Naked Bungee Jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand

NAKED Bungee Jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand

Stepping onto the ledge, looking down beyond my naked body, a yellow raft eagerly awaited my descent. 43 meters below, the Kawarau River glared back at me, seemingly taunting my nerves. I wore only a pair of socks and my New Balance trainers; the towel had been removed from my waist, baring all, and a lengthy bungee cord had been attached to my ankles.

No turning back now.

I did not experience the fear and distress I had been anticipating for over a year. I was enthused! This was to be my first bungee jump and the lovely staff at AJ Hackett had somehow talked me into jumping nude. “Better get your soldier angry!” Regan exclaimed. “No, maybe just a bit annoyed!” It was far too cold on this winter morning to attempt to show off.

“Look over there!” the other man on the ledge shouted as the camera man clicked the shutter. Shoot. I forgot this was being recorded.

Bungy Jumping Naked

Awww yeahhh.

The three second countdown passed far too quickly and, as the word “jump” departed his lips, I spread my arms and fell forward in a beautifully orchestrated swan dive. As the surface of the water plummeted towards my face I found myself reaching! I wasn’t scared. I wanted more! I was thrilled, disoriented and in complete and utter shock. I did it, and I loved it!

As I swung from the rope I screamed in exhilaration, intoxicated by the adrenaline. The man in the raft, who had now maneuvered his way underneath me, looked at me and said “mate, you better cover that thing up!”

Fair play.

I was lowered into the vessel, brought back to shore, and brazenly begun my ‘walk of shame’ to the front desk where Kate was holding my clothes hostage. Men, women and children stared at me in horror as I ran past, covered by nothing but my own two hands. This was supposed to be a family show! Too late for that.

Naked Bungy Jump

The “oh sh*t moment.”

I retrieved my clothes, dressed, and sighed with relief. As I stepped into the foyer I was greeted with a DVD of my jump and a number of very unflattering photos. I tucked them away and joined the rest of the group outside as a spectator.

Whew.

I had not known what to expect on my first bungee jump, but the staff at AJ Hackett, namely Myriam and Regan, the leaders of our group, had instilled excitement and a sense of calm into most. Others still wavered, fearing the jump, imagining what would surely become their demise. Everybody at AJ Hackett was obviously well-versed in relaxation techniques as a number of people in our group needed some cautious reassurance. It was well received and everybody completed their jump.

Naked Bungee Jump

I was clenching…

The Nevis Bungee

134 meters above the Nevis River, a small “room” is held in suspension by a set of cables attached to the cliff’s edge on either side of the river. The Nevis Bungee, at 134 meters (440 feet), seemed far higher than I had originally imagined, but I was filled with vivacity. Of course, as I approached the ledge, I second, third and fourth-guessed myself. This is the second highest commercial bungee jump in the world! Being the risk-taker that I am (some just call me stupid!), and after a few deep breaths, I jumped with minimal hesitation. It occurred to me that the longer I were to stand there, the more I would frighten myself.

Who cares anyway? This is what living is all about!

The eight second freefall felt like an eternity at the time yet, upon its completion, felt like it was over in less than that.

The Nevis Bungy Jump

Jumping from 134 meters.

The Nevis isn’t so much about fun as it is conquering one’s fears and overcoming self-doubt. Don’t get me wrong–it’s definitely fun. But the other jumps are a bit more lively and feel a bit less serious. One member of our group, though able to jump the Kawarau Bridge that morning, could not force herself to take the plunge. It’s all personal preference, though, and if you can’t do it, you can’t do it. Nobody’s making you. For me, though, the Nevis was an exhilarating experience; it was a once in a lifetime materialization of panic, anxiety, veneration and reprieve.

Bungy Jumping in New Zealand

Here we go!

The Nevis Swing

After lunch we walked our way across the bridge to AJ Hackett’s latest creation–the Nevis Swing (a.k.a. Nevis Arc). This here is the highest swing in the world, sitting level with the mountain-tops at 300 meters above the river. As some hip-hop mash-ups played in the background, one very excited man and one hysterical woman clipped themselves in.

The interesting bit about the swing, which makes it far more attractive to those less willing, is the release mechanism. Rather than jumping by one’s own volition, a staff member (or devious friend) can press the button, dropping you 70 meters before transitioning into the swing portion of the fall.

The man on the ledge reached out to the woman and cried “oh wait, I forgot to clip your harness!” At this very second, he also pressed the big green button, instantly dropping the couple out of my sight. I tried to locate their position within the massive valley but I was unable to find them. It’s just that big.

Next to “drop” was myself and Roy, a friend in need of some convincing to harness ourselves upside-down and backwards. A few one-liners and a couple jabs at his masculinity unhurriedly reshaped his stance and we suited-up, locked in to the mechanism and let our hands go.

