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…
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…
My question to you is:
Which one would you do?
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?
*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:
…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!
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