440 Foot Bungy vs. 394 Foot Swing: Which One Would You Do? Nevis Bungy & Swing, New Zealand

Picture these two scenarios:

1. You’re on a platform suspended in the middle of a canyon. You have your ankles secured with only a very long rope holding onto you. You mini-step walk your way over to the edge and look down, deep into a canyon at least 50 or 60 stories deep…

Trying to look brave but absolutely terrified!

2. You’re fastened into a harness on the platform in a seated position, your feet still touching the platform. Once secured, the harness is lifted over the edge and you’re suspended with your feet dangling over nothing but air. You look down into the canyon, which is also several hundred feet to the bottom…

Putting on our fake smiles to hide our fears and regrets

My question to you is:

Which one would you do?

If you’ve kept up with our previous posts in New Zealand, we kept things pretty low-key to start our trip with lunch at the Skyline Queenstown and relaxing at the Onsen Hot Pools.

That all changed when we were in Queenstown and walked into a shop looking for some activities. One activity that caught our eyes was the Nevis Swing; it was not just a giant swing racing across a canyon at free-fall speeds but the Nevis Swing touted the title of being the world’s longest swing! Though it sounded really cool, there was a little bit of apprehension between us, so we didn’t book initially. After some discussion, we decided to go for it and the next day, we booked a date with destiny (maybe not that, but it felt like it)! As for myself, Nevis also had a combo deal for its swing and Bungy. I’ve previously bungee jumped at about 100 feet, so I thought I’d just add Nevis Bungy like it was no biggie. Oh, how badly I misjudged the difference between the two jumps…

On the day of our bungee and swing, we went to the AJ Hackett Bungy Centre and boarded a bus with a group of other jumpers and swingers. A bus is mandatory because the site is on private land and only authorized vehicles are allowed access. It’s about a 40-minute ride there and during that time, Mat was starting to get nervous about the swing, asking if we can back out of it. Well, we had already paid for it so it was not much a choice to consider. Surely, I had some nerves building up too, right?

Whatever nerves I had, I was sleeping them off!

*Side note: AJ Hackett was the person that opened the world’s first commercial bungee jump in 1988 at the Kawarau Bridge, New Zealand, which still operates today. He has also made jumps from various famous structures and helped give popularity to the activity and now has expanded his operations all over the world.

Remember when I mentioned thinking was no biggie booking the Nevis Bungy? Well, after getting our bungee straps and going over the instructions, we headed out towards the platform for the jump…yeah, the one that’s suspended in the middle of the canyon:


Remember when I also mentioned that I had previously bungee jumped from 100 feet? Well, this jump was 134 meters or 440 feet, over 4 times longer than my first jump! Currently, it is the 3rd longest bungee in the world! Plus, we were watching a previous group of jumpers going before us and that drop looked really REALLY deep. Cue the “Holy Sh*t” face below.


At this point, my nerves were starting getting to me. I could feel my heart racing and my legs turning to jello. The seemingly very slow gondola ride to the platform made it even more excruciating; all around was the view of how deep canyon was and our group had to absorb that in the whole ride there. I really didn’t think it could get worse from there. Guess what? I was wrong again!

How does it get worse? When you’re picked to be the very first jumper of the group…and sure enough, THAT WAS ME! AAAAAAHHH!!!

Though I was woefully unprepared to assume the role of “First Jumper,” I did my best to put on a brave face in front of everyone. Once seated and having my final straps secured, I mini-stepped my way to the edge of the jump platform and took a look down. I won’t lie, that drop looked scary as sh*t and my stomach dropped probably just as fast as I was about to! I took a couple of deep breaths and gathered myself before taking one last look at the camera:

And then…

…3, 2, 1, JUMP!!!

The first half second felt like slow motion like I was flying for a split moment but the rest of the fall was a total blur and an incredible rush! I barely remember the fall since it was so fast! After the rope stretched its longest, it recoiled back up about half of the original height and then dropped back down again pretty quickly. After a few recoils, the rope finally settled and I was pulled back up. Once back on the platform, gushing with adrenaline, I took one quick look back down and I knew I was beaming with what I had just done. With excitement flowing throughout my body, I was eager to take on the next challenge!

Here’s a clip on how far this drop was:

Next up on the agenda: GIANT SWING!

Having already successfully bungeed at 440 feet, I felt pretty prepared and confident on taking on the giant swing. After all, the swing was only 120 meters or 394 feet. Still, that made the swing the longest swing in the world, so it’s still very impressive in its own right.

Mat on the other hand, was pretty petrified at the thought of the giant swing through the canyon after watching the bungee. She kept trying to find any way to back out of it, which I was not about to let her do. We just had to approach this with baby steps. The first thing we had to do was get to the platform for the swing.

