Jump Off a Bridge? Why Not!

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If you’ve been following my adventures for awhile, you’re probably not at all surprised that the first thing on my list of things to do in New Zealand was bungy. I’ve gone skydiving in the Pyrenees, dropped 100 feet into a black hole in Waitomo, dove with sharks (multiple times), thought I was going to die canyoning in the deepest ravine in Switzerland—of course I was going to bungy. You don’t exactly go the land of its origin and not partake, you know? I mean, you wouldn’t visit New Orleans without sampling deep fried alligator, would you?

So I had breakfast with the lovely owners of Point View Lodge and made my way over to Taupo Bungy. I was surprised that I didn’t have to book a jump in advance or, I don’t know, UNDERGO A FULL MENTAL EXAM or something, but I showed up, said I’d like to fling myself 154 feet off a platform, and they said OK.

(Nice butt shot.)(You’re welcome.) I don’t normally think I’m afraid of heights until I reach the edge. Then my heart starts to flutter, my stomach leaps into my esophagus, and I try to, sometimes unsuccessfully, continue to act like the nonchalant bad ass I aspire to be am. I walked right out there, they put a big rubber band around my feet, gave me a brief tutorial, and it was time to go. Just like that. Nothing to it.

I had wanted to do a water touch, but I guess they either hadn’t adjusted my elasticity accordingly, or else I didn’t jump hard enough, but I got about two feet from the surface before I bounced back up. I’d say what makes bungying scarier than, say, skydiving is that you’re hauling yourself over the edge head first. With just a rubber band around your feet to stop you from plummeting to your death. It can be a bit disconcerting.

Then, they lowered me all the way to the water to let me down. Maybe 30 seconds had passed since I jumped, and it was a total of 15 minutes between the time I checked in until I hiked back to the top. By far the quickest adventure activity you’ll ever try.

The funniest part is I didn’t realize they were filming—I guess maybe there was a microphone somewhere on my bungy?—because I maybe accidentally flashed the lucky poor boat drivers below more of my midriff than they cared to see and, out of being uncomfortable, started cracking jokes about how normally they’d be paying me for that, not the other way around. Um yeah, all on camera.

New Zealand Bungy Jump from krysleigh on Vimeo.

(Also, please note the widescreen filming of this video makes it look like I packed on 30 pounds while island-hopping in the South Pacific. I did not, I ensure you. Rather, I’m saving that small feat for this weekend’s return to NYC.)

As I continue to cross off more and more items on the old Bucket List, I wonder: Will the day come when I simply run out? Nah. Until I conquer Nevis, I’d say I’m still going strong. And oh, I will conquer Nevis, just you wait. Because if anything beats bungying, it’s bungying from a cable wire in the middle of one of the country’s deepest canyons. Now that would be one worth writing home about.

**All photos and video courtesty of Taupo Bungy, who were kind enough to mail me a DVD after my first one didn’t work. Great guys!

  • April 26, 2009

    Those Kiwi’s know how to do it.. And so do you my dear. YEAH!!!

    Seriously though? I’m going to have to launch my ass into SPACE to keep up with you

  • April 27, 2009

    Um yeah no thanks. This is why I don’t harass you about taking your job- I’m not cut out for it!

  • April 27, 2009

    You are the bad ass chick! No, no, no I didn’t mean the ass shot. Seriously, you rock!

  • April 27, 2009

    Good Lord, I saw the flickr pictures before this popped up in my Reader. I think I just broke out in hives.

  • April 27, 2009

    There is no way on God’s green Earth that I will ever bungy.

    Or eat fried alligator.

    I’ll leave that up to experts such as yourself.

  • April 27, 2009

    The idea of hurling my ass through space with rubber bands on my ankles freaks me out. But I can’t get rid of the idea that if you’re going to be going to a crazy places and REALLY experience everything, sometimes you’ve got to throw your ass off a platform.
    I’m going to need a push.

  • April 27, 2009

    That looks awesome. I would do it in a heartbeat, but my heart would be making indentations in my chest from pounding so hard. Hope the weather is as for your trip to the City as it was this past weekend! Absolutely gorgeous!

  • April 27, 2009

    Well, its a good thing you asked how you were going to get back up because how awkward would it have been just dangling there and not really knowing what was going to happen next?

  • April 27, 2009

    I remember watching people jump at that exact spot! I sat on a bench, drank my coffee, and thought “OH, HELL NO.”

  • April 27, 2009

    Oh man. Brave, so very brave. I felt kind of queasy watching that.

    BUT – they did a great job with the video…love the tunes!

  • April 27, 2009

    I would do this in a heartbeat. That would probably stun a few people who know me because I’m sort of an incessant worrier, but when it comes to adventures like this, I’m game. And heights just don’t scare me. All that much 🙂

  • April 27, 2009

    wow, this is pretty awesome! you seemed so calm and collected throughout the whole thing. i would have been screaming profanities the whole way down 🙂 way to go!

  • April 27, 2009

    wow. wow. wow.
    oh. my. wow.

    i could

  • April 27, 2009

    note to self – tuck i shirt while bungee jumping!

    long term plans include new zealand next year and you bet your ass i’ll be bungee jumping even if it is the one splurge on my whole trip!

