My Leap of Faith: Skydiving in New Zealand
Seeing as though New Zealand is known as the adventure capital of the world, I knew I had to try some sort of extreme sport while we were traveling here. I’ve always wanted to skydive, but being such an expensive activity back home in the USA, I’d never gotten around to trying it. I decided that I’d give it a go in New Zealand for several reasons:
- What better place to do it, with all this gorgeous scenery as far as the eye can see?
- New Zealand has the cheapest skydive in the world.
- This IS the adventure capital after all.
- It would culminate all the reasons for embarking on this trip. A final leap of faith… It would symbolize that I’m no longer afraid to live it up a little. A symbolic re-birth, so to speak.
As I mentioned above, in my research I found out that Taupo, NZ is the cheapest place in the world to skydive. But don’t think that makes them amateurs. They’ve been doing this for quite some time. Add to that the amazing scenery in the area, including Lake Taupo and the mountains of Tongariro National Park!
I chose to jump with Taupo Tandem Skydiving (aka: TTS). They happen to be the first tandem skydive operation in New Zealand and are currently the largest in the world. You have two tandem jump options with all the companies located within the Taupo region. First is a skydive from 12,000 feet, which cost about $249 for the jump only. Second is a skydive from 15,000 feet, which cost about $339 for the jump only. Though you may be tempted by the lower cost of the 12,000 ft jump, I’d HIGHLY suggest (pardon the pun), the 15,000 ft jump. 15,000 ft is the highest legal altitude for commercial tandem jumps. And it provides you with a full 1 minute of free-fall, of which you’ll enjoy every last second.
TTS as well as the other companies all offer various photo and DVD combos for additional costs. The companies don’t differ much in price, but some have better photos and some do better DVDs, etc. It’s all a matter of preference. Speak to your booking agent at your accommodation or I-Site for specifics. For the sake of saving money, and because I knew it was an experience I could never forget, I chose not to purchase a DVD or photos of my jump. However, I can vouch for their skills in this department, having seen the video footage from my fellow jumpers’ DVDs. They have a camera person jump out in front of you and film you throughout your skydive!
Now for the experience: It’s different for everybody, but I honestly wasn’t afraid. I had it set in my mind I was going to jump, and I just kept calm and enjoyed the experience. The views were breathtaking, the sensation was fantastic, and I felt that my tandem master was on the ball. If you waste your time being afraid, you’ll miss out on the sensation and the beauty of it all. The only time my stomach jumped was when we first jumped out of the plane. For a split second, while I was plummeting head-first toward the earth, I thought to myself: “What the heck am I doing?!?!”. But after that split second, all I could think was how amazing it all was. When we landed, I was ready to go up and do it all again if I had the extra cash.
I would definitely recommend anyone to give it a try, and I’m glad I did it in Taupo. I would recommend TTS in a heartbeat. They were fun and professional and made you feel at ease, while keeping it fun. I couldn’t have asked for a better jump.