I have always wanted to try a bungee jump and if you’re going to do it anywhere in the world it should really be in New Zealand, the home of bungee jumping. Taupo Bungy is home of the highest bungee on New Zealand’s North Island and is a 47m drop and offers a hand water touch or complete submersion into the river below when requested.
I arrived in Taupo fairly late in the day so I booked my jump for first thing the next morning at 9:30am.
There were several reasons for this…
a) I figured if I was first jumper of the day there would be less people around to watch me scream my head off, or worse still… chicken out!
b) It gave me the rest of the day to crack on with other things
c) Safety checks would have just been carried out… safer… hopefully.
I stayed and watched a few jumpers from the viewing areas and it made me really excited about my own jump. This is a really stunning area, with sheer cliff faces either side of the river and the bluest water I have ever seen in a river in my life.
I arrived at Taupo Bungy early the next morning (I am always ridiculously early arriving anywhere) and took a few pictures and watched the team set up for the day while I waited. There is a nice little seating area, a little cafe and toilets if you need them. There are also a couple of great viewing areas to get better views of the jumpers. At about 9:25am I checked in, read and signed the regulations and was weighed. Perhaps the worst thing about the whole experience (for me) was that they write your weight on your hand, which isn’t something you really want to see in big bold ink!
A few more minutes to wait while they set up and I was called through. I was harnessed up fully and the bungee cord was tied to my feet. They were then double-checked by a second jump master who confirmed I was ready to jump. I was quite relived to be told that it was a brand new rope that day so the hand water touch wasn’t going to be possible… I was quite fine with that…. jumping off a ledge attached to a bit of rope I’m fine with… deep water on the other hand I can definitely live without!
My nerves were fine right up until the point I stepped out on to the ledge. Heights have never bothered me, but falling head first towards a lake goes against everything I know. I inched my way onto the platform with my toes over the edge. The worst part was the weight of the bungee cord I could feel pulling me off the edge. I was told to look up and smile for the camera which I don’t think I quite pulled off in the cool manner I would have liked, but you can’t win them all! Then I had a 1, 2, 3 go!
After a moments hesitation I tipped forward and was falling. I held my breathe and eventually let out a little scream until I felt the cord spring me back up and then I laughed as a bounced around for a while and went into a spin. I could see the boat below me coming to collect me and the guys in the boat let out a chorus of Kylie Minogue after they asked “what are you doing up there?” And I replied “just spinning around”.
I grabbed hold of the pole they used to catch me and they lowered me onto the boat and unharnessed me. Just a few minutes later I was safely ashore and I watched as the next jumper came plummeting down after me. I was so exhilarated I virtually sprinted back up the very long, winding and steep path back up to the jump station. What an amazing adrenaline rush that was.
I gathered my things, received my USB stick with my photos and video on it and watched my video on the screen outside. Such fun! I stayed and watched a few more jumpers. Before my jump I had been chatting to a very nice older English couple and the lady was still waiting for her husband to jump. She had kindly taken some pictures of me when I jumped so I gave her my email address to send them to. I returned the favour by videoing her husbands jump with a promise to forward the video to them when I get home. Then it was time for me to explore more of Taupo.
Don’t wear loose shorts… you’ll be hanging upside down and you really don’t want your bum hanging out for all the world to see… plus it will wreck your video… I had a quick change before leaving when I thought through the consequences!
Skip the big meal before you jump… might end badly.
Be nice to strangers on adventures (but be safe!)… particularly when traveling solo and they will do nice things like take photos of you and email them to you!
Taupo Bungy also has a cliff swing, there are packages to do both or you just do one. My friend has done the wing before because she was too scared to do the bungy. They strap you in and let you go rather than you having to launch yourself which probably takes a bit more nerve! There are also options for tandem bungees if you aren’t brave enough to go it alone!
Taupo Bungy is within easy walking distance of the lake and main areas so don’t worry about needing transport.
I stayed at Haka Lodge hostel for two nights which was an excellent choice for me. I had a nice bunk in a women only dorm with a sturdy bunk, privacy curtain, personal power points, Wi-Fi included and a great location.