Day 44: The Adventure Capital of the World

What a day in Queenstown.

I set off first thing in the morning to climb Queenstown Hill. It’s about a 2 hour round trip with some pretty steep uphills. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this trip it’s that 500m is not as short as it sounds going up a huge hill. When I reached the summit the views were unreal but the cloud cover was actually quite low so I couldn’t see the tops of the big mountains.

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After my descent I skyped mom and dad and nearly put my mother into cardiac arrest when I told her my plans for the afternoon.

12:30 rolled around and it was time for me to get in the van that would take me to the skydive drop zone! I couldn’t let the adventure capital of the world pass me by without dabbling in some extreme activities. So the adrenalin junkie inside me signed up to jump out of a plane from 12,000 ft.

It was about a 20 minute drive to the drop zone, where you are taken through a very methodical prep process. It’s quite the operation really–they jump over 200 people a day on a good day–and a gold mine at that. First you got your dive suit, the closest I will ever look to an astronaut. Second you got harnessed up and got a quick briefing on everything you need to know to jump (not much). Then you met your instructor and your photographer who interviewed you pre-departure. Before I knew it, I was walking to the plane that I would eventually jump from. It was about a 10 minute ascent in a small plane with about 12 other people. The views on the flight up were nothing short of spectacular.

I was seated near the door of the plan so I knew I would be one of the first to jump. We reached 12,000 ft and one tandem headed off the jumps and my instructor and I were up. It all happens very quickly without much time to get too nervous or even think about backing out. It’s was kind of just “alright, we’re up”, you inch towards the edge of the plane, hang your legs over the side and wait for your instructor to take the leap of faith. 45 seconds of exhilarating free fall with literally the most amazing views you could ever get. By the time 45 secs rolls around you’re like “so how bout that parachute” as you near the ground, and right on cue, you’re jerked upwards for a moment of calm before continuing your descent. The ride to the ground from that point is pretty damn relaxing relatively speaking and also filled with relief. Before long, I was back on the ground and ready to go again if only my bank account would permit.

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Overall, unreallllll. Couldn’t be happier I crossed this off my bucket list in such a beautiful place. Oh and if you’re wondering how they got such great pics, there was a photographer assigned specifically to me that actually jumps beside you with a go pro on his head for video as well as a fancy canon for pictures.

I didn’t want to eat before my jump so by the time I got back to town I was pretty hungry. I decided to hit up the infamous Ferg Burger for a massive and delicious juicy burger. This place and it’s sister bakery have lines almost all the time and are open 6am to 4:30am–that’s right they close for only 1.5 hrs to clean every day!

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After I went for a little walk around town, sat on the beach for a while, and then walked through the Queenstown gardens.

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Being the crazy person that I am, I decided the weather was so nice now that I couldn’t pass up a chance to take in the views from Queenstown Hill with clear skies. So back up I went.

The views really were worth the immobility and absolute exhaustion!

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