Bucket List: Bungy Jumping in New Zealand!

Yes, I did it! I bungy jumped 134m on my 29th birthday!

For backpackers, New Zealand is a mecca for extreme outdoors activities – skydiving, canyoning, glacier hiking and, of course, bungy jumping! We’re here to do almost all of the above, but primarily, we came to conquer the latter. And by we I mean Gerard. It’s been high on his bucket list since forever.

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Coincidently, I will be celebrating my 29th birthday while in New Zealand. As a present, Gerard thought it be a great idea to go bungy jumping. Greaaat… I’m petrified of heights. And, call me crazy, but I’d hope to see more than just a glimpse of my 29th, perhaps even make it to 30 if I can help it.

There’s nothing normal about wanting to stand at the edge of a bungy pod suspended 160m above a gorge and jump. And certainly not normal for wanting to go bungy jumping days after watching that Aussie girl’s freak bungy accident over Victoria Falls go viral on the internet. Her bungy cord snapped and she fell into the crocodile infested water!

But part of me thought, how awesome would it be to say, “I bungy jumped on my birthday!!”. The rest of me pretty much said, “This is insane.” Despite all the nervousness and doubt and the many times I tried to talk my way out of doing something stupid, I knew that deep down everything was going to be alright.

AJ Hackett Bungy is “The Bungy Originals” so in a lot of ways, I had faith in them as corny as that may sound. They operate worldwide and with a 100% accident-free record to show for, that’s a reputation I’m willing to put my trust (and life) in.

If ever I was going to do this, now is the time. And definitely while I’m here in New Zealand.

The Nevis Bungy

ajhackett

We arrived at “The Station” 20 minutes prior to our scheduled time and found the place packed. We were asked to fill out the standard paperwork and toe tags (Yes, toe tags!). After a quick weigh in, Gerard took to the free WiFi while I curled up on a bean bag chair trying my best to calm my nerves. Not long after, we boarded a bus.

Once there, we had a short briefing, one final pee break and another weigh in. Could be the pee, could be the altitude. Either or, I lost weight during that 40 minute drive. Lol.

We each got strapped in and made our way out to the cable car to transfer us over to the bungy pod.

I appreciated the bungy pod being rigged with sound system and music. Gerard tried to get lost in the beat to ease his mind off the jump that is about to come. I was even more grateful the Bungy Crew had their shit together. Their system is solid and I quickly felt at ease. Each person jumps in a specific order with a specific cord. There’s a reason why we were weighed and measured.

I spent a few short minutes in the chair getting strapped up and no soon after, I’m at the edge of the pod. A quick photo snap here and there and before I knew it, I’m counting 3.. 2.. 1.. BUNGYYY!!!!!!!!!

nevis-bungy-q 29 Today!

The fall last approximately 8.5 seconds. 8.5 long ass seconds! I screamed but midway down, my voice cracked and I went mute. A rush of emotions flooded me. It honestly felt like I’d quit my job all over again.

Excitement. Nervousness. Doubt. Regret? Doubt again. Relief. Excitement again.

Add to that — anxiety, panic, overjoy and a sense of accomplishment. It was such an outer-body experience.

nevis-bungy-g Here is Gerard’s jump from a different view!

The Nevis Swing (a.k.a. Nevis Arc)

I was already planning to cheat death once by bungy jumping in New Zealand, I might as well take on the BIGGEST swing in the world!

My heart was still racing but it gave me some piece of mind knowing I’d be able to swing tandem with Gerard. Thanks to our Couchsurfing host Jay, Gerard decided he too would swing upside down. Idiot.

nevis-swing-gq
Photo by AJHB

So there we were, strapped onto our swing with me right side up and Gerard upside down like a bat. Or as they like to call it, the Ying & Yang position!

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There’s a slew of other positions ranging from normal to extremely funny but I wasn’t about to straddle Gerard or climb on his back while plunging 120m at a ridiculous speed of 150kph+.

I thought bungy jumping would be the scariest of the two so I was glad to have conquered that beast first.

I couldn’t be more wrong. Can you spot us below? We fell more than swing and I couldn’t help but hysterically laugh and scream at the same time thinking, “OMG, NOT AGAIN?!!” and.. how ridiculous Gerard looks swinging upside down. Haha.

