You thought you’d heard the last of my amazing trip to New Zealand, huh? Well, you thought wrong! There’s one final adventure I failed to rehash, perhaps because it took me until now to replay it in my mind, it scared the bejeezus out of me so. I only had 24 hours in Auckland, you see, which turned out to be enough actually, plus reader Katherine had sent me a list of great things to cover in her city in one short day. That said, I got up early to tackle one thing that’s practically a must for all travelers passing through New Zealand’s grand capital: the Sky Tower.
Yes, that building hovering above the rest of the skyline by a good 200 feet is the one I’m about to circumnavigate.
There are three options for visiting the tower: 1) You can take the Willy Wonka-style glass elevator to the top and simply observe the other idiots paying an arm and a leg to tempt fate (which you still have to pay for), 2) You can do the Sky Walk, in which you’re harnessed in and walk the perimeter of the tower, 3) You can actually jump off of it, freefall-style. I chose 2, as my friend Joao has been trying to coerce me on his trip to Macau for the past year and a half, and Macau boasts the tallest Sky Jump in the world. So I figured I wouldn’t press my luck twice in one year and chose to get my feet wet by merely walking it this time around. Which still proved to be jarring nonetheless.
But first thing’s first: I had to get outfitted in this snazzy little number, complete with snow-white Keds-like footwear, because my running shoes were not deemed safe enough.
Then, it was time to take the elevator to the top, at which point they didn’t waste anytime ushering our group out to the rail-less platform and harnessing us in. It took all I had to baby step my way out onto the walkway, the pounding in my chest only accentuated by the fact that the metal platform was grated, meaning you could see the concrete ground 1,076 feet below. Truth be told, I’m getting anxious just reliving the moment.
I never really thought I was scared of heights, but after this experience, I’m now 157 percent certain that I am. As our snarky Kiwi guide gave us the interactive history of Auckland on our walkabout, she’d routinely stop and decide it was time to have a little fun. This “fun” as she called it involved high-risk tricks like dangling over the edge, hoping our feet didn’t slip and that the harness was as secure as we were told it was. I nearly didn’t join in on the activities, but when the two older women who were probably twice my age did it like it was no big deal, I couldn’t be the wuss who stayed behind. I’m a lot of things, but competitive tops the list.
Besides, y’all know I’d do anything for a good photo.
If it looks like I’m totally fearless here and couldn’t care less that I’m dangling off a 1,000-foot freefall, well then, let’s just say sometimes I’m a really good actress. I was TERRIFIED. But now this official stamp of approval hangs from my wall reminding me of my Oscar-worthy performance, so you know, totally worth risking my life for, of course.