  • April 27, 2009

    I have ALWAYS wanted to do this, but I do wonder if I would chicken out at the last minute. Do they have some kind of service where you can pay extra for them to push you off the platform? I would need that…

  • April 27, 2009

    I was totally all gung-ho about bungee jumping when we went to Ecuador — UNTIL we were cycling through the countryside and found a place where we could do it. Suddenly all my bravado vanished and I ran away from that harness almost as quickly as Sean ran TOWARDS it. I don’t think he jumped from nearly the height that you did, but I about peed my pants just watching him do it. So yeah, I don’t think I’m jumping-off-a-bridge material after all.

    (Also, I love the gleeful little scream you give when you jump! It’s like a delighted little chuckle.)

  • April 27, 2009

    ahhhhh I can’t believe you did this?!?!?!
    My tummy was all fluttery watching it! You are so brave lady, so very very brave!

  • April 27, 2009

    Oh My God, girl, you’re my hero. I was getting nervous just watching it! I’ve cliff dived before, but that was pre-kids, now I’ve turned into a sissy. Rollercoasters were my passion and now I think twice before I get in one. And they misspelled your name, haha.
    I’m living through you!

  • April 27, 2009

    What an awesome adventure! (Even if it did involve a little flashing).

  • April 27, 2009

    I almost did Nevis – but chickened out and did Kawarau Bridge instead (the first commercial bungy site!). I’m definitely going back someday to do Nevis. Some of my friends did it and loved it.

  • April 27, 2009

    I cried and threw up just watching that video.
    You are fearless! I, am not.

  • April 27, 2009

    Looks like heart stopping fun. But I’d rather jump out of an airplane. Love your adventurous spirit.

  • April 27, 2009

    It’s funny, I’ve skydived and done other adventure-y stuff but have always been so anti-bungy jumping. It just seems so… whiplashey and terrifying. Ah. Those pictures are insanity. Glad you’re still alive, lol.

  • April 28, 2009

    It looks like you had a lot of fun. Enjoyed looking at the pictures, and the video was the icing on the cake. 🙂

  • April 28, 2009

    Eeek, watching the video made me so nervous for you! I’m not afraid of heights at all, but the idea of launching yourself into the air like that freaks me out! But it did look like you had an awesome time!

    There was a small bungee set up at the agricultural show I used to work at, and one time a poor woman got up to the platform and then completely freaked out, clinging hands and feet to the barrier and refusing to jump. After about 15 mins of trying to get her to jump or go back down, the bungee guy just removed the rope and pushed her off!!! Ever since watching that I have put bungee jumping on the ‘not for me’ list!

  • April 28, 2009

    I tried to (tandem) hang glide over Neuschwanstein but as soon as I got to the top of the mountain it started HAILING. 🙁 I’ve never had the opportunity to jump off anything that cool again. It looks like fun!!! (Oh, and I totally squinted while watching that video just to TRY and see anything they should’ve paid you for but nope, nothing. I mean, unless like you said they’re accustomed to paying for a little midriff!)

  • April 28, 2009

    Um, no thank you. A thousand times no thank you.

    I wouldn’t eat fried alligator in New Orleans either. But I would drink my weight in Hurricanes. 🙂

  • April 28, 2009

    This is priceless….you should be paid big for this post…I love that you bungeed in pink pants!!!

  • April 28, 2009

    I want to say I can’t believe you did that, but you’ve swam with sharks so that would be a lie.

    That is so awesome!

  • April 28, 2009

    omg, fried alligator. and BBQ shrimp. and crawfish etouffee. damn, now I’m homesick and hungry.

    mmm, bread pudding.

  • April 29, 2009

    Oh my goodness! You are one brave cookie. I’d be worried that I would upchuck on the way down. Loved this post

  • April 29, 2009

    That’s so cool! Thanks for sharing. I like that shot when you’re almost touching the water.

  • April 30, 2009

    I got heart palpitations just looking at that – it may be me, but I just don’t trust rubber bands that much. The ones I use at home snap way too often for me to consider putting my life in their hands. But kudos to taking the big leap!

  • May 2, 2009

    I bungee jumped a few years ago in Whistler – not anywhere near as high as this jump, but heartstopping nonetheless. And I would just like to express my sincere admiration and also utter confusion over the fact that you just jumped off when they told you to. Took me 5 minutes to work up the guts, and seriously, 5 minutes is a LOOOOONG TIME to be standing there going “Ok. Breathe. Ok, I can do it this time. 3… 2… 1… no wait no wait no wait. I’m not ready yet.”

    The video of me freaking out was pretty funny though!

  • May 5, 2009

    Thank you for sharing. Awesome photos! Your account of the event inspirers me to try it sometime.


  • August 5, 2009

    Nice post — this really hits home for me.

  • February 9, 2010

    Are you interested in sharing some of your NZ or Australia blog posts for a travel app? This is a paid opportunity. It is time sensitive though, so please get in touch for more details as soon as possible. Thank you!


  • March 6, 2010
    Haidang N

    AMAZING VIDEO. Cant wait for my turn! : ) We are such natural KIWIS. KL, are you an air element? What is your zodiac? haha

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  • February 19, 2017

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