Since I was young, I always seek for adrenaline rush and I love to go to theme parks and try the scariest attractions, up till now I still think the roller-coaster in Mt. Fuji Theme Park is the most terrifying! Last year when I was in Nepal, I did paragliding as well as bungy jump and swing. Paragliding is nothing…just flying in circles in the sky for half an hour with a parachute and a pilot, the view is wonderful though. Bungy jump and swing are similar thing, depending on whether your head or legs go down first. I found that Bungy is the scariest as I have nothing to hold on in my hands, and I initiate the jump, it really takes a huge amount of COURAGE and DETERMINATION. I did see people retreat in the last minute…
I dream about doing skydiving around 10 years ago, it did happen in my dreams a couple of times! Today is a DREAM COMES TRUE. As I compare the price around the world, America gets some very good deals; Europe and Australia are both more expensive except some place in Italy and Spain; New Zealand is in between. Besides you have to choose the location, tourist places like Queenstown and Wanaka in South Island are more costly. TAUPO has a reasonable price (for 12,000 feet alone is around 250 NZD, with video and photos is around 400 NZD). I know it is expensive, almost twice the amount I spend on food since I start this trip, but I just WANNA do it…
There are 2-3 skydiving places in Taupo. If you do a booking online, you get a little discount.Or if you combine it with Bungy jump or swing, you get a Combo price. Anyway, I book the 5:30pm session for me to have enough time to ride from Turangi to Taupo. Arriving at 11am, I have a half day to be spent in Taupo, visiting the museum and library, sitting by the shore. One thing worth mentioning here, when I am sitting by the shore, I start to eat my biscuits, suddenly a couple sitting next to me offer me a box of their leftover rice and sauce! I am so impressed and accepted their gift! Thanks Almighty God to feed me while I am hungry! However, you gotta be cautious as well, a few bad people may offer you drinks or food with added “drugs”! That couple doesn’t seem bad and they are traveling too. I pray and thank God and eat it!
Pedal to Taupo Airport, I am getting more and more excited. Reaching the place, sign some papers and I am ready. Since I see other people writing some statement on their hands to be shown in the camera while you are freefalling, I do the same and write “Thanks God” and “World is so pretty” on my arms and palms. Then the staffs guide participants to wear “uniform” and attach to our tandem master. Ready? Get on the plane!
Together we are in a group of 4 brave first-time skydivers, with another 4 tandem master and 2 cameramen. The plane takes around 20 mins to reach 12,000 feet (3657m), almost the height of Mt. Cook in South Island, the highest point in New Zealand! Finally I can see briefly the 3 volcanoes I missed yesterday, they are all below me now! I am the first one to jump, a bit scary when they open the plane door and we approach the exit. But I don’t like the tandem master turning my head to take that stupid “exit photo” (which cost extra $25, I don’t buy it because I look being forced). “Head back and legs bend backwards, like a banana” the master says.
Then actually he pushes me to leave the plane (that’s why I said Bungy jump is scarier), and we are both falling through the sky! The first 2-3 seconds the world is upside down, then the master maintain a steady freefall position for the cameraman to capture my “awkward distorted facial expression”. I feel like I am floating in the middle of air for 45 seconds, with strong up-blowing air hitting my face, you cannot even breathe.
A little tips: If you want your video and photos be well presented, OPEN YOUR MOUTH! It will feel like “Wow”, you probably don’t want to be seen like this:
After the master opens the parachute, it takes around 5-10 mins to reach the ground. My master actually let me control the movement of parachute for a while. As least I can help him to do this routine 20 times per day. Choosing skydiving as a career could be amazing, if you want to jump off the plane more than a thousand times per year! Each time you are holding one passenger’s life in your hand, there is no rooms to make any mistake!
After I edit the video I will upload and share with you! Skydiving is not scary at all, amazing experience to worth trying at least once in your life!
As there are some problems editing my video at the center, and I wait 2 hours for that. The staff gives me a free hoody as a gift. It is totally dark on the way back to Taupo, just find a place to camp and continue dreaming about today’s adventure!
Turangi to Taupo 53.1km