New Zealand is without a doubt the adventure capital of the world. There is not only a ton of stuff to do here, but it’s also totally normal to go off and do thrill-seeking activities without a second thought; in fact that’s how we ended up doing our first ever sky dive at Abel Tasman, by signing up for it on the day whilst on our Kiwi bus!
Every time you get on your Kiwi Experience bus, the driver passes around clipboards with discounted activities you can do at your next destination which is so helpful as you know exactly what the highlights of each place are and know you aren’t missing out on any opportunities. Of course, if an activity doesn’t take your fancy or you’re trying to save money, you just don’t put your name down, but when the Sky Dive Abel Tasman clipboard came round we were the first ones on the list! There are countless places to skydive in New Zealand, but we’d heard Abel Tasman was one of the cheapest and the best as you do it over Abel Tasman National Park as well as being the only place you can skydive with views of both the North and South Island.
We were picked up by the sky dive company and driven to their airfield where we were weighed, measured and briefed via a very exciting preview film. You then go through and meet your ‘Tandem Master’ – the person you’re strapped to and who pulls the parachute. Our Tandem Masters had done over 10,000 sky dives in their lifetime and were obviously still here to tell the tale so any nerves I had quickly evaporated into giddiness and excitement!
We opted for the Go Pro video footage for an extra $199 (£100) where a cameraman jumps out with you to film your jump. I highly, highly recommend paying the extra for this as you’ll see below, the footage is amazing and you get your own ‘Mini Movie’ to take home.
With jump suits on and harnesses fitted, we made our way towards our plane and packed ourselves in for the 20 minute ascent of 16,500 ft above the ground!
When the plane doors open, you are instructed to fold your legs up under the plane and put your head back on the chest of your Tandem Master. He then rocks three times before jumping at which point I was thinking WHAT IS LIFE! In my bewilderment at what we’d just done, I didn’t notice him tapping me on the shoulder (our signal that I could now flap my arms around like a bird if I felt like it and pretend I was superman). Strangely, it doesn’t feel like you are falling but almost like you’re suspended in a wind tunnel and soaring through the air.
I made the mistake to put my head down and got a load of that wind up my nose, but just tilting my head back again cleared it up! That camera man then grabbed my arms and we circled a couple of times before he let me go an we shot off spinning through the air. The whole time I was just in awe and amazement at how this was happening and before I knew it, I felt a slight hoist as our parachute went up and we began gliding towards the earth, serene as a feather.
A year ago, I would have told you that i’d never do a sky dive. I didn’t want to and I was also terrified of the idea, convinced that the jump i’d do would be the jump the parachute didn’t open. I’m so glad I didn’t let that fear determine my choices, as it was without a doubt the best experience of my life and a feeling you cannot replicate in any way on earth.
For more information on skydiving Abel Tasman, click here!
To book your Kiwi Experience via STA Travel, click here.