AJHB_AJNA_2012_01_21_C4039_7539
Photo by AJHB

Once the swing slowed down, Gerard flipped over right side up. Took us a few seconds to realized what had just happened. We spent the next few minutes silent, just taking in the breath-taking 360* view. Not long after, we were pulled up, slowly.

The Proof

AJ Hackett provides some pretty awesome shots and video footage of our jump and swing. We should have brought our USB but was glad they provided us with DVDs instead.

Unfortunately, my video is corrupted. Spent the last couple weeks exchanging emails back and forth with AJHB but still no luck. Not going to lie, a bit disappointed that I can’t upload it for all to see but hoping the problem will be fixed soon and I can upload it on Facebook.

Here’s Gerard’s jump and our swing video provided by AJHB.


 


 

This is obviously not for the faint of heart. Nervousness is expected. Fear, normal. It’s not something most would choose to do for fun. At least not at first. This was something more for me. And as I swung back and forth in the middle of the gorge, I had this great sense of accomplishment, albeit relief, that I may have just taken on my great fear of heights.. and enjoyed it.

Bungy jumping is one of life’s greatest personal challenges and one I will no doubt bask in the glory of my achievement that I, Kieu Nguyen, had conquered the Nevis. On my birthday no less.

Gerard would like to say, check THAT of the list!

Is bungy jumping on your bucket list?

 

———-

For an unforgettable, adrenaline rush and a once in a lifetime experience in New Zealand, consider bungy jumping in New Zealand with AJ Hackett Bungy. A combo package including Nevis Bungy, Nevis Swing, certificate, free T-shirt and hat is $375 NZD. Photos are $45 or Photo and DVD pack is $80. Visit their website for more information on hot deals and combo rates.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary combo package from AJ Hackett Bungy. However, this review remains independent. My thoughts, my words. Still my voice behind the blog.

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  • Anonymous

    I think i’d die. I dont just have a fear of height, I have a paralyzing fear where I get mild anxiety attacks. And those are only from roller coasters and rock climbing. :/ one day I will conquer it though!

    • Anonymous

      I get the same attacks!! Awww, I’m not the only one! Glad to see heehee : )

      • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

        I think I came out of it with anxiety.. Lol.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      I feel the same way with bridges and anything where I’d have to peak over a ledge. It’s a good think I didn’t look down before I jumped.. it wouldn’t have been pretty. Hehe

  • SheyDraw

    I think i’d die. I dont just have a fear of height, I have a paralyzing fear where I get mild anxiety attacks. And those are only from roller coasters and rock climbing. :/ one day I will conquer it though!

    • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

      I get the same attacks!! Awww, I’m not the only one! Glad to see heehee : )

      • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

        I think I came out of it with anxiety.. Lol.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      I feel the same way with bridges and anything where I’d have to peak over a ledge. It’s a good think I didn’t look down before I jumped.. it wouldn’t have been pretty. Hehe

  • Anonymous

    I could NEVER do this! Good job!! I tried to conquer my fear of heights by going on some rides at Wonderland (in Toronto) and just hated it! Hoping to one day find something so extreme to enjoy!! You can do anything now!! : )

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      First bungy jump, next.. THE WORLD! Lol. I really didn’t think I could either. I was glad the crew didn’t stall. The countdown was so quick I didn’t have time to process what was about to happen. You can do it!!!

      • Anonymous

        Good for them, man they must be patient!! And thanks for the encouragement! My last attempt at conquering my fear was doing the flying trapeze! I had to do it for my show and although I was petrified wearing funny spandex sure helped! It was fun!

  • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

    I could NEVER do this! Good job!! I tried to conquer my fear of heights by going on some rides at Wonderland (in Toronto) and just hated it! Hoping to one day find something so extreme to enjoy!! You can do anything now!! : )

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      First bungy jump, next.. THE WORLD! Lol. I really didn’t think I could either. I was glad the crew didn’t stall. The countdown was so quick I didn’t have time to process what was about to happen. You can do it!!!

      • Caro_PassportandaToothbrush

        Good for them, man they must be patient!! And thanks for the encouragement! My last attempt at conquering my fear was doing the flying trapeze! I had to do it for my show and although I was petrified wearing funny spandex sure helped! It was fun!

