Our AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Queenstown

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We found ourselves in the adventure capital of the world: Queenstown, New Zealand. What is their best known and most adventurous activity? Bungy jumping! We already went on a jet boat ride with Shotover Jet, and Brecht had a booking to go flyboarding. I was like: “Isn’t that enough adventure?”, but Brecht was determined to do the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy. How could we leave Queenstown without jumping?

Here’s everything you need to know about the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy in Queenstown.

The AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Queenstown – practical

The AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy is the world’s first commercial bungy jump, launched in 1988, so it’s safe to say that thousands have already jumped off the historic Kawarau Bridge.

Selfie with the Kawarau BridgeSelfie with the Kawarau Bridge

Whether you will be jumping solo or in tandem, it will cost you NZ$195 per person. It’s cheaper when you’re a New Zealand student, a family (2 adults + 2 children), or between 10 and 14 years old, but unfortunatelly we didn’t fit any of those categories. This price includes: the jump (duh), a jumper T-shirt, a jumper certificate, and most importantly: lifelong bragging rights. That’s what we do this for, right?

You can’t really take any pictures yourself during the bungy jump, but no worries. After jumping, you can watch (and buy) a video and some photos of your jump to go with your bragging rights. There are several options, but we went with the video and photo package we could download online, costing us NZ$80. Convenient when you don’t plan on going home for another few months and you decided to pack light.

The first Commercial Bungy JumpThe first Commercial Bungy Jump

It’s a 20-25 minute drive to get from Queenstown to the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Centre. We were crossing New Zealand in a campervan, but if you aren’t, you can make use of the free shuttle busses. Check out their website for more information.

In order to do this 43 meter bungy jump, just book a time slot through the Kawarau Bungy website. They ask to be there at least 15 minutes beforehand, to “get through security”. They’ll weigh you, ask about any health problems, you know the drill. You’ll still have time to store your valuables in a locker and visit the toilet real quick. After that it’s a short walk to the middle of the Kawarau Bridge, where a team of bungy professionals is waiting to strap you in, after another weight check. Ready to jump?

Our AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Queenstown

While driving to the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Centre, I still wasn’t sure if I would jump. 43 meters is pretty high. And only a cord to keep you from hitting the ground (or bottom of the Kawarau River in this case)? I don’t know. So we arrived in this huge hall, filled with life-size photos of people jumping, a shop with bungy jump merchandise and other random stuff, a reception area, a photo viewing area, and lots of (soon-to-be) jumpers. I was pretty impressed already.

We headed down to the reception area to “check in”. They weighed us, we had to fill in a questionnaire about our health, and sign a waiver. Our hands got marked with some numbers, and we were all set. A quick nervous pit stop and we were on our way to the middle of the Kawarau Bridge. Oh God, what have I done?!

Don't Look DownDon't Look Down
Standing at the EdgeStanding at the Edge

We passed a bunch of people standing at the viewing platform. They were obviously only there to watch us daredevils jump, not taking any risks themselves. Maybe I should go stand with them? Nope, we were going to do this. Together. In tandem.

We reached the jumping platform, where two young guys were waiting to get us ready to jump. They weighed us again (in case you did a number 2 in between?) and asked if we wanted to touch the Kawarau River. “Nope!” “Yes!” We said in unison. They decided to try and let us touch the water if we stretched our arms.

Our legs (all 4 of them) were tied together and we had to shuffle to the edge of the jumping platform. This was the worst part. “Just a little more.” they kept saying. While we stood there shuffling, the radio was playing the Martin Garrix song “Don’t look doooohoohoohoown”. Pretty fitting, right?

We leaned forward and there we went! It was AWESOME! I immediately regretted keeping my eyes closed during the jump. Brecht tried touching the water but missed by a couple of centimeters. We both wanted a second chance, but it was a little too expensive to have another jump.

There we goThere we go
Made it!Made it!

It was over before I even realised we really jumped. There we were, hanging upside down from a bungy cord, 43 meters below the Kawarau Bridge, a couple of meters above the the Kawarau River, recovering from an adrenaline high. A couple of guys pulled us into a small boat and brought us to the shore. Still a little shaky we climbed the stairs up to the AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Centre to relive our tandem jump through the video and photos. We bought them, received our unisex T-shirts and jumping certificates, and hung around outside for a while to watch some other people jump. It sure was a day to remember!

Why go with AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Queenstown?

There are several bungy jumps in Queenstown. There’s New Zealand’s highest bungy jump, the Nevis Bungy (AJ Hackett as well), and the world’s first commercial bungy, the Kawarau Bridge Bungy. Apart from that they have ziprides and a swing as well. Check out the AJ Hackett Bungy website for more information.

We opted for the Kawarau Bridge Bungy, because it’s the only one that offers a tandem jump. With a height of “only” 43 meters, it’s a tad less epic than the 134 meter high Nevis Bungy. But hey, it was our first time and 43 meters looks pretty high when you’re standing at the edge of the jumping platform! When jumping from the Kawarau Bridge, you have the stunningly blue water of the Kawarau River beneath you, and the beautiful autumn colours surrounding it. It’s an awesome view to be jumping towards. Bonus: stunning photos!

Kawarau Bridge Tandem JumpKawarau Bridge Tandem Jump

Bungy jumping is the most popular adventure activity in New Zealand, but it’s a tad dangerous as well. You’re putting all your faith in a cord that has to keep you from jumping to your death, so you want to be sure it’s safe. Well, AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Queenstown has been awarded an “S” mark for exceptional safety and quality assurance. They have over 27 years of experience, with more than 1 million jumps (their oldest jumper was 91 years old!) and swings. So no need to worry.

It was an awesome experience and we would certainly do it again! The people at AJ Hackett were really friendly and helpful, especially the guys at the jumping platform. Tip: don’t close your eyes while jumping, you’ll regret it! The video and photos are pretty expensive, but we would recommend buying them anyway. YOLO, guys! Don’t you want physical proof to go with your bragging rights?

Well, what are you waiting for? Go get that adrenaline high!


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