Welcome to the world’s great outdoor adventure playground, New Zealand – otherwise known as ‘Bungyland’.
DANNY : DE HEK has prepared this guide for travellers and adventure seekers to help in locating our awesome bungy jump sites.
Bungy jumping is an adventure sport that captures the essence of Kiwi outdoor life – it’s different, really ‘off the wall’. In this case it’s off a bridge or similar platform structure from 35 to 134 metres high.
The bungy operator’s crew secure a strong latex rubber cord either to a full body harness or around the jumper’s ankles. The jumper hobbles to the edge of the platform, takes a deep breath and swan dives into space, free falling until the cord is fully extended.
If the jump is over water there is usually a ‘splash-down’ or ‘water touch’ option and the jumper is retrieved by boat. Over land, the jumper is hoisted back up to the platform. The history of bungy jumping can be traced to a manhood ritual in Vanuatu where young men throw themselves off towers with springy vines tied to their ankles.
The Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club experimented with elastic cords in the 1970’s, and a video of this inspired Kiwis, AJ. Hackett and Henry Van Asch to create the world’s first commercial bungy site in Queenstown. A rigorous safety code of practice is followed in New Zealand so bungy jumping is a relatively safe adventure sport here.
Queenstown is now a mecca for bungy jumpers while a number of other locations throughout New Zealand have successful bungy operations. Jump prices range from $20 to $220, which usually includes a T-shirt and Certificate. Videos and action photos are also available at an additional cost.
So enjoy your New Zealand holiday and when you spot a bungy site – go for it. It’s the greatest possible ground rush, and an essential part of the Kiwi outdoor adventure experience.
Free falling is a whole new dimension in space travel. Don’t miss it!