The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done

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While you might not exactly call me a “daredevil,” there's no denying that I do have a healthy appetite for adrenaline. There's a reason that I have been bungy jumping three times and why I have things like “swimming with sharks” on my bucket list. I like the rush. I like the challenge. And, I'll admit, you do automatically gain some cool points when you throw yourself off a bridge or out of a plane.

But just because I enjoy things like zip-lining and whitewater rafting doesn't mean that I'm totally immune to the fear that often goes along with these activities.

In fact, despite having done it twice before, I think it's safe to say that my third bungy jump was the scariest thing I have ever done.

Nevis Highwire Bungy, Queenstown, New Zealand

It was back in May, during my Blog4NZ trip around New Zealand. I was in Queenstown, the little southern resort town where adrenaline junkies like me go to get their fix. I love Queenstown. For being as small as it is, it certainly packs a punch — and that punch includes a ton of crazy adventure sports, from jetboating to skydiving to bungy jumping.

I've bungy jumped before in Queenstown — off the 43-meter-high Kawarau Bridge, which is where modern bungy jumping was “invented” by A.J. Hackett back in the 1980s. I've also been bungy jumping in Taupo, where a 48-meter-high platform offers up the country's tallest water-touch.

Taupo Bungy
Going for the water touch in Taupo!

But kiwis — especially the adventurous ones — are constantly looking for ways to up the ante; to outdo their own craziness.

A.J. Hackett, not content to have invented one of the world's more ridiculous sports and be operating in locations all over the world, dreamt up the Nevis Highwire Bungy.

The Nevis Bungy

The Nevis Bungy, located in the stunning Nevis Canyon, is the mother of all bungy jumps. With a 35-minute backcountry 4×4 ride necessary to just get to the jump site, this is not a jump for the faint of heart.

And did I mention the cable car required to get you out to the “jump pod?”

Nevis Bungy, Queenstown, New Zealand

Or how about the fact that this jump is 134 meters high??

That's 440 feet. That's more than 40 stories. That's 3 times taller than the Statue of Liberty.

Terrifying, right?

Nevis Bungy, Queenstown, New Zealand
I may not look scared, but I was terrified.

I'm still not quite sure how I talked myself into doing it. But it probably had something to do with the fact that I had a free pass for both the Nevis Bungy and the Nevis Arc (a giant swing) as part of my Blog4NZ prize. Bungy jumping is NOT cheap, so to be able to do something like this for free was simply too good to pass up.

But that doesn't mean that I didn't have to psyche myself up for 2 days before even going to book my jump…

After that, there was no backing out. Was I nervous on the ride out to the canyon? You bet. Was I scared riding in the cable car out to the jump pod? Absolutely. And do I still get butterflies looking at my bungy photos or watching my jump video? Umm, hell yes.

But, once I was out in that pod and having my gear put on, I became strangely calm. This was just another challenge that I was going to overcome, and I knew I could do it.

Nevis Highwire Bungy, Queenstown, New Zealand
I cope with fear by acting silly…

And, even though I seriously thought I might die as I penguin-waddled my way to the edge of the jump platform, I jumped obediently on the count of 3.

Nevis Bungy

Even though I've been bungy jumping before, nothing could have prepared me for the Nevis rush. Falling 134 meters is insane. You're going so fast that the breath is literally knocked out of you — I jumped screaming, but that scream was caught in my throat after about a second. Not to scare you, but I've heard of people actually blacking out on this jump because of the intense head-rush.

Nevis Bungy, Queenstown, New Zealand

Oh, and did I mention that, unlike at other bungy sites where you are lowered head-first into a boat after your jump, at the Nevis you are reeled back up to the jump platform? Because you are. Which means, unless you want to be dangling upsidedown for 2 minutes, you have to release your feet from the bungy cord…

… That's right, you have to pull on a cord as you're dangling bottoms-up in a canyon that releases your feet so that you end up in a sitting position in your bungy harness.

Somehow, though, I survived. Actually, everyone who's conquered their fear at the Nevis has survived.

Nevis Bungy, Queenstown, New Zealand
I'm alive!

The Nevis Swing

So what did I do to celebrate? I went over to another platform, where I hung myself upsidedown in a giant swing harness 160 meters above the Nevis River and was launched in a 300-meter arc in the world's largest swing.

Nevis Arc

The Nevis Swing is unlike any other swing you've ever been on!