It looked a bit daunting to walk across a suspended bridge to a suspended platform but it was easy enough. However, once inside the platform, some of those nerves returned because we were watching people do this:

That’s…just nuts…!! This time, we were not the first to go but that may have been a bad thing. There were at least 5 pairs ahead of us and each pair that went up with their screaming only compounded the fears that Mat was already having. Watching some of these swingers up close, even I have to admit that it still looked pretty scary!

Finally, our number was called. Even as we were getting strapped in, Mat was making her last desperate plea to get out of it but the organizers reassured her that she was going to have fun. It calmed her nerves just enough to sit down and prepare herself. Once we got seated, our swing was pulled over the edge, leaving us suspended over the canyon. When I looked down, my stomach had the same dropping feeling as the bungee. Mat did the wise thing and kept looking up. We took one last look at the camera before our countdown:

…3, 2, 1!!! *Release*

Here’s our clip recorded from our camera:

Another clip from the Nevis cameras:

When the harness is released, you feel like you’re floating before gravity takes over and quickly does its job. From that point, we quickly picked up speed and raced into the canyon at 75 mph! Our bodies temporarily were horizontal as we fell, making me look straight down at the canyon while Mat had her eyes closed for part of it! The wind whistled past our ears while the adrenaline was pumping through our bodies. By the end of the swing, Mat was all smiles and clearly had a blast, evening wanting to do it again! The whole experience was such a thrill and a great time and we’d definitely do it again at Nevis.

So, how can you get in all of this action?

  • Visit the Bungy website for the Nevis Bungy & Swing and other locations, as well as making reservations: http://www.bungy.co.nz/
  • Where: For Nevis Bungy & Swing, you’ll go to the “Station Building” at Corner of Shotover &
    Camp Streets. You’ll see large signs “BUNGY & SWING”
  • Price: Nevis Swing Adult – $195 NZD (single), $175 NZD (tandem); Bungy – $275 NZD pp. You can also find combo pricing and early booking discounts on their website
  • When: The first bus departs at 8:40 AM and every 40 minutes after that. Check-in is 30 minutes prior to departure.
  • Other information: If you’re doing a Bungy & Swing combo, the whole thing takes about 2-2.5 hours on site (not including round-trip time, not sure if the time is the same for individual activities). Just bring some water as you wait. If you want to take your camera during the jump or swing, be sure it is securely fastened. Photos and video are also available for purchase, as shown above.

The Nevis Bungy & Swing was an amazing experience and I highly encourage anyone to give it a try. Is there one that’s easier to do over the other? That’s hard to say, though I think I saw more people more comfortable trying out the swing first. Either one you pick, or both, there is no wrong choice. They are extremely fun and are absolutely worth doing in New Zealand.

So, would you do the Nevis Bungy & Swing? Give us a Pin and let us know which one you would do or both!





Relaxation at the Onsen Hot Pools, Queenstown, New Zealand

As we mentioned in our previous post in Queenstown, New Zealand, it is a place with a full spectrum of activities, from relaxing to the most thrilling. We keep it on the chill side of things at the Onsen Hot Pools Retreat & Spa before plunging (literally and figuratively) to the extreme.

Be sure to read up on Skyline, Queenstown for the best views in town! 

“Onsen” is a Japanese word meaning hot spring and traditional bathing facilities can be found all over Japan. The Onsen Hot Pools bring a little of that Japanese tradition to New Zealand. Located only 10 minutes from downtown Queenstown, you can either drive there or take a complimentary shuttle from the town. It’s best to book this activity in advance since many time slots, especially the evening ones, get filled up quickly. We got a little lucky and were able to book the day before for an afternoon time slot! We opted for the basic price for two people at $95 NZD, added some fruit soda and paid for towels at our arrival. You can also get various packages that either includes snacks, beverages or adding a massage.

Onsen Hot Pools Lobby/Entrance

On the day of your reservation, it is advised in the email to arrive 15 minutes before your appointment time to ensure a smooth check-in process. When we arrived at the facilities, we were greeted by the very friendly staff that walked us to our bath and explained our timeframe. Basically, we had an hour to enjoy the spa would be notified with 10 minutes remaining when our time was expiring.

The bath is an indoor/outdoor combination wooden design. At the edge of the room is the bath, which has a great view of the mountains. There is a glass-paneled window that mechanically retracts, so you can bring it down to keep the bath enclosed or bring it up to open it up. We kept it open the whole time to enjoy the view and slight breeze that blew in. There is also a button that streams cold water from above into the bath if the water gets too hot. The water is treated with UV rays instead of chemicals like chlorine but don’t worry; it’s completely safe for you and better for the environment! If you book in the evening, you have the option for the Onsen by Light package, which allows you to see the sunset or stars and have lanterns create illuminate the bath for an extra romantic experience. You definitely would have to book this one in advance.

