Bungee Jumping in New Zealand

Bungee Jumping in New Zealand at Kawarau Gorge Bridge

Bungee jumping in New Zealand: probably not a lot of world travelers have this on top of their bucket lists, since most of us don’t have death wishes, but it’s been on my younger daughter’s bucket list ever since she learned about it. This is the kid who also is trying to convince me to allow her to go cage diving with sharks, but that’s a different “why me” parenting tale. We spent around two weeks in New Zealand for Christmas, and I ran out of excuses. I signed up my daughter and myself for a tandem bungee jump at the Kawarau Bridge…because my spouse and older teenager were emphatically against the idea for themselves. They’d have to watch as we plunge to our potential death instead, which I suppose is better. For two members of my family, anyway.

bungee jumping at AJ Hackett's on Kawarau Gorge Bridge

Where the magic happens

The Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge is a fantastic place for bungee jumping in New Zealand! It’s the world’s first ongoing commercial bungee jump set-up, so the Kawarau Bridge Bungy has had years to perfect the not-killing of travelers, tourists, and presumably happy-go-lucky locals. We signed up before we flew to New Zealand, making one reservation for a mother-daughter tandem jump. Once there, and while on line to check in, I heard plenty of accents ranging from local Kiwi to American and the UK’s dialects. Ahead of us on line, some formidable Viking-looking types speaking a Scandinavian language looked at the Kawarau Gorge, muttered frantically, and hightailed it out of there. Great. We’ll jump that much sooner. Thanks, Vikings.

Two girls bungee jumping in New Zealand

The before: all smiles, no trepidation

So, now we know my younger kid is not risk-adverse. But is she also…contagious? Apparently so, because my very cautious older daughter looked at her and declared that she, too, wanted to bungee jump!  Trust me, no one was as surprised as she was.  “I…want?..to bungee jump too,” she said to her shocked parents.

One millisecond after they jump: younger kid delighted, older one is having second thoughts

Bungee Jumping in Queenstown New Zealand

Continued delight for one and a questioning of life choices for the other

This is when we learned a great thing about the AJ Hackett, the Kawarau Bridge Bungy company: despite that we had reservations only for one tandem jump there, and there was a line to check in, we were able to easily switch the reservation to one tandem jump, and two single jumps. Now instead of jumping in tandem with my adventurous younger daughter, I would do a solo leap-to-possible-death, and my cautious older kid would tandem jump with sister.  The fourth solo jumper? My poor beleaguered spouse, who really, really didn’t want to (my older kid takes after him), but knew he’d never hear the end of it if he was the only one of us to not to bungee jump!

Bungy Jump in Queenstown NZ

“What have I done?!”

As you check out these photos of us bungee jumping at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, realize that we were never in any actual danger. The Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge is around 140, 150 feet above the water, and the crew is exceptionally cautious about checking bungee jumpers’ weights and the timing; one person or a tandem must be totally clear, off the yellow “catching” raft and on solid ground before the next brave soul gets ready. This gives us plenty of time to contemplate our lives and wonder exactly what brought us here.

It also gave my older daughter enough time to change her mind, which she sort of did — but at the very last second, too late!

Girls after bungy jump in New Zealand

The after: guess which daughter wanted to immediately bungee jump again, and which one kissed the solid ground

Obviously we all survived bungee jumping in New Zealand, and that gorgeous day was not our last day on Earth. In fact, the safety features at AJ Hackett’s Kawarau Bridge Bungy in Queenstown, New Zealand, are taken so seriously that any worry a bungee jump tourist may have should be satisfied…except of course for that warning in the back of our heads. You know, that lizard brain, “fight or flight” instinctual part? My older daughter and my husband’s survival instinct is clearly intact. I wonder what happened to mine and my little adrenaline junky’s sense of safety.

Bungee jumping in Queenstown NZ

The grace of a swan. A clumsy, myopic swan

The Kawarau Bridge Bungy was, hands down, our favorite thing to do in Queenstown, and bungee jumping in New Zealand can’t be missed (unless you have fear of heights, fear of jumping, and a solid amount of common sense). Despite the howls of shock and protest from my friends and extended family on social media, it’s actually very safe.  I mean, no one’s plunged to their death on it…yet! Plus, we all “earned” the free t-shirt which all bungee jumpers receive afterwords.

In life raft after bungeee jump in Queenstown New Zealand

Legs too wobbly to stand up immediately

Those free AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy t-shirts are useful reminders for my family that we, too, can be brave.  Don’t underestimate their importance to us now. There is no better travel experience than being brave, stepping beyond our comfort zone, and having a brand new, thrilling adventure.

Bungee Jumping in New Zealand


10 Comments on "Bungee Jumping in New Zealand"

  1. That looks so fun! I am glad your first experience was at a location that perfected the art of not killing people;)

  2. Excellent pictures. I also going Zealand in my summer vacation.

  3. Wish I had it in me to bungee jump. Nope! Great pics though.

  4. This is what I’ve been looking for! pretty dangerous but I love it. I might consider this place to visit soon!

  5. Great shots! I’ve always been too chicken to bungee jump!

  6. Bungee Jumping looks like an amazing adrenaline rush, but I’m personally going to pass!

  7. AHHHH!!! SUCH INCREDIBLE PHOTOS!!! My heart is pounding just looking at them!

  8. New Zealand is awesome place i the world, wow awesome photos you stunning i like these story its very interesting with fun.

  9. For me its very dangerous, i never try that jump but i think it will be more joyful for professional person.

  10. Nope! Great pics though. My heart is pounding just looking at them!

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