Fun? YES. It would have been even more fun if I'd had someone to swing with me. Then we could have gone tandem in a compromising position like “Honeymoon” or “69” (yeah, use your imagination on that one…).

Nevis Arc

So, bottom line, would I recommend these Nevis adventure sports to others? Absolutely. But be warned that it might be the scariest thing you will ever do.

Nevis Canyon

And now for the videos! (Excuse the extremely low quality… I literally had to MacGyver these things in order to upload them. But you get the idea.)

Nevis Bungy:

Nevis Swing:

READ NEXT: Completing the Bungee Jumping Trifecta in Queenstown

So what do you think? Would you try the Nevis Bungy or Arc?



Disclaimer: I received a free pass for both the Nevis Bungy and Nevis Arc, care of A.J.Hackett, as part of my Blog4NZ prize package. But as always, all opinions are my own.

"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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108 Comments on “The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done

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  1. I read this article and the comments few days ago before trying the bungy at Nevis. I saw that no one comes back to tell how their experience was. I hope it will be helpful for others.
    For me was the best I ever done this days. I love it. It is totally scarry the moment when you need to jump. Literally I wanted to cancel it on my last 50 centimeters. I was all prepared, but looking around,scared me really badly. But the guy from the crew was like “lets seat nice and slow in the position, do some photos for friends and familly and after if you can’t make it just you don’t. I will be the whole time keeping you from the back. Now I will start counting. At 3 you should jump, but it is entirely your decision. If you cannot make it no one will gonna push you.”
    At 3 I just jumped. I am happy that I did it. The fall is crazy amazing. You feel like flying. I don’t try to advertise it, but if you are into adrenaline just go for it.
    I have done before skydiving in tandem, but there you are like a spectator. The other person does everything for you, you just stay nice and look around. Here instead need “to grab your heart with your teeth” and jump.
    I have always been afraid of the moment when the cord ends and you go for the second fall (when seeing others ), but I felt just a slow touch on my legs – most probably due to the adrenaline.
    Another think that I was afraid was not to have any consecuences after. I have been totally fine after, even if I am quite a big girl ( I am really fat, that is also why I was first in my group to jump).
    Carpe diem! ?

      Glad to hear you had a great experience! It’s such a rush and definitely not for everyone, but you definitely feel on top of the world if you go through with it!

    Holy crap girl you are out of your mind! LOL

    I realize this is an old blog post but I just came across your site about a week ago and can’t stop reading everything. I could never ever do this, not even for free. Although I wish I was an adrenaline junkie because I know I’m missing out on a lot of fun.

      Haha I love stuff like this! I do have weird fears when it comes to certain adventure activities (like, jumping into deep water terrifies me), but I love the adrenaline! (And I’ve been bungee jumping three additional time for not-free!)

    I just booked Nevis bungy, wish me luck hahaha!! love your post!!

      Good luck, Paola! It’s an adventure you’ll never forget!

    Hey, I loved reading your post! Well-written as always 🙂

    Im heading over to Queenstown soon, and I’m weighing up doing either the nevis swing/shotover canyon swing OR a bungee jump (either nevis or somewhere else). Which would you recommend in terms of fun adrenalin, value for money, overall, etc?

      Hmmm I would actually suggest keeping your eye on a website called – you can find last-minute discounts on EVERYthing there, and especially for activities in Queenstown. I got a great deal on the Ledge bungee last time I was there! I would definitely recommend a bungee jump since it was invented in Queenstown and is definitely an adrenaline rush!

    Dude i take hat off to u i fight meatheads bout 3 times a week but that takes so much more bolloxs than wot i do i need to try this,if u get in touch with me via email or facebook my name is Sean walker i willl be in ur debt cheers mate hope u reply

    […] tribes have been jumping off high structures with vines tied around their ankles for decades, bungy jumping in its current form began in New Zealand in the 1980s. AJ Hackett designed the elastic bungy cord, […]

    We’re planning to do this bungee jump during our visit to Queenstown in a few weeks. I’m already terrified! Props to you for having done it! I think I’ll be shaking too hard to pull the “foot cord”. Is it difficult? I’m slightly afraid that I’ll unhook the wrong thing and go pummeling back towards the ground. Yipes!

      It’s really not that hard – and don’t worry, you can’t pull the wrong thing! I hope you have an awesome time!!

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