The staff left us to the privacy of our room after explaining everything to us. Once we changed into our swimwear, we dipped into the bath and just relaxed. The water temperature was very nice and we turned on the jets in the tub. Whenever the water felt too hot, we could add the cold water, although I just liked pushing the button and watching the water drop in. 😂

While sipping on our sodas, it gave us a chance to enjoy ourselves and not have to worry about anything, although we didn’t have that much to worry about as we were celebrating our honeymoon anyway! It just felt nice to soak in the peacefulness of our surroundings in a comfortable bath. We enjoyed the mountain view and the river where we could see the occasional speedboats pass by.

When we received our 10-minute notification that our time was about to expire, we lamented how it felt like the time just whizzed right by. For us, one hour seemed a bit too short but for others, it may seem like a perfect amount of time. We wished we could have had more time but we felt really refreshed and our skin felt great! It was a very lovely experience that we’d recommend to visitors and next time, we’ll try booking the evening time slot so we can watch the sunset or the stars with the lanterns.

Is the Onsen Hot Pools a place you’d go for relaxation? If so, you can visit their website: http://www.onsen.co.nz/ and give us a Pin! Let us know your favorite hot springs, pools, or bathhouses that you’ve been to:



Skyline Queenstown, Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar, New Zealand

When I first visited Queenstown in New Zealand back in 2011, it was peaceful, not very crowded, and very easy to get around. There was no such thing as traffic, I had a thousand parking spots to choose from, it was practically barren! With sparse crowds in the streets and shopping alleys, it was a very relaxed, simple and leisurely visit that I fully enjoyed.

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, NZ circa 2011

Fast forward to 2017 and that visit became a distant memory, though not necessarily in a bad way, although there was actual traffic and there were more people in one restaurant than an entire street compared to my last visit. But New Zealand’s tourism has exploded in the past few years and with the influx of tourists also meant needing to add a variety of new activities. Believe me, Queenstown has done that and more; whether you’re looking for a relaxing activity to the most thrilling, this town will have more than enough options to choose from.

We kept it pretty mellow for our first couple of activities. Our first attraction we went to check out was the Skyline Queenstown, which is pretty much a must-do activity within the city. You take a gondola up 450 meters with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape up to the top of Bob’s Peak. Tickets for just the gondola will run you around $27 USD for adults and $15 for children. There are also packages available that will drive down the overall cost.

Riding the gondola with panoramic views!

Once at the top, you are greeted with spectacular views of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu and all the way out towards the Remarkables mountain range and the surrounding landscapes. There’s also a surprisingly good variety of activities to do, including bungee jumping, paragliding, riding a luge, mountain biking, Kiwi Haka, and hiking. You just have to check the hours for certain activities on the Queenstown Skyline website and make reservations ahead of time. I will admit, watching people paragliding and getting a bird’s-eye view of Queenstown looked really cool.

However, we did not do any of those activities! So fun, right? Actually, we were coming off our wedding planning and wedding day so we were just wanting to relax a bit. Instead, we chose to have lunch at the Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar, which is a really nice place to dine. The restaurant has nice modern touches and very clean and organized. And wherever you are in the restaurant, with its floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure, there’s a view of the entire landscape.

When making the reservation, we noted that it was our honeymoon in hopes of getting a window seat and did they come through! We got seated in the corner of the restaurant, which gave us a high degree of panoramic views. Even if we weren’t eating here, we could enjoy this spot just for these views of Queenstown.

The Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar is a buffet-style dining experience. It cost us about $50 USD each for lunch, which includes the ride of the gondola, so it’s really only $23. It’s more expensive for the dinner, presumably because there’s a wider selection to choose from and probably for the evening ambiance. There’s still a good selection of food for lunch, including a salad bar, Asian-inspired dishes, sushi and seafood, a plethora of dessert options to choose from, and a complimentary beverage.

The food was not bad but could’ve been better. The Asian-inspired foods were clearly to cater towards Asian tourists but they weren’t anything like the traditional cooking of Asian foods and were fairly disappointing. The other options like the pasta, rotisserie, salad bar were far better options. The dessert bar was clearly the best of all and will easily satisfy the sweetest of sweet tooths. For the price and the experience, it is still pretty worth it, especially for the views that you can get that’s unlike many other places.

Regardless of what activity you’re looking for, Skyline Queenstown is a good place to start. You can easily spend a good half-day there with the numerous activities that they offer or enjoy a romantic dinner at the restaurants. At the very least, it’s probably the best place in Queenstown to soak in views of the stunning landscape.

Give us a pin if you liked this post and let us know what restaurants had your favorite views: