I’m constantly trying to defy gravity from flying trapeze to aerobatic gliding to paragliding and skydiving, amongst various other adventure activities. Bungy jumping is no exception! After having successfully completed the highest bungy bridge jump in the world, I knew that I wanted to jump off the original bungy bridge at AJ Hackett’s in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Back in 1987, inspired by the vine-jumpers in Vanuatu, AJ Hackett worked to create the world’s first bungy jump. To make a statement and prove that it could be trusted, he illegally jumped off the Eiffel Tower and, in turn, created the world’s first bungy. Ever since, bungying has been sought out by us adventure seekers worldwide.
On November 12, 1988, AJ Hackett opened the World’s First Commercial Bungy Jump at Kawarau Bridge in hopes that skepticism would be tossed aside and that people would learn to enjoy throwing themselves off a bridge.
Well, I surely did. After an incredible morning helicoptering over Mt. Cook, we rushed down to AJ Hackett’s for my 4pm check-in time. The check-in process was easy as could be, and before I knew it, I was on the bridge ready to bungy. I wasn’t at all worried about the 43m bungy…that is, until they had me go backwards. As soon as the operators found out that I’ve jumped Bloukran’s Bridge, they highly urged me to jump off in a different position. Next thing I knew, I was jumping off a bridge. Backwards. Now that was an incredible combination of scary and thrilling all in one. Take a look!
AJ Hackett’s does offer a water touch, but unfortunately, I was too light to even come close.
Once complete, you’re lowered into a boat and dropped off at the river bank.
After walking uphill a bit, we re-entered the main building to view my photos and videos, and grab my jumper certificate and free T-shirt. I was so impressed with the quality of their multimedia package! They managed to capture my experience perfectly and pieced it together in seconds. I was surprised at just how huge AJ Hackett’s building is – equipped with a souvenir shop, café, and “Liquid Courage Bar” (which is just brilliantly named). This place was well set-up for every traveler, and plays the best music too!
Interested in the whole process? Watch my bungy video below!
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**Special thanks to AJ Hackett and Air New Zealand for sponsoring our journey. As always, all opinions are my own. Photographs taken by AJ Hacketts and David M Gallo Photography.