What adventure sport offers the maximum adrenalin rush with the minimum risk?
You simply can’t go past bungy jumping. It’s a complete head game where you have nothing to fear but a massive air rush and a surge of adrenalin that can last for days. The sport originated in Vanuatu where islanders perform an annual ritual, leaping 35 metres off a tower with vines tied to their ankles, to appease the gods and ensure a good harvest. Two Kiwi entrepreneurs adopted this idea using latex rubber cords to withstand the shock load of a falling body, and established the world’s first commercial bungy jump.
Bungy jumping captures the true essence of the Kiwi outdoor lifestyle. While you’re visiting New Zealand, the birthplace of bungy, don’t miss the opportunity to try it out at some of the world’s finest jump sites. Queenstown has five different sites as well as a Parabungy operation. This is where you can rise to a great height under a parachute and then hurtle earthwards in a fantastic free-fall. Auckland has the Harbour Bridge bungy and the Sky Tower sky jump. Other bungy operations can be found at Rotorua, Taupo, Mangaweka, Hanmer Springs and Mt Hutt Ski Field.
The jump is strictly controlled to ensure your complete safety. Your ankles are strapped and the correct bungy cord selected for your weight. You hobble to the platform edge, muster all your courage for a cheesy grin at the camera and await the countdown. Before you start to rationalise why on earth you are doing it, you take a deep breath and swan-dive into space with a bloodcurdling scream.
Bridge swinging is a close relative to bungy and can be found at some bungy sites. Here you subject yourself to a gut-wrenching fall and a super-fast swing while harnessed to a cable. Another variation is the bungy rocket where you zoom upwards in a tandem capsule and bounce around like a yoyo on a string.