SB: Always wanted to do one and where better to do it but over the largest lake in NZ and one of the most beautiful areas (oh, and it just so happens to be the cheapest place in the country to do it!). Didn't really think about doing it too much so didn't get nervous, and before I knew it we were there getting briefed
. Decided to go all out and go for 15,000ft along with DVD and photos. Had expected some sort of safety talk but just given the equipment to put on and was assured my tandom guy would sort things on the way up. Flight up took quite a while so just tried to talk in the views as my guide gave me a few words of wisdom. 2 other guys got out at 12,000ft (wimps!!) and then we had to put oxygen masks on (!!) to go up to 15,000ft. The door opened and my camera lady climbed out, and through no force of my own I was pushed to the edge and perched there to dangle my legs. A quick wave to the camera (ever the showman) and we were off. We somehow backflipped in to our freefall position - one of the most intense rushes ever. Then had to perform for the camera (sure I'll always regret doing the prompts she was giving me - strongman pose, etc), then he sent us into a rapid spin. One of the best things ever and all I could do was laugh/scream/swear (although no one can hear you!). The freefall was just over 60 secs but felt much longer. Opened the chute at 5,000ft and actually got a chance to take in just what I'd done and admire the great views on such a clear day. Felt so weird just dangling there thousands of feet above civilisation.
Absolutely nailed the landing which I was dead chuffed about, then got to re-live it all again watching the edited DVD with the 3 guys I did it with (one of them doing something on camera I'm sure he'll regret in later years). Embarrassing poses and I'm sure I'll bore you all to death with it at some point in the future, but deffo the best thing I've done on the travels so far (prepare for that to become some sort of catchphrase).
KT: So I watched from below (as I've already done a skydive) and ended up photographing every parachute in the air until I finally saw Steve.
Next stop National Park for the Tongariro Crossing - 6-8 hour walk!
KT: The weather has been pretty amazing since leaving Auckland and it's really amazing to see all of the scenery in the summertime as opposed to winter when I was last here. We stopped at the Huka Falls on the way down to Taupo and were totally amazed. The colour of the water gorgeous, so many different shades of blue. There was so much water and we watched the jetboat going towards the falls which looked like great fun. From here we headed to our hostel - Rainbow Lodge and ended up having to treat ourselves to a double room as all the dorms were full. Steve also booked his skydive but I',m sure he'll tell you more about this.