When it comes to adventure sports, Queenstown is “the” place to be in New Zealand. BUT, that doesn't mean that you can't do crazy stuff elsewhere in the country — after all, this is the birthplace of crazy pursuits like bungee jumping and jetboating.
If you're looking for an adrenaline rush on the North Island, look no further than the SkyWalk and SkyJump in Auckland.
The Auckland Sky Tower, standing 328 meters (1,076 feet), is the tallest building in the Auckland skyline. In fact, for a long time it was the tallest building in the southern hemisphere.
You can take the glass-bottomed elevator up to the 60th floor for 360-degree views out over the city of Auckland, and even eat in a revolving restaurant on the 52nd floor.
But if you're looking for a rush, staying inside just won't cut it. How about a walk around the 53rd floor of the tower? Or a jump off of it? Well, good news: you can do both!
I began my adventure in the sky with the SkyWalk, a 45-minute(ish) walk around the Sky Tower on a 1.5-meter-wide outdoor platform 192 meters (630 feet) above the ground. The walk is incredibly safe (you go through a ton of safety checks before you even get in the elevator), but it's definitely not for the faint of heart.
Outfitted with harnesses and safety ropes, our group slowly made its way around the outside of the Sky Tower. Along the way, our guide pointed out different parts of Auckland, as well as set us different “challenges.” Hanging over the edge of the platform backwards and forwards; walking without looking down; walking backwards.
Some of these WERE indeed challenges — it's amazing how much scarier things get when you're a few hundred feet up in the air.
Totally worth it, though, since you can't do something like this everywhere.
After getting used to the height, it was time to get closer to the ground — by jumping off the tower, of course!
The SkyJump is unique in that it's NOT a bungee jump — it's actually a guided fall to make sure you make it safely to the ground without, you know, being blown into the tower by the wind. This means that there's not as much free fall as a bungee jump, but that doesn't mean it's not scary!
After being weighed (eww, I know) and suited/harnessed up, I took my position at the end of the jump platform, GoPro strapped to my wrist. I leaned out as far as possible, so the actual “jump” was less of jump and more of a giving in to gravity.
Fun factor, though? VERY high. If you need a rush, this will definitely give it to you.
So which was better?
To be honest, both of these things are so different (and so unique) that it's tough for me to choose a favorite. Why not just do what I did, and try both??[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”640px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ] IF YOU GO…
Look and Leap Package – $290 NZD ($230 USD). This is what I did: the SkyWalk AND the SkyJump. Afterwards, you get a free pass up to the observation deck of the Sky Tower, too, which is a nice bonus.
If you want photos/video, too, it's an additional $80 NZD.[/dropshadowbox]
Would YOU attempt either of these in Auckland?
*Big thanks to SkyWalk/SkyJump for sponsoring my walk/jump and providing me with most of the photos and video in this post, too! As always, all opinions are my own.