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Queenstown - Kawarau Bridge Jump

The adventure capital of the world


View Backpacking in New Zealand on Prathyush's travel map.

From Wanaka, we headed out to Queenstown on St. Patrick's day.

The route from Wanaka to Queenstown is just amazing. It follows the Kawarau river which looked perfect for Kayaking (Ah wish we had more time). After an hour or so, we reached the Kawarau bridge - The home of Bungee.

This is where A.J.Hackett started Bungee jumping commercially. There were three places to try Bungee jumping in Queenstown - The bridge, The Nevis and the Ledge. There was something different about each place.

The Bridge - Though its relatively a small jump (43M), its above a flowing river which is scary. People who jump have the option of choosing to touch the water or even take a proper dip in it.

The Nevis - 134M of pure terror. It has a freefall of close to 8 seconds and is supposed to be terrifying. It is a full 4 Hour trip to reach the Neves since most vehicles cannot reach that point. Again .. Wish we had more time in Queenstown.

The Ledge - Jumping off a ledge which is 400meters above Queenstown.

Since we were short on time, we decided to do the bridge jump since it was on the way to Queenstown. The entire bus got down at the bridge and we all got to watch a free video about bungee and A.J.Hackett (Free only coz we were with Kiwi Experience). It was a short clip of about 8 minutes and it was both encouraging and terrifying at the same time. A.J.Hackett jumped off the Eiffel tower and was imprisoned. But his story made headlines and thats when Bungee became famous across the whole world. Quite a story.

After the video, a few of us registered for the bungee and we made our way onto the bridge. There were about a hundred people watching us and cheering us on.
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Initially 43M didn't sound like a lot (Having jumped from 15000 feet :D) but as I made my way to the edge, it sure felt very high. I was made to put on a harness of some kind and then attached to the bungee cord. After that, I was good to go, just like that.

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As I made my way to the edge, I was quite nervous. The guy hooking me up asked me if I wanted to dive into the water and I told him I just wanted to touch the water. I inched my way to the edge - well, that was because my feet were tied together and I couldn't actually walk.

And well, I just jumped.

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Its amazing how fast the ground rushes at me (well technically, I was the one falling but still .. ). People asked me which one was scary, Sky diving or Bungee jumping and well, I have to go with Bungee. The ground rush is a LOT more and the other reason being, you have to do it ALONE.

I nearly reached the water, just enough to touch it and then bounced back up. I kept bouncing a couple of times before stopping. I was then lowered down onto a waiting raft. When I got off the raft, my heart was pounding so freaking hard and I was shaking from adrenalin.

I went back up to collect my photographs and watched a few other people jump before all of us headed off to Queenstown.

Posted by Prathyush 06:55 Archived in New Zealand

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