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Bungee Jumping! Bungy Jump from the Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown, New Zealand with AJ Hackett!

Updated on July 7, 2011

The Kawarau Bridge Jump experience

The Kawarau Bridge Bungy is a famous bungy jump location near Queenstown, New Zealand. It is a great place to do your first bungy jump because at 43 meters, it doesn't get much lower than this. Bungy jumping (or bungee jumping) is really a mental thing so don't worry about the height - simply stop thinking for a few seconds and jump off the ledge!

This is the first commercial bungy jump site in the world (since 1988) and it is operated by AJ Hackett, also known as the guy who popularised bungy jumping.

In this article I'll share my experience of bungy jumping from the Kawarau Bridge Bungy and what to expect when you do your bungy jump! It doesn't matter whether it's your first jump or whether you've lost the count. The Kawarau Bridge Bungy remains a popular location to jump due to its fame and spectacular surroundings.

Any bungy jump fan should be able to say that he or she jumped at the location that started it all!

Kawarau Bridge Bungy, New Zealand
Kawarau Bridge Bungy, New Zealand | Source

Step 1: Sign up, pay and get weighed

There are two ways you can do a bungy jump at the Kawarau Bridge: you can sign up and pay at The Station on the corner of Camp Street and Shotover Street but you can also drive to the bungy jump location yourself and pay there. The Kawarau Bridge is near a normal road so when you're traveling south towards Queenstown you'll see the bungy jump location as well.

When you sign up they weigh you and they will write your weight on your left hand. You need to take all the things out of your pockets. You also need to take off scarfs and other clothing that you are not going to wear while you jump. It is for your safety so the bungy jump masters (the folks actually connecting you to the rope) know the weight of who is going to jump.

In my case I didn't sign a paper before my jump but if you do higher bungy jumps (such as the Nevis Bungy which is 134 meter) you will also have to sign that you won't sue the company when something goes wrong.

You will also need to tell them any medical conditions that might influence your jump, such as heart conditions, panic or anxiety, et cetera.

Step 2: Getting from Queenstown to the Kawarau Bridge

If you sign up in Queenstown then they take you to the Kawarau Bridge for free with a van. While you're waiting for the van you can use the free internet at The Station or have a look around but make sure you're back in time for your pickup. Together with all the other bungy jumpers you'll be taken to the bridge which takes about 20 minutes if I remember correctly. During this ride your nervousness builds up a little but keep it under control.

When you get at the site they recommend you to jump as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to jump! Some people first want to take a few looks, then they become too afraid and they don't jump. Also, you can't get your money back so you better jump anyway! I had already been to this bungy jump location the day before so I was familiar with what it looked like. I walked straight onto the bridge and I was really one of the first people of our group to jump.

There I go!
There I go! | Source

Step 3: Jump!

The moment you've been waiting for: your actual bungy jump. It was my first bungy jump and you simply have no idea what to expect. I climbed into the little place next to the ledge and this is where they connect you to the bungy jump rope.

Before you jump they ask if you want to hit the water underneath or not. This is not a very high bungy jump location compared to others so they can control how deep you want to hit the water. You can choose between 1) not at all, 2) a little bit (head), or 3) as far as your waist. I decided to hit the water a little bit. In most bungy jump locations you can't do this so why not go for it here!

So how deep is the water under the Kawarau bridge? Well, it's deep enough to in there as far as your waist. It's also safe enough to do a bungee jump there! I haven't seen boats there but it's the water is not that shallow either.

Beautiful location for a bungy jump (note: this is a nearby bridge)
Beautiful location for a bungy jump (note: this is a nearby bridge) | Source

What does a bungy jump feel like?

Looking down it was actually a bit higher than it looked from the spectator's point of view but I had no choice. I had to jump. Now. I spread my arms and let myself fall forwards. It is a little hard to jump when you legs are tied together but I'm quite happy with my posture and how I fell. You feel yourself falling and you feel how gravity soon takes over. Once you are off the ledge there's no turning back of course haha!

The fall itself was really amazing. It was not as fearful as one might expect. The fall lasts only a few seconds and you feel yourself weightlessly falling towards the planet. You can see the ground coming towards you. It is what they call the "ground rush" that bungy jumping has but skydiving does not.

I remember putting my arms near my head to protect myself as I was about to hit the water. I smoothly hit the water and I get pulled out by the rope. I bounce a few times and then they lower me into a boat. They don't drag you back up like at some other locations, they simply unlock you from the rope and you have to walk back up yourself.

Happily in the boat!
Happily in the boat! | Source

Step 4: Be the hero of the day

You walk back up still thinking what just happened. You can now collect your bungy jump certificate, a free T-shirt and a discount voucher for the shop. You can also pay extra to get photos and a DVD of your jump. They're a great souvenir from New Zealand to show to your friends!