“Woah.”

Sitting down hardly seems natural for 160 meters in the air. Roy struggled with a wedgie as we positioned ourselves upside down. Even with a three-second countdown, it’s impossible to know the exact moment when that button will get pressed, hurling you into a 300 meter arc. The anticipation after the word “one” is massive. And then…

The Nevis Swing

High.

Blood rushed to my head as I was hit with numerous G-forces, hitting speeds of up to 150km/h. The ground came closer and I swear we just barely brushed it. As we hit the apex of the swing we relaxed, waited for the calm and flipped ourselves upright. Number three: check. And knackered.

With one jump left, though, the day isn’t quite over. The Skyline Gondola, on the way to the top of Queenstown Hill, is furnished with incredible views of Queenstown from 400 meters above it.

One jump to go.

The Ledge Bungee

This bungee jump, at a comfortable 47 meter drop, gives the more experienced an option to jump freestyle. Fall from a handstand, ride a bike off the edge or do any sort of flip you might be able to muster. I chose the latter and went for the gainer!

As the man unclipped my harness from the safety line he looked at me and reassuringly asserted, “commit, then jump.” And that’s exactly what I did.

Backflip off the Ledge

Running backflip (a.k.a. The Gainer)

What this man failed to realize, though, is that in just three words, he had just encapsulated the entire day. The whole experience was about commitment. Commitment to oneself, to overcoming fears, to letting go of everything we once knew and creating a new perception of ourselves.

These are the moments that change you.

Bungy Jumping Over Queenstown

Bungee Jumping Over Queenstown, New Zealand.


READ NEXT: Sailing and Kayaking the Abel Tasman National Park


If you liked this article, please share!




, , ,

49 Responses to Naked Bungee Jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand

  1. Matt August 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    One word: Wow.

    Fair play mate, fair play!

    • Jeremy August 31, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      It was definitely a “wow” experience! Heck of a day.

  2. Amanda August 31, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

    WOW. What a day!! 3 jumps within 12 hours? That’s impressive, my friend.

    Even more impressive that you had the guts to do the first one naked! !!! I can only imagine the looks on the faces of those random strangers watching you. Hahaha. They sure got a show that morning!

    Completely agree with you about the Nevis, too – it’s more about conquering the fear than the fun of the jump. But it was amazing. I’m so glad I did it.

    One question though – did AJ Hackett add those nice smiley faces, or was that your doing? Lol.

    • Jeremy September 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

      Four, in fact! Well, one was more of a fall than a jump. The good thing about those random strangers, though? They’re random strangers!

      And as for the smiley faces…that was my doing. Believe me–photoshopping my naked body was not the first thing on my agenda.

  3. Nicole September 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    That’s mad! Good to see you had fun though.

    Nice smiley faces 😉 haha.

    • Jeremy September 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

      Such a good time! One of these days you’ll have to give it a go. Glad you like the smiley faces. It’s probably an improvement 😉

  4. Pia & Kris September 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

    OMFG! That was really crazy, buddy! Hahaha you gave a whole new meaning to doing it with style! 🙂

    So, which jump did you enjoy the most? We did all except for the nevis, looked really scary so we’ll save it for next year! 🙂

    You’re the man, Jeremy! For real, these are the moments that change us.

    • Jeremy September 7, 2011 at 12:38 am #

      LOL style is just what I do! The Nevis was awesome but I loved jumping The Ledge because, at that point in the day, all fear had vanished and they let us jump freestyle. A running backflip was the perfect end to the day. Next time you’re out this way be sure to jump The Nevis! And do the Swing as well. Both so cool in very different ways.

  5. karen @ Trans-Americas Journey September 18, 2011 at 6:10 am #

    Terrifying–with or without clothes!

    • Jeremy September 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      But so much fun! 🙂

  6. Audrey September 20, 2011 at 8:24 am #

    Hahaha! That’s one way to do it!!!!! You’ll certainly never forget that bungy-jump!

    • Jeremy September 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm #

      Never! Such a good experience!

  7. Gerard ~ GQ trippin September 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    This is definitely on my to-do list. Maybe not naked though. 🙂
    Did you also get to try the Nevis Arc swing?

    • Jeremy September 22, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

      Sure did! There’s a paragraph in there about the Arc. What a rush!

  8. NLM October 6, 2011 at 6:39 am #

    Found you thanks to A Dangerous Business. I’m afraid to bungy, but I’ll try to think of something else to do naked, lol.

    • Jeremy October 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

      I’ll thank Amanda personally! There are lots of things you could do naked. I’m not sure I’m the appropriate authority to advise you on what, though 🙂

  9. Lauren October 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    Aaagghh the Nevis. I didn’t enjoy one second of the experience, but I don’t regret doing it! You put it well – it was all about conquering fear.

