If you asked me 6 months ago whether I’d be willing to put my life in the hands of an adrenaline junkie and jump out of a plane at 12,000 feet I would have likely told you where to go, with a swear word or two for extra measure. Upon my visit to Queenstown, New Zealand earlier in the month I decided to not only fully embrace my borderline millennial status (#YOLO), but also the inner thrill-seeker that has apparently been yearning for that extra bit of adventure.
Enter the team at NZONE Skydive who were more than willing to help assist with ticking off this bucket list item, and what a team they are. From the moment you check-in you are made to feel not only welcome, but SAFE! I think I may have a new love affair with New Zealand as I don’t think I’ve ever met a happier bunch of (sober) people. Anyway, back to jumping out of a plane…
Once checked-in we’re whisked off to a lusciously green Airfield on the town’s outskirts where we are met by another team of super positive staff members, which actually, is extremely comforting when you’re anxiety is rapidly approaching an eight out of ten.
Even though the adrenaline is starting to kick in there is no time to ponder you’re impending jump as these guys are obvious professionals with an efficient and no fuss approach. Within five minutes of arriving at the drop zone, I had met my tandem buddy who was responsible for keeping me safe. Once we’d gone through the strict safety procedures, we were laughing and joking as if we’d been best friends for a solid ten years – I felt like I could trust this guy with my life, funnily enough.
Fast forward to take off and we’re up and away quicker than I downed last night’s beer. With the nerves really starting to kick in, the experience really begins. The atmosphere is a surreal one to say the least, as you gaze out at the snow-capped peaks of one of the world’s most picturesque landscapes you can’t help but be in awe of such natural beauty.
After what feels like the slowest 15 minutes of my life, the plane starts to level out which can only mean one thing – jump time! As my new best friend makes his last-minute checks, I’m sitting staring at a bunch of amber lights questioning every poor decision of the last 29 years of my existence, yes there’s a few. Before I get too far into my thoughts the roller door is opened, with a sudden rush of crisp Queenstown air to make sure you haven’t nodded off on the ride up. Right, let’s do this! Making sure I know my safety cues, my buddy scoots us up to the opening and perches us on the edge ready to soar into the blue abyss.
Cue Nelly Furtado’s ‘I’m Like a Bird’ and we’re rapidly hurtling through the air at over 200km’s an hour in what can only be described as liberating. The free fall of 40 seconds is a synonymous blur and thrill like no other and one that you absolutely must experience before your time on planet earth ends, just trust me on this one.
Once on the ground, you are quickly back landside, anxiously awaiting those all-important action shots to prove to your Instagram followers (and Tinder matches) just how ballsy you really are.
I couldn’t have asked for a more seamless and exhilarating experience for my first Skydive and the team at NZONE Skydive are an outfit nothing short of exceptional. If you’re heading to Queenstown and looking for memories that will last you a lifetime, then this is most certainly it.
To find out more about New Zealand’s premier skydiving experience follow the link below.