalin junky disposition. It’s an incredible thrill and gives you bragging rights for life.