One thing that I always planned on doing in Queenstown was the famous Nevis Bungy Jump. New Zealand is where bungy jumping originated and the Nevis is the biggest one in all of New Zealand and Australia and the 3rd biggest in the world!
Everyone on my tour that also planned on doing this has been freaking out about it over the past 2 weeks. I couldn’t understand why. Bungy jumping seemed like nothing compared to sky-diving. But everyday I would hear people say, “I don’t know if I can go through with this upcoming bungy jump”. In my head I was thinking, what is the big deal, all you do is jump? “Who cares if it’s 134 meters, I didn’t have a clue what 134 meters was so it meant nothing to me. At this point, I can hands down say, that it gave me more anxiety to think about who my roomate would be in a hostel then the bungy jump!
At 8:30 AM a bus picked us up in Queenstown and drove us 45 minutes out to the Nevis Bungy. Right before leaving I had the bright idea to convert 134 meters in to feet and realized that I was jumping from 440 feet. To make matters worse, the free-fall would be about 8 seconds. They showed a video on the bus of the Nevis jump and all of the sudden I had a small wave of nervousness but it soon passed.
What was explained to me soon thereafter is that the reason why bungy jumping is so much scarier than sky-diving is because you are doing it all alone. You are walking out to that ledge and you are the one that has to throw yourself over that edge, there is no guide to make the decision for you. Also, when you are in a plane you know you are high but you can’t tell exactly how high you are but on the ledge of the bungy you can clearly define how far the jump is.
We got to the station and they suited us up and then put us on a gondola and we rode out in the sky to the middle of the canyon into what looked like a spaceship suspended in mid-air. When we got in the music was jamming! The song Thrift Shop was just bumping from all corners; there were soon-to-be-jumpers dancing away their nerves, the workers were focused on looping and hooking people up and jumpers were dropping like flies over the edge every 2 minutes….literally! It was fun up there and definitely helped with my nerves until they called my name! They opened a gate, took one of my straps and hooked me to a chair since now I was now in the open jumping area. One of the employees started checking all my gear and looping hooks and bands around my ankles. He told me that after the second fall (since you have a big fall and then a second fall once the bungy jumpy snaps back), I should pull the cord out from around my ankles and that would rotate me so that I wouldn’t be upside down when they hauled me back up. He showed me how to do it and I told him I understood. Then he got me up and shuffled me to the ledge. All of this happened in a matter of seconds, there was no time to think about anything. I stood on that ledge, looked down once and then he said- GO!! As instructed I jumped head first like I was diving into a swimming pool and my world flashed before my eyes. I was traveling at the speed of light and did not think that I was ever going to stop. Finally the bungy caught and I let out this huge moan and finally caught my breath because I wasn’t breathing on the way down. As soon as I sprung up, I was shot back down again for the second fall, again at the speed of light (or so it feelt like). I still don’t really remember this entire fall but after thinking about it for the past 8 hours this is what is coming back to me. My first thought after that second fall was, “get me up and out of here”. It was absolutely terrifying!!!! From the shuffle to the edge, to the few seconds I had to think before I jumped, to looking down at the bottom of the valley, to the 8 seconds of free fall it was just too much. My mind was racing and then I remembered to pull the cord at my ankles so that I would be right-side up; however it wouldn’t work. I kept pulling and pulling (as you can see in the video) but there was some type of malfunction and it wouldn’t release me. So I was hauled up upside down for 20 extremely long seconds. The adrenaline was still pumping through my body and the blood was starting to gush to my head. I was scared out of my mind and in a state of shock. As they pulled me to the top, the cord was rocking back and forth and was panicking that I was going to smash my head against the outside of the base. They pulled me in safely and detached me from the bungy. I smiled for the camera and vaguely remember people congratulating me and patting me on the shoulder. My hands and legs were visibly trembling and I was white as a ghost. Tears were streaming out of my eyes and I didn’t even realize I was crying until someone pointed it out and then I made the connection that I was indeed crying from how scared I’d been. Another guide pulled me aside and started to released the weights around my ankles and told me that the shaking was due to the adrenaline rush and that it would soon subside. My Irish friend Adrienne, who was the most scared to jump, came over to me and tried to say something but I just stared back and could not formulate any words to respond, I was truly in a state of shock. The 3 other girls were looking at me but I turned away because I didn’t want to make them nervous especially since I was the strong one out of the group saying all along, “what is the big deal, all you do is jump?”. They hadn’t gone yet and I didn’t want to make them nervous so I faked it until I made it until after their jumps were over. We tooked the gondola back in the air and once we got off I was never so happy to have my feet on real ground. We went in and I bought the whole packaged deal; photos and DVDs since I really didn’t remember much and needed these things to jog my memory and to prove to myself that I really went through with it.
My camera broke right after I did my jump so I’m soooooo glad that I had bought the photos or else I wouldn’t have had anything. I’m bummed about my personal photos because my friends got some really good shots of me freaking out in the chair as they were prepping me and from the back when I jumped. Whats more upsetting is that I was having a really good hair day and those pictures showed it-ha. Oh well, I guess there are worse things in life. Anyways, yes I did the Nevis Bungy jump, the most famous one in all of New Zealand but, so long Nevis because I will NEVER do this again!
Here is a link to my photos and the last one is the video. It may take a few minutes for the video to upload but it’s quite entertaining!
My only picture from bungy jumping with my certificate once I got my camera fixed!