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12,000ft views: skydiving in New Zealand


Nick and I left Christchurch and headed off to Queenstown today looking for fun and adventure. Two hours into the journey, through some stunning scenery, I tasted my first glimpse of what was to come. Yep... as apprehensive as I was, I went skydiving. Never before had I considered such an activity. My sister Catherine has done it for charity, and survived - it looked spectacular from the film she had had recorded.

Once in the light aircraft, there was no way back, the only way down was to leap out of the aircraft door. It was a tiny single prop aircraft made from metal no thicker than a tin can... the smallest aircraft I've flown in. In fact the worse bit was kneeling next to the closed door without being strapped onto anything. In fact, I felt the most vulnerable as I was the only person left in the plan who wasn't wearing a parachute... the pilot had one, and my tandem jump instructor had the one which was to take us both safely to ground. Hmmm, things weren't looking too good at this point I thought.

The leap from from the doors was petrifying, and the feeling of falling lasted for a split second. The 30 second freefall was thrilling until the parachute was deployed (just at the moment I was thinking the ground is racing ever closer.) You do get that feeling of going thrusting upwards at the point the parachute is set... and yes, huge stresses placed on the equipment and you, but the buzz and thrill just increase massively before reaching eventual calm and tranquility and you have the scenery to admire.

Landing was awesome... a gentle glide downwards followed by an almost stationary landing. It was a terrific buzz and would recommend the jump to anyone who gets the chance. A bit pricey... and I probably subsidised the solo jumpers a little... but I'm not counting... I'm in New Zealand to be worked hard but to have a little bit of fun too.


Thanks matey... it was a great experience, so too was the white water rapids as we rafted along the ShotOver river which runs through Skipper's Canyon. It was awesome - some really serious rapids too.

The cost is important Matt.... helps others to appreciate that there is a significant cost to the activity... and some may not be able to afford the opportunity, despite the experience.

Oh, and have a safe flight home. Catch up when we are both back. Take care...

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