Completing the Bungee Jumping Trifecta in Queenstown

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I was oddly calm as a man I'd never met before helped me tighten a harness around my butt and crotch.

Wait, wait wait… did your mind just go to a dirty place? Shame on you!

I was getting harnessed up in order to bungee jump off a ledge overlooking the town of Queenstown, New Zealand.

The Ledge Bungee in Queenstown, NZ
See me? I'm the tiny human-like figure falling through the sky.

(Perhaps still just as disturbing for some as the dirty image.)

This wasn't my first bungee jump, though — in fact, it was my FOURTH in New Zealand and my third in Queenstown. Despite always saying that I'm NOT going bungee jumping “this time” when I go to New Zealand, I've managed to throw myself off something high and scary at least once on each of my trips to New Zealand.

Taupo Bungy
This is that fourth jump I mentioned – in Taupo.

And I've now done all three of AJ Hackett's bungee jumps in Queenstown.

There's the Kawarau Bridge jump (“the original”), The Nevis (“the highwire bungee”), and The Ledge (“the bungee with a view”).

You can of course do all three in Queenstown (a “Thrillogy” combo will set you back $450 NZD), but if one bungee jump is more than enough for you, here's a look at each jump individually to help you decide which one you should book:

The Kawarau Bridge

The historic Kawarau Bridge — located in a canyon just outside Queenstown — was the site of the world's FIRST commercial bungee jump. People have been flinging themselves off this 43-meter (141-foot) bridge since 1988. The site is perfect for your first jump and has a great place for friends and family to watch from.

Kawarau Bridge bungee in Queenstown, NZ
Yeah, my hair was red back in 2005.

Why this site is awesome:

  • You can do a water-touch.
  • You can jump tandem (it's the only site in Queenstown that offers this!).
  • Since you jump over a river here, you get lowered down into a boat after your jump instead of being reeled back up.
  • There's also a zip line if you chicken out on the bungee.
Kawarau River in Queenstown
The pretty Kawarau River.

The Nevis

The Nevis should really be named the “scary as sh*t” bungee — because it is. It's New Zealand's highest bungee jump at 134 meters (nearly 440 feet), and to get out to the jump pod (which is suspended on a wire over a gigantic canyon) you have to take this teeny tiny cable car. It's terrifying. But, with 8.5 seconds of free-fall, it's also one of the most epic things you can do in Queenstown.

Nevis Highwire Bungy

Why this site is awesome:

  • It's remote – you get taken there via private transport by the bungee crew.
  • It's INSANE — 8.5 seconds of free-fall, people!
  • There's also a canyon swing here that is nearly just as epic.
Nevis Bungy
The aforementioned terrifying “cable car” that takes you to the jump pod.

The Ledge

The Ledge is the only bungee jump located IN the city of Queenstown. To get to the jump site, you have to take the Skyline Gondola up the side of a mountain, giving The Ledge an incredible view out over the city, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkables mountain range. This bungee is also unique in that you are harnessed at your waist instead of around your ankles, meaning there are several different ways you can jump.

The Ledge Bungee in Queenstown, NZ

Why this site is awesome:

  • The views 400 meters above the city are amazing.
  • You can jump in lots of different ways (forwards, backwards, doing a karate kick, etc.).
  • You can jump at night in the winter.
  • I think it's a little less scary with the waist harness and the fact that you just run off the platform as opposed to falling.
  • There's also a swing here with equally impressive views.

The Ledge Bungee in Queenstown, NZ

So which bungee jump in Queenstown is the BEST?

Well it's impossible to say. The Kawarau Bridge was my first bungee jump ever back in 2005, and so I have really fond memories of it. The Nevis was one of the scariest things I've ever done — but also super rewarding and fun after I did it. And The Ledge is just pure fun, and was the third of the three jumps I completed in Queenstown.

In the end, it depends on the sort of bungee experience you want to have!

Tell me — which bungee would YOU choose?

 

Bungee jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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23 Comments on “Completing the Bungee Jumping Trifecta in Queenstown

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  1. Just reading this and looking at the pics makes me break out in a cold sweat – this is something I could never do. I’m OK with that. You are very brave!

      I might be a liiiiiittle bit addicted to adrenaline. 😉

    These all look both terrifying and amazing. Just wow.

      Yup that pretty much sums up bungee jumping!

    I chose the Kawarau Bridge when I was in New Zealand since it was the first commercial one, and I knew I would be going to Macau to do the world’s highest (also AJ Hackett) within another few months. I would love to go back and do the Bridge again with my other half; it would be a nice full circle! The views from the Ledge bungee are amazing though, so maybe I’ll be persuaded to do more than just one!

      That’s why I did the Kawarau first, too! The other two are awesome, too, though – I would definitely do another one next time.

    You are braver than me! I’ve skydived once on a media trip and will never ever bungy. Was watching a TV episode where they went to Queenstown and did, I think, the Shotover swing sitting in what looked like a plastic deck chair. Mental.

      I haven’t been skydiving yet – but it’s definitely on my list!

      And I’ve seen people do the swings in chairs! So funny. Haven’t done one myself though.

    It’s only going to be a matter of time before you bungee jump from the top of the Macau tower! Great photos too!

      Oh yeah, I would definitely be up for that someday!

    I still don’t think I have the guts to go bungee jumping. But I wonder if I can just go up top, watch people jump off and see the views!

      At the Kawarau Bridge and The Ledge you definitely can go and just watch! (You’ll see The Ledge bungee if you go up the Skyline Gondola.) The only one you can’t go see for free is the Nevis.

    You are much, much braver than I will ever be! What cool experiences.

      Brave, or maybe a little crazy. 😉

    Girrrrrrrl, you cray! BUT, I think it’s super cool that you’ve done all 3 in Queenstown 🙂 I reckon I watched people jump at the Kawarau one back in ’06 but of course I didn’t partake (not much of an adrenaline junkie). When you eventually try skydiving, I’ll be interested to hear your comparison between that and bungeeing!

      I’m sure I’ll go skydiving eventually. But it’s sooooo expensive everywhere I’d want to do it. Haha. One day, though.

    Awesome pictures, Amanda! When I was in Queenstown I didn’t do any of the AJ Hackett bungies, but I knew I wanted to throw myself off something high (when in Queenstown, etc). My friends and I did the Shotover Canyon Swing (http://www.canyonswing.co.nz), which was absolutely amazing (and terrifying, at first – I was teary before my first jump, but the moment they reeled me back up I was yelling AGAIN AGAIN). Maybe next time I’ll try Kawarau Bridge, although I reckon having just the rope around your ankles would be much scarier than a full harness!

      Yeah, the ankle thing IS a bit more scary! But if you’ve done the Canyon Swing you can totally do a bungee! 🙂

    Amanda, I consider you a friend so don’t take this the wrong way

    but

    YOU ARE CRAZY! 😛

      Haha, no offense taken… I know I’m a little crazy!

    […] was “born” in Queenstown at the Kawarau Bridge in the 1980s. Today, the city has three different jumps — and you definitely should do at least one of […]

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