A 15,000ft Skydive In Queenstown

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Simon Heyes, skydiving in New Zealand

I know what you’re thinking. “Why on earth would you do that?!“. But then I also know what fellow skydivers are thinking. Well, not thinking….just smiling, acknowledging, and…understanding.

Unlike bungee jumping, doing a skydive was always on my bucket list. If you have a ‘you only live once’ attitude, then I’m sure it’s on many of your bucket lists too. Rightly so – it’s one of the most exciting things I did during my 5 month break.

I arrived into Queenstown on 30th January, 2013. Once I’d checked into possibly the best hostel in the world, I took a stroll around the town. It soon became clear that not only was I in one of the best hostels in the world, I was also in one of the most stunning towns in the world.

Aerial view of Queenstown, New Zealand
Looking down over Queenstown and the Remarkables

Queenstown is a outdoors enthusiasts adventure playground. A mecca for mountaineering, sailing, trekking (or tramping as the locals call it), skiing in winter, rugby, cycling, rock climbing, canyon swinging, bungee jumping, skydiving, horse riding and every other outdoor activity you could possibly think of. Even Ray Mears couldn’t get bored here. The Queenstown air was filled with adrenaline, and I’m happy to say it was filling my lungs.

Less than one hour later and I’d booked the skydive for the next day, with Nzone Skydive. The rest of the day was a blur. I hired a bike, went cycling round the town, took the gondola to the top of Bob’s Peak, and drank a few beers.

I’ll hold my hand up in complete honesty at this point. Doing a bungee jump was more nerve-racking than doing a skydive. There. I said it. Sure, you’re strapped to your tandem master, you throw yourselves out of that aircraft door, and for some 60 seconds you plummet towards the ground at 200 km per hour. But that’s just it….it’s you and your tandem master. They control everything, and you’re doing it together. A bungee jump is just you, the bungee cord, and your own pure fear. It’s your decision, and you are the one in control when you jump.

The weather in New Zealand during the summer months is pretty consistent, so I was delighted when I pulled back the hostel room curtains to reveal almost clear blue skies.

My fellow morning skydivers and I were briefed at the Nzone HQ in the morning, which was followed by a 20 minute drive out to the drop zone. The nerves still hadn’t kicked it. I was embracing the fear. Which is more than can be said to the girl who was sat on my right. “I think I’m going to be sick“. I just smiled and told her it’ll be ok, whilst secretly hoping she would turn the other way if she decided shouting Huey was her new hobby.

We arrived, had a look around, were briefed on jump times, and then we waited. We watched planes fly up, and jumpers drop down, and eventually it was our turn. Sexy boiler suits and harnesses on, we were 20 mins away from boarding the plane.

Sat by the Nzone skydive plane Queenstown, New Zealand

I’ll let this video tell the rest of the story. Free falling in warm air, looking at some of the incredible views around Queenstown, for one full minute, was simply exhilerating.

If you’re thinking about going skydiving, go for the highest height. In this case that was 15,000ft. Don’t go 12,000ft. Just embrace it, and go jump from the highest point you can – you won’t regret it.

All of New Zealand was amazing, but Queenstown had something special. Maybe because it gave me a big slice of fulfilment. Onto my next bucket list item.

Simon Heyes, skydiving in New Zealand

Skydiving in New Zealand

Celebrating with Greg, my tandem master, after skydiving from 15,000ft
4 replies
  1. Tamsin Thompson
    Tamsin Thompson says:

    Great post!

    I'm so glad that when I clicked on your link to the hostel you stayed at, it's the one I'm booked into in mid May!

    I also wanna do the 15,000 ft Nzone Skydive…though I'm terrified of both heights and planes (Even reading about the girl feeling sick made me feel sick!)

    I agree on it being less scary than a bungy jump though – that I could never do. I did the SkySwing from Skyline Rotorua and spent the duration of that cursing and shaking profusely. I really wanna embrace the fear (and my stomach contents) and cross Skydiving off my Bucket List!

  2. Simon Heyes
    Simon Heyes says:

    Thanks Tamsin, glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    Queenstown is a wonderful place…I'm sure you'll agree!

    AQ Hostel is awesome. Nice people, good sized living areas, clean rooms, great staff and loads of free stuff.

    Go for the 15,000ft…you'll only regret it if you don't. Those who do the 12,000ft often re-book and do the 15,000ft one about an hour later! 🙂

  3. Gustavo Dias
    Gustavo Dias says:

    Wow! Awesome jump, Simon! New Zealand in for sure is one of the most adventurous places of the world, isn't it? In the other side of the Earth, it is also cool to parachute, like skydiving in Brazil, over the bigger power plant of the world! There are some amazing pictures and also information for those who wanna jump over there: http://www.skydivefoz.com/en/


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