Skydiving Wanaka

Trip Start Sep 20, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2011

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What I did

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

As we were driving towards Wanaka we passed the local airfield. A big sign for 'Skydive Wanaka' enticed us in and before I knew it I had signed up to do a 15,000 foot skydive on the next plane to go up! It was all so quick I really had no time to get nervous. Liz has skydived (skydove?) before and has since convinced herself that once is enough so I was on my own.

My tandem guy’s name was Eric, he’s from South Africa and he does this all around the world. He has my new favourite job. We walked out to the plane along with my camera guy Adriano and as we got onto the plane Eric said mind your head so I promptly bumped my head on the roof. The plane was even smaller than the one we took to Lukla and we all sat facing backwards straddling small benches down both sides of the plane. Only 1 person on the plane was jumping out at 12,000ft and everyone else like me was doing 15,000ft, but as I was the only one to go for the option with the camera guy with me I was going to be first out! At 12,000ft the door was opened and the first guy was gone. We looked high enough to me at this stage. Eric put an oxygen mask over my face as we climbed higher. We leveled out at 15,000ft and Adriano slid open the door and climbed out of the plane. He was hanging to the side as we shuffled to the edge. Bloody hell that’s a long way down. At least jumping out wasn’t my choice and with no time to admire the view Eric pulled my head back to the jump position and we were off. We tumbled in the air and Eric quickly got us going straight. The rush was incredible. The air was whipping past filling my mouth and nose. I totally forgot what I’d been told about body position and Eric kept having to pull my head back and kick my legs together but I was having none of it. As most people say you don’t notice the ground getting any closer but moving at 200kph you certainly feel the air move! 60 seconds freefall was over in no time and when the chute went up the silence was amazing, and so was the pain in my ears. It took a few seconds to equalise them and then I had a few minutes to take in the view. I was buzzing. I don’t even remember the landing and I ran over to Liz with the face of a maniac. Best rush ever.

That night we decided to chill out, I needed it and went to the Wanaka cinema to see Limitless. Not a bad film and the cinema was one of those cool arty ones where got to sit in a sofa and eat pizza during the film. Like being at home!

The next day we had booked to do jetboating on Lake Wanaka. Jet boating is apparently a Kiwi invention and uses a jet of water rather than propellers to both power and steer the boat. This makes them very fast and very manoeuvrable. They can do 360 degree spins almost on the spot and reach speeds of about 80kph. We were the only two people on the boat that morning and had a great spin across the lake and the up the river weaving in and out of rocks and flirting with the trees on the riverbank. We did spend most of the way back chatting to our driver about Nepal though so might have missed out on one or two spins!
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