Shotover Canyon Swing; the World’s Highest Cliff Jump

Shotover Canyon Swing; the World’s Highest Cliff Jump

There are a lot of #bungeejumping sites in #Queenstown, #NewZealand. I chose the Shotover Canyon #Swing as my adventure for bungeeing because of its reputation for safety and its dozens of jump styles to choose from. The jump masters' enthusiasm turned this #active and terrifying experience into something fun and exciting.


“1…2….3….”

Counting to three, I mentally brace myself for the jump and slowly push myself backwards with my toes. But just as I’m pivoted on the ledge, the jump master pulls me back up. He laughs at the expression on my face, but I’m too scared to laugh along. It’s not funny when you’re the one sitting on a chair, 109m (357 feet) above the ground, about to jump off into the unknown.

Considered the world’s highest cliff jump, this canyon swing will have me free falling for 60m (109 feet) and then swinging horizontally for 200m (656 feet) at 90 miles per hour across the river. I’m shaking in the cold air, wondering if I can really do this.

Considered the world’s highest cliff jump, this canyon swing will have me free falling for 60m

He tells me to push off again, so I repeat the same steps, counting from one to three and then pushing myself gently backwards. Again, he holds on to my rope and pulls me back up, but just as he looks away to chat with his mate, I feel his grip loosen and off I go, this time for real.

from  $215

Shotover Canyon Swing

Active
 Queenstown, New Zealand
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The world spins 360 degrees as I flip my way down the gorge, with nothing but a harness and a chair strapped to my body. I scream my lungs out during the free fall, but once the tumbling and turning stops, adrenaline kicks in and I’m overwhelmed by a gravity-defying sensation. 

“Wow. Just wow!” I feel as though I’m flying over the beautiful canyon.

Perched on the Ledge
Perched on the Ledge

This isn’t my first attempt; I’ve tried bungee jumping before – when I was 14 years old – but I knew I wanted to do it again in New Zealand, the birthplace of the commercial bungee jump. Here in Queenstown, there are no less than five bungee jumping sites (within a ten mile radius). I chose to do the Shotover canyon swing mainly because of the great reputation it has.

The company has a track record in safety and has won numerous awards, including the New Zealand Tourism Award 2008 in the adventure category and the Best Activity in NZ award at TNT Golden Backpack Awards. 

The company has a track record in safety and has won numerous awards

They’re also the only swing in New Zealand with more than 70 different jump styles to choose from (such as the chair, flips, handstand and many more).

Do I Look Terrified?
Do I Look Terrified?

It’s easy to see what sets this company apart from the rest. The jump masters, who are the core of the business, have an infectious enthusiasm which is complemented by their sense of humor. They are supportive, funny and professional at the same time, chatting with us the entire time to make sure we’re having fun and not stressing too much.

The jump masters, who are the core of the business, have an infectious enthusiasm

One of the jump masters wore a cheeky grin when he told us there was a problem with the motor right after the first person in our group did his jump, with that look on his face, we seriously thought he was joking! Apparently it was so cold in the morning that the motor had frozen, thankfully they managed to winch up my friend manually but he was shaking like a baby when he came up.

Despite the initial setback, our group had a terrific time doing the canyon swing with these folks thanks to their professionalism and sense of humor. 

If I ever get back to New Zealand, I know for sure I’m coming back here for another jump. Will you join me? 

Disclaimer: Special thanks to Shotover Canyon Swing and G Adventures for making this experience possible. However, all of the opinions expressed above are my own.

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