New Zealand

The World's Biggest Swing - Queenstown, New Zealand

by Chrisie of outdoormadness.co.uk on February 15, 2012

The World's Biggest Swing - Queenstown, New Zealand

We had seen many videos and photos of the Nevis Swing and it looked amazing. So we had to find out for ourselves whether or not this was true. We booked in at the station in Queenstown, their main booking centre and got ourselves all set and psyched to do the world’s largest swing.

Once booked in we waited while others did the same before they called everyone to the buses. It was a good set up with good relaxing areas with beanbags and big video screens where you can watch others do what we were about to do. Whether or not this made you relaxed, knowing what was coming, or made the anticipation greater, I enjoyed watching it nonetheless. There were also Apple Macs for you to use the Internet, log on to Facebook and let everyone at home know what you were about to go and do. There is also a gift and merchandise shop with a range of clothing and souvenirs to buy as a memento from your swing or jump.

I did not quite realise how many options AJ Hackett has for you to pick from. There is not only a choice between a bungy and a swing, but three different locations. You can choose to do the bungy at all three; they are all different heights and have different views for you to enjoy. There is also an option at The Ledge bungy to jump off any way you like, not only the standard head first, as they attach you differently allowing you more freedom of movement. For the swing you have a choice of two locations, one bigger than the other. We had a chance to do just one so we choose to do the biggest, the Nevis Swing.

The coach picked us up from the station where we checked in and took us to the various sites, those for the Kawarau Bridge Bungy got off firstFot and we even needed a quick change into another four-wheel drive bus for the last hill. The terrain around here is quite baron and desert like, with sandy-coloured rocks surrounding the massive gorge that we would be lobbing ourselves into over the crystal clear waters below. The swing has a 70m free fall from the launch pad, which is itself suspended 70m out along a walkway over the gorge, followed by a 300m arc of the swing, on a 120m rope. This all adds up to some serious air time and great fun. The bungy on site is 134m in the same canyon, off of another platform, something that I have definitely got my eye on for next time.

The staff double-checked our details and made sure they had our weights and all information correct. We had a chance to see some people jumping off the bungy before we walked out to start our own adventure. We walked out along the suspended walkway where you could not help but look down to the depths of the canyon below your feet. There were two people already getting kitted up by Shane and Pepps behind the barrier at the launch pad. I was quite happy to see them go first; test it and all that, you know! Although it was all absolutely fine. Watching the guys doing their job and being so thorough with everything; which you have to be in that line of work, as I myself am a climbing instructor and know a bit about safety and ropes. The guys definitely were reassuring to those who were nervous, and I felt happier to be stepping up next. You can choose what ride style to do, but with so many to choose from we did not know what to go for. We were doing a tandem jump and so Shane and Pepps convinced us the best way to do it was backwards and upside down.

We got our harnesses on, strapped up, clipped in and secured safely to the rig, side by side. We then got into position, hanging upside down facing back in towards Shane. Were we really prepared for what was about to happen? I hadn’t really had a lot of time to think about it. Well, here goes nothing. Shane was still talking to us and then mid-sentence he pushed the button and released us, whizzing through the air. We were plummeting head first into the swing, the rush was unreal. There were of course screams as we were released, as it was a bit of a surprise as I was not expecting it quite at that moment, but it all adds to the thrill of it, not quite knowing when it was going to happen. After the initial shock of it, you were able to enjoy the swing, being flung back and forth above the river underneath, far below the launch pad where we started from. At this point you could just turn yourself upright and appreciate the view from a different angle. We were buzzing! It was so much fun. We were winched back up to the launch pad and were disconnected from the system, but I definitely could have done it again and again, trying out different ways and positions.

We headed back inside and got to view our photos and the action replay as they caught it all on camera. You really did need to see it again as it all seemed to happen so quickly. From the video you really got a sense of perspective and saw the real size of the swing. I would love to do another one, maybe even a bungy next time. If you fancy trying one and are hitting Queenstown, be sure to check them out at www.bungy.co.nz.


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