  • Anonymous

    One of the last things on my pre-marriage bucket list is to go bungy jumping in New Zealand! Just need to figure out when I can get down there…looks awesome! What an awesome way to spend your birthday!!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Pre-marriage bucket list?! Lol, I think I need to start one of those. Haha. That was an awesome day. 🙂

  • camorose

    One of the last things on my pre-marriage bucket list is to go bungy jumping in New Zealand! Just need to figure out when I can get down there…looks awesome! What an awesome way to spend your birthday!!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Pre-marriage bucket list?! Lol, I think I need to start one of those. Haha. That was an awesome day. 🙂

  • http://www.dangerous-business.com/ Amanda Williams

    Ahhh, I LOVED the Nevis! I was scared out of my mind for about 2 days leading up to it (even though I’d bungy jumped twice before that!), but I’m so glad I went through with it. It was amazing!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      OMG you jumped twice before?! That’s crazy!! I kept trying to tell Gerard I’m better off with chocolates as a birthday present. Lol. So glad I did it though. It was an awesome feeling. 🙂

      • http://www.dangerous-business.com/ Amanda Williams

        Yup! I’ve jumped every time I’ve visited NZ! Lol. I did the Kawarau in 2005, Taupo in 2008, and then the Nevis last May! Not sure how I can possibly top that one…

        • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

          Probably Macau. I hear it’s the tallest in the world! Go for it Amanda!! 😉

  • http://www.dangerous-business.com/ Amanda Williams

    Ahhh, I LOVED the Nevis! I was scared out of my mind for about 2 days leading up to it (even though I’d bungy jumped twice before that!), but I’m so glad I went through with it. It was amazing!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      OMG you jumped twice before?! That’s crazy!! I kept trying to tell Gerard I’m better off with chocolates as a birthday present. Lol. So glad I did it though. It was an awesome feeling. 🙂

      • http://www.dangerous-business.com/ Amanda Williams

        Yup! I’ve jumped every time I’ve visited NZ! Lol. I did the Kawarau in 2005, Taupo in 2008, and then the Nevis last May! Not sure how I can possibly top that one…

        • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

          Probably Macau. I hear it’s the tallest in the world! Go for it Amanda!! 😉

  • http://twitter.com/ddeacon Deanna Deacon

    ha ha.. this is awesome!! I can’t wait to try it all out. although.. I dreamt of bungy jumping in new zealand with my boyfriend.. and even just dreaming about it made my stomach churn.. we’ll see how it goessss!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Lol, maybe dreaming about it will help ease into the real thing. There’s so many places in NZ for bungy, you’ll no doubt walk away with an amazing experience. Let us know when you do it. 😉

  • Sweet Dea

    ha ha.. this is awesome!! I can’t wait to try it all out. although.. I dreamt of bungy jumping in new zealand with my boyfriend.. and even just dreaming about it made my stomach churn.. we’ll see how it goessss!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Lol, maybe dreaming about it will help ease into the real thing. There’s so many places in NZ for bungy, you’ll no doubt walk away with an amazing experience. Let us know when you do it. 😉

  • http://mslistologist.com Annette | Bucket List Journey

    I had anxiety just looking at the photos, but It’s still on my bucket list! Looks amazing and pee-your-pants scary 🙂

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha, too bad my video is corrupted at the moment. I think you can hear me say, I think a little pee came out. Lol =X Definitely keep it on your list. Move it up the list! 😉

  • http://bucketlistjourney.net/ Annette

    I had anxiety just looking at the photos, but It’s still on my bucket list! Looks amazing and pee-your-pants scary 🙂

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha, too bad my video is corrupted at the moment. I think you can hear me say, I think a little pee came out. Lol =X Definitely keep it on your list. Move it up the list! 😉

  • Anonymous

    Hats off to both of you! This is the one thing I am too scared to ever do! Thanks for letting me “experience” it through your post! 🙂

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Yea.. I think I went through phases of panic and anxiety the entire time. Lol. You can experience it through our site anytime! 😉

  • idelish

    Hats off to both of you! This is the one thing I am too scared to ever do! Thanks for letting me “experience” it through your post! 🙂

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Yea.. I think I went through phases of panic and anxiety the entire time. Lol. You can experience it through our site anytime! 😉

  • Cori

    I love your shoes? What are they?

    The swing also looks amazingly fun.

    • Cori

      I love your shoes was not suppose to be a question…ha!

      • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

        LOL.. THAT’s what you took away from all this? My shoes?! Haha. Their New Balance from Nordstrom Rack! 😉

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      The swing was definitely the big surprise of the day. Definitely fun. Scary.. but fun. 😀

  • Cori

    I love your shoes? What are they?