    • Jeremy October 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

      I totally loved it, although I can see why someone might not! Lots of fears were conquered that day. It was brilliant!

  10. Kerri January 12, 2012 at 5:09 am #

    Wow, fair play! I’ve done a sky dive from 14,500ft uet I’m really not sure I could bring myself to do a bungy jump, let alone 4 in one day! Super awesome photos though 🙂

    • Jeremy January 12, 2012 at 10:51 am #

      Yeah, they’re completely different experiences! Skydiving has the wow factor, bungy jumping brings the thrill. If you’re feeling particularly restless, I say give it a go!

  11. Beverley July 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    You. Are. CRAZY!!

    Love it, glad you had fun – thanks for the smiley faces haha!

    • Jeremy July 10, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

      I had my audience in mind 😛

  12. Adam July 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Wow very cool! I just did my first naked event as well, haha – but not nearly as adventurous.

    • Jeremy July 10, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

      Dare I ask what it was??

  13. Kim March 2, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    is it expensive?

    • Jeremy Foster March 3, 2013 at 12:18 am #

      A little, but it’s worth it! This is the stuff good stories are made of!

  14. Katharine Horgan April 22, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    This article inspired me to to do the Nevis Bungy three times, Twice in my underwear (warm up) and then one naked, twice on the Nevis swing in my underwear, topless on the ledge bungy and the ledge swing. Potentially I took being naked in Queenstown a bit too far. But I had an amazing time, so no regrets! People always want to hear about it and see the photos too, so great conversation starter.

    • Jeremy Foster April 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      That is incredible! I think everybody needs a bit of naked time (which tends to happen a lot in Queenstown, anyway) so I fully support your naked adventures! I hope your photos are way awesome and not nearly as embarrassing as mine!

  15. Chanel | Cultural Xplorer July 10, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    First: nice bum.

    Second: This looks like it was a lot of fun. Haven’t done my first jump yet (the only time I was very close to one was in Macau – the highest in the world I believe – and I was not ready to start there). After looking at this post though I definitely want to do it sometime soon.

  16. Tiana July 16, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    I am completely amazed and amused 🙂 You are officially my hero!

    • Jeremy Foster July 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      Yes! You’re up next! 😉

      • Tiana July 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

        I think I might need a bit of persuading haha

  17. John @ GoodPlanetLiving September 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    Discovered you thanks to A Risky Company. I’m scared to bungy, but I’ll try to think of something else to do nude.

  18. Stacey @ OneTavelsFar October 20, 2014 at 5:52 am #

    Love it! Did the bridge a couple of years ago, and I’ve been planning to do the Nevis next time I’m home. You’ve sold me on the swing as well though!

  19. Morgan Sullivan November 6, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Just looking at the photos fills me with dread :O But it also looks awesome! I’ve never been, but I think I’m going to eventually. You’re 100% right though, you just have to commit and then jump.. Very cool post 🙂

  20. Ryan Biddulph September 11, 2015 at 10:42 am #

    Imagining a whiplash sound Jeremy LOL! Looks like a blast dude!

    Ryan

  21. Ron's Adventure Travels September 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    Well that was a heck of a post – I guess naked bungee jumping is next on my list now! hahaha

  22. Emily Michelle April 9, 2016 at 11:12 pm #

    This is awesome! I’m headed to New Zealand in September and I want to naked bungee jump so bad! Are you allowed to just ask when you go to do it?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 20 Killer Photos of New Zealand - October 29, 2013

    […] That’s me, bungy jumping over Queenstown. Queenstown is considered to be the adventure capital of the world. From skydiving, jetboating, paragliding and heli-skiing, the adrenaline junky deep inside of you is going to get a kick out of this place. […]

  2. Two Years on the Road: A Summation - May 30, 2014

    […] some incredible things (by my own standards). I’ve been skydiving off the coast of Australia, bungy jumping (naked) in the canyons of New Zealand, and white-water rafting down rigorous Queensland […]

  3. Travel Blogger Tell All - travelFREAK - December 14, 2014

    […] went bungy jumping naked in New Zealand! Does that count? I also recently broke into an abandoned sky scraper in Bangkok, […]

  4. TWIPPER OF THE WEEK | TWIP Corp. - June 29, 2015

    […] people. That being said, I also love adventure and extreme sports, so you can often find me jumping off of bridges (naked!) in New Zealand, hiking volcanoes in Ecuador, soaring through the air in Laos, or trekking through mountains in […]

  5. The Highest Bungee Jump in the World - Macau, China - September 5, 2015

    […] Apparently, my reputation precedes me. […]

Leave a Reply

Thanks for sharing! Now don't forget to like and follow!