After your jump you will get a free T-shirt with the name of the bungy jump location and the height. Each AJ Hackett bungy jump has its own T-shirt so you can collect them like trophies. When you show your certificate you will also get a 20% discount at any other AJ Hackett jump in the world.

Knowing what I know now I would probably jump from a higher location to make the feeling of freefall last longer. The Kawarau Bridge is well-known and it has a great backdrop for photos - there is something special about jumping over water. If you are really an adrenaline junkie then go for it. Find the highest bungy jump you can find and jump! And remember - fear is all in your head!

Would you bungy jump? Have you jumped before?

I think bungy jumping is a great experience and you should try it someday!

If you do, let me know where you jumped and how it felt like! New Zealand is a great country to do extreme sports and there are various bungy jump locations across the country, including several in Queenstown, one in Taupo and two in Auckland.

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    • profile image

      Pepe 2 years ago

      Great pictures! Alana, your fear of heithgs must come from me! I'm the same way. Ola, you truly are an amazing photographer. Alana looks great in all the pictures! Love the flower shots.

    • profile image

      Sur 2 years ago

      Thanks, Melanie. It was my second time aunrod, though, and I knew that if I hesitated I'd faint and miss the show I really want to do the Thrillogy next time I'm in NZ, 3 bungy jumps in one day! Woohoo!

    • profile image

      Tasmine 2 years ago

      Hey, you're the goto exrept. Thanks for hanging out here.

    • profile image

      Tasmine 2 years ago

      Hey, you're the goto exrept. Thanks for hanging out here.

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @RTalloni: Thanks! I realize it is not for everyone but after you have done the jump you will wonder what the fuss was all about.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      All in the head? Not when you scream your head off.

      Vicarious is as close as I'll be able to get. Thanks for sharing the fun though!

      Good stuff. Good writing. :)

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @erumkhan: It is thrilling! Just go for it when you are in New Zealand! :)

    • erumkhan profile image

      erumkhan 6 years ago from Pakistan

      I love adventure...This seems soo thrilling

      I would love to jump from that bridge.......

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @David.Reed: The Canyon Swing in Queenstown looks awesome. I was lucky enough to see a few other people do the Auckland Harbour Bridge jump but it was too similar to the one I did in terms of height. You can jump in any way you want however, that's a nice touch, because your legs are not tied together :) Good to hear that you enjoyed them both!

      Melbourne is generally not a cheap city to stay. The further you'll go away from the city center, the cheaper it'll become but my rent was still above what I'd pay in my own country. I lived 20 minutes by train away from the city center for six months but that is considered close for Melburnian standards.

      The southern suburbs are nice neighbourhoods and safe but rent will still be pricey. Are you looking for something on your own or are you willing to share certain things with others? Are you going to pay for the rent on your own or will your girlfriend be in Australia as well? If you have two people then you can work for some money to pay the rent each month, that makes things easier really. It is a bit hard to recommend accommodation because I'm not too familiar with places to stay in the rest of Melbourne but if you have questions I can answer :)

      What you can do is walk into a university building and look at their noticeboards. I have seen a lot of rooms being available there with preference for long term living.

    • David.Reed profile image

      David.Reed 6 years ago

      Excellent jump! My girlfriend and I did the Auckland harbour bridge, and the Canyon Swing in QT. Really great experience!

      I noticed you've written about Melbourne. I'm supposed to be going there in a couple of weeks because my Visa for NZ will expire. Do you happen to know any nice but cheap places to stay? I'd be looking for long term if possible.

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @Austinstar: Fair enough :)

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I can't pass the weight test. There is no bungy cord strong enough. Plus I've had two back surgeries and I've been in poor health since then. It's all I can do to play with my Wii!

      And other than that, I'm probably too chicken! I was brave enough to ride motorcycles once, but now I'm content with a luxury car :-)

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @Austinstar: Oh but you still can! The oldest bungy jumper is a 94-year old, also at the Kawarau Bridge! It's a mental thing really.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      It must be thrilling to bungy jump. The sport was invented after my wild and crazy younger days, but I like to think I would have jumped too.

      Enjoy your life!

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @Trsmd: It costs 180 New Zealand dollars. I indeed jumped, you can see a picture in the hub above.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 6 years ago from India

      How much they will charge for this Jumping.. have you jumped/

    • simeonvisser profile image

      simeonvisser 6 years ago

      @travelespresso: Cheers, I enjoyed my jump :)

    • travelespresso profile image

      travelespresso 6 years ago from Somewhere in this exciting world.

      This is a really nice hub. What a fantastic memory you have of your bungy jump. Thanks for sharing.

      Of course these buys invented the bungy jumping and took it to the world!