    The swing also looks amazingly fun.

    • Cori

      I love your shoes was not suppose to be a question…ha!

      • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

        LOL.. THAT’s what you took away from all this? My shoes?! Haha. They’re New Balance from Nordstrom Rack! 😉

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      The swing was definitely the big surprise of the day. Definitely fun. Scary.. but fun. 😀

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  • Anonymous

    Tick…bungy jump done!! ..and the swing! I think it’s great that you have done them but it’s certainly not on my bucket list! It once took me a week to be able to go in a cable car so i’m not even going to think about it!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Where was the cable car going? Lol. I think it’s one of those things you really have to psych yourself out. I never once looked down until it was too late. It was exhilarating but I probably won’t do it again to spare my mother from a panic attack. 🙂

      • Anonymous

        After a week in Switzerland chickening out whenever I saw a cable car, we drove from Milan to just before St Moritz, just so I could finally go up the mountain. Pathetic really but…..! Don’t look down is definately the secret. Must feel great to have conquered your fears and have done the jump.

  • Guest

    Tick…bungy jump done!! ..and the swing! I think it’s great that you have done them but it’s certainly not on my bucket list! It once took me a week to be able to go in a cable car so i’m not even going to think about it!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Where was the cable car going? Lol. I think it’s one of those things you really have to psych yourself out. I never once looked down until it was too late. It was exhilarating but I probably won’t do it again to spare my mother from a panic attack. 🙂

      • Guest

        After a week in Switzerland chickening out whenever I saw a cable car, we drove from Milan to just before St Moritz, just so I could finally go up the mountain. Pathetic really but…..! Don’t look down is definately the secret. Must feel great to have conquered your fears and have done the jump.

  • http://www.scenewithahart.com Fidel Hart

    Happy belated birthday!
    I did my first bungee jump with AJ Hackett in Cairns. They are a great company! Congrats on scratching this off your lists. Next time, the two of you have to do the night time naked bungee, ha ha.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha.. I can barely do it clothed. 😛 But I did meet Jeremy from Freaky Travels who did it nakey. Lol

  • http://www.scenewithahart.com/ Fidel

    Happy belated birthday!
    I did my first bungee jump with AJ Hackett in Cairns. They are a great company! Congrats on scratching this off your lists. Next time, the two of you have to do the night time naked bungee, ha ha.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha.. I can barely do it clothed. 😛 But I did meet Jeremy from Freaky Travels who did it nakey. Lol

  • http://www.baconismagic.ca/ Ayngelina

    You did the Nevis??? I did just the original site where it’s just a bridge over water but not as high as the Nevis, you are very brave!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Did you get to touch the water? Lol, by the time I got to the pod, it was too late to back out. Thanks for the comment!

  • http://www.baconismagic.ca/ Ayngelina

    You did the Nevis??? I did just the original site where it’s just a bridge over water but not as high as the Nevis, you are very brave!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Did you get to touch the water? Lol, by the time I got to the pod, it was too late to back out. Thanks for the comment!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/30HomeGames 30HomeGames

    I’m almost jealous of people who are more afraid of heights, they get to appreciate it more. Being a bird afraid of heights would be the ultimate

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      LOL… poor bird. Definitely an experience I’ll never forget.

  • http://30homegames.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page.html 30HomeGames

    I’m almost jealous of people who are more afraid of heights, they get to appreciate it more. Being a bird afraid of heights would be the ultimate

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      LOL… poor bird. Definitely an experience I’ll never forget.

  • http://technosyncratic.com Technosyncratic

    Ahh, that swing looks intense – I can’t believe Gerard went upside down!! My fear with bungee jumping is that the jarring impact and bounce at the bottom would mess up my back and neck…. =/

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Funny we thought the opposite.. that it would straighten our bad backs. Lol. And it did! Haha

  • http://technosyncratic.com Technosyncratic

    Ahh, that swing looks intense – I can’t believe Gerard went upside down!! My fear with bungee jumping is that the jarring impact and bounce at the bottom would mess up my back and neck…. =/

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Funny we thought the opposite.. that it would straighten our bad backs. Lol. And it did! Haha

  • http://www.loveantoinette.com/ Antoinette B.

