Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Skydiving in Queenstown

Queenstown, declared “fit for a queen” given its Lord of the Rings cinematic scenery, is the adrenaline rush capital of the world (bungy jumping, jetboating, white-water rafting, canyoning, hang gliding...you pick your poison). I thought skydiving would be an appropriate exclamation point to mark the end of our trip. I had always wanted to experience flight so what better time than now and what better place than here. Queenstown has the highest skydiving in the world at 16,500ft above sea level (15,000ft above ground) – 60 seconds of free fall at a terminal velocity of 200kph followed by five minutes parachuting at a more leisurely 30kph.

The feeling of jumping from an aircraft at 15,000ft and plummeting towards the ground at 200kph is indescribable. I was definitely nervous as the plane ascended but it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. And once we left the plane it was exhilarating beyond anything I’ve experienced before. After my tandem “Jumpmaster” Nick deployed the parachute, I took a deep breath, looked around at the mountains and lakes below, and smiled, “So this is what it feels like to fly...” Nick replied, “Yeah bro.” I enjoyed the rest of my flight with my arms extended and a big grin on my face.

The photos are brilliant, but the video is ridiculous. We'll try to upload once we're back in the States in a few days.

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