New Zealand is home to adventure tourism, and one single activity is synonymous with adventure and adrenaline more than any other, and that is a Bungy jumping!
History of The Bungy
The Bungy jump was inspired by an ancient ritual carried out by the people of Vanuatu in the Pacific, then called “land diving” , this slightly more primitive ritual style bungy dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years, using only vines to tie the men and women’s feet as they dived off huge towers. in the 1970’s the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club in the UK were inspired by the Vanuatuan’s and took to try a few experimental jumps, Kiwi born AJ Hackett saw a video of this group in action, and his imagination took over. He teamed up with Henry van Asch a fellow speed-skier, and they went on to develop Bungy into the modern adventure it is today.
AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch set about developing and testing Bungy cords with the help of Auckland University Scientists. After some extensive testing on latex rubber cords a series of extreme jumps were made, the first was at a French ski field 91 meters above the snow. Once the newly created Bungy cords had been tested by AJ, Henry and some of their willing friends, they needed a very public forum to prove total faith and safety to the world, a PR stunt was set up in June 1987 with AJ jumping form the Eiffel Tower, Paris, he was arrested for this stunt but quickly released, this jump made international headlines and the Bungy phenomenon had begun, on the 12th of November 1988, the World’s first Commercial Bungy Operation opened at the Kawarau Bridge, Queenstown New Zealand and the rest is history!
Where to Bungy
Today you can still jump from that first site at the Kawarau Budge, A J Hacket also have other Bungy sites The Ledge in Queenstown, located at the Skyline Gondola, also the Nevis Bungy and swing at the Nevis River, and Auckland’s Harbour Bridge Bungy. There are also bungy sites in Rotorua, Taupo and the central North Island.
The original Bungy jump has involved over the years and there are lots of options for adrenaline junkys!
1. The original New Zealand, Kawarau Bridge site offers tandem jumps if you have a willing friend, this jump also offers a water touch, the jump is 43 meters.
2. The highest bungy in New Zealand is The Nevis, at 134m and with a 8.5 seconds of free fall.
3. The Ledge (47 meters) at Queenstown’s Gondola, is Queenstowns only night jump, and it is a free style Bungy, your feet are not even tied!
4. The Auckland Habour Bridge is 40 meter jump and the only ocean touch Bungy
5. The Taupo bungy site at 47 meters offers solo or tandem jumps, water touches, and full submersion! The Rotorua site, is 43 meters high.
As well as straight forward Bungy jumps there are also swing bungy’s, backwards, back2back tandem, twists, flips, jump with a Bungy Master if you think there is a chance of you backing out!
The Bungy sites are open all year and run from early morning to late afternoon, prices vary depending on the site, and jump style, the average price is $150 per person. There are age, weight and health restrictions and its always best to check before booking that you are eligible. Ask The Luxury Adventures team for options if you want to include this thrilling activity with your honeymoon or vacation.
Kay Campbell is a luxury travel consultant for Luxury Adventures. Talk to us about planning your next visit to New Zealand, Australia or the South Pacific Islands.