    Glad you braved it! Bungy was never ever part of my bucket or tickle-my-fancy list or any list for that matter! Someone would have to pay me to bungy! LOL but that’s really cool, especially the bungy swing with you and Gerard upside down. Awesome photo!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks! It never really was part of my list either. But it was something G wanted to do so I said why not. Lol. The swing was nuts!

  • http://www.loveantoinette.com/ Antoinette B.

    Glad you braved it! Bungy was never ever part of my bucket or tickle-my-fancy list or any list for that matter! Someone would have to pay me to bungy! LOL but that’s really cool, especially the bungy swing with you and Gerard upside down. Awesome photo!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Thanks! It never really was part of my list either. But it was something G wanted to do so I said why not. Lol. The swing was nuts!

  • Anonymous

    Ahhhhhahaha! SO awesome! We went bungee jumping in Korea but had a pool underneath us so the scenery wasn’t nearly as beautiful. We’d love to do it again… hopefully in New Zealand next time! Well done you two!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Lol.. thanks! It was an awesome experience. Definitely do it in NZ when you’re there. You won’t be disappointed with the view. 😉

  • CaptainandClark

    Ahhhhhahaha! SO awesome! We went bungee jumping in Korea but had a pool underneath us so the scenery wasn’t nearly as beautiful. We’d love to do it again… hopefully in New Zealand next time! Well done you two!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Lol.. thanks! It was an awesome experience. Definitely do it in NZ when you’re there. You won’t be disappointed with the view. 😉

  • Thai Chu

    I’m one of those annoying people who aren’t scared of heights and thought skydiving was “kinda boring.” Bungee jumping scared the sh’t out of me, though. I also did AJ’s off the harbor bridge in Auckland, and it was terrifying. You jump off of a perfectly stable platform and spend the next few seconds seeing the ground come at you. It’s really dumb in every sense that we would find it fun. I also got dunked in the water. Glad you guys survived and happy birthday!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Cool that you got dunked in water at the end! We were considering doing the Karawau Bridge in Queenstown to get dunked in the river. Hitting the water must be a crazy feeling after jumping off such a high platform.

  • Thai Chu

    I’m one of those annoying people who aren’t scared of heights and thought skydiving was “kinda boring.” Bungee jumping scared the sh’t out of me, though. I also did AJ’s off the harbor bridge in Auckland, and it was terrifying. You jump off of a perfectly stable platform and spend the next few seconds seeing the ground come at you. It’s really dumb in every sense that we would find it fun. I also got dunked in the water. Glad you guys survived and happy birthday!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Cool that you got dunked in water at the end! We were considering doing the Karawau Bridge in Queenstown to get dunked in the river. Hitting the water must be a crazy feeling after jumping off such a high platform.

  • http://twitter.com/ThunderShelley Shelley Thunder

    This is some mad sh!t, but I’m so going to do it! 🙂

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha. It’s nuts! But definitely a must do experience. Have fun!

  • Shelley

    This is some mad sh!t, but I’m so going to do it! 🙂

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Haha. It’s nuts! But definitely a must do experience. Have fun!

  • http://twitter.com/theblondeabroad The Blonde Abroad

    I could NOT do it!!! I settled for skydiving in Queenstown! You guys have some guts!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      LOL. No guts, just gone nuts. Haha. I wish I skydived QT too. The view must have been incredible.

  • http://www.theblondeabroad.com/ Kiersten Rich

    I could NOT do it!!! I settled for skydiving in Queenstown! You guys have some guts!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      LOL. No guts, just gone nuts. Haha. I wish I skydived QT too. The view must have been incredible.

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  • Postra Kuoy

    i’m going to new zealand for my honeymoon next week and at first I said I will not go bungee jumping. But my husband on the other hand has no fear and is so excited to go. So I started to talk myself into doing it because when will i ever be in NZD again? when will I get to experience something this adventurous in such a beautiful country? Probably not any time in the near future. I’ve been watching videos over and over again and I’m freaking myself out, but I still want to try it…..it looks so terrifying….=(

    You described your whole experience really well, but would you do it again?

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Aww it’s terrifying for sure but in a thrilling kind of way too. Oddly enough, the jump itself wasn’t scary — it’s the plummeting that freaked me out but only a millisecond and it was over. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t do it again, once was enough for me. My husband on the other hand, he’s totally down for another jump. LOL. Good luck, Postra!! 😉

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