The Height of Adventure

September 5, 2011

Adventures and Misadventures

As I finished writing this blog entry last night, I came across some shocking information about the company I did my jump with back in 2009. Sadly, on September 4th, 2010, there was a horrible plane crash that killed a total of nine people (four tourists, four instructors and the pilot). I found this information exactly one year after the accident. I was speechless when I found out about this tragedy and my heart goes out to those who were killed and their loved ones. 

Unfortunately, with any adventure activity there comes a risk and accidents can happen anywhere – even in the safest of places. New Zealand is known as the extreme sports capital of the world. At no point here did I ever worry about my safety. Would I skydive again? At this time I don’t know. I’ve left my blog entry below as it was before I found out about this accident, as it still remains a highlight of my time in this beautiful country.

Breathtaking Mount Cook

Since I’m on a bit of an adventure kick after last week’s EdgeWalk experience, I thought it might be fun to share some pictures from skydiving in New Zealand. I never used to be much of a risk taker, but that changed when I started travelling.

I claimed I’d never go skydiving – why in the world would I choose to throw myself out of a plane?!  But sometimes I can’t help but give in to peer-pressure. My friend was going and repeatedly suggested that I should do it with her. We got up at five a.m. on a very chilly day in April. I’d had a few drinks the night before in an attempt to calm my nerves. Unfortunately, it didn’t make much difference.  I tossed and turned before having to get up in the wee hours of the morning.

Our jump was over the Fox Glacier and it has apparently been named the second most scenic dive in the world (after Mount Everest). We did the dive through Skydive NZ (www.skydivingnz.co.nz) and I immediately felt at ease around my instructor. We crammed into a tiny plane – it could only take up two divers and instructors at a time.

I tried to ignore the knot of dread in the pit of my stomach and took as many photos as possible as the plane crept up to 12,000 ft. The scenery takes your breath away. Or maybe it was the fear of throwing myself out of a plane…

Fox Glacier

After tumbling head first out of the plane, the anxiety quickly slipped away. “Look over your left shoulder!” my instructor yelled in my ear. As I looked back I saw the plane quickly fly off into the distance. I had an incredible view of the Fox Glacier, along with Mount Cook. The Franz Josef Glacier and the Tasman Sea can also be seen as you drift back towards the ground.

Post skydive scenery

The feeling is like nothing I’ve ever experienced and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. After the short freefall, I pulled my camera out (it was on a string around my neck in my jumpsuit) and took pictures as we gradually drifted towards the ground. We landed in a misty field, dotted with sheep, as the sun rose over the mountains.

A jump from 12,000 ft costs $295 NZ. This is the best spot in the country you could pick for a skydive and you couldn’t choose a better company to go with!

Beautiful!

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About AdventuressAbroad

adventure seeker.traveling fanatic.food lover.occasional blabbermouth.travel-based PR professional.

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