This is a question I have been asking myself the whole time we have been travelling around New Zealand. The majority of towns in New Zealand are advertising a skydive. A jump over glaciers, near the tallest mountain in the country, over beautiful coast lines and at the adventure capital Queenstown. Many come to New Zealand to do their first skydive and their second, third and many after that for that matter.
Doing a skydive has always intrigued but terrified me but our chance to do one came on boxing day while we stayed in Wanaka. What an incredible experience it was and I would recommend it to ANYONE travelling in New Zealand (especially Wanaka) to do even if you are afraid of heights.
Seven top tips for those who are afraid of heights but want to do a skydive:
- Talk to locals: Before I decided to go ahead with the skydive I talked to a couple of locals about the company. I heard first hand from people within the area about the safety record of the skydiving company which was very reassuring!
- Find a skydive that has an epic view: I’m not a fan of heights or flying so getting in the small plane to take us to 12,000 feet was a daunting thought. However I spent the ascent looking at the incredible views surrounding Lake Wanaka. This included looking over towards New Zealand’s highest mountain (Mount Cook). Rather than getting freaked about the height I tried to enjoy these views.
- Don’t think about the point when you sit at the edge of the plane: This part of the skydive is insane however if it’s your first skydive you will be doing a tandem jump with an extremely experienced skydiving instructor. When you get up to the correct height for the jump the instructors work quickly to get everyone out of the plane. I was the fourth person to jump on our plane and it all happened so quickly that there’s no time to stress about the point you get to the edge of the plane.
- Trust your instructor: You will meet your instructor before you get on the plane. Ask them about their experience skydiving. My instructor has done over 6000 jumps and often did around 20 jumps a day which was reassuring to hear.
- Do your jump with friends: This is probably the only reason I actually got to experience a skydive. Because my friends were so enthusiastic about doing the jump I got a little carried away with them.
- Don’t pressure yourself: This was a huge one for me. Skydive Wanaka were really good and let us book the jump for me and my friends with the option for two of us to pull out if we wanted to. That might not seem like a good thing as it gives you the chance to back out of the jump but for me it meant I didn’t feel pressured into jumping because I had already paid the money. I did the jump because I wanted to.
- Enjoy it: This is the most important one. You may feel completely freaked and unable to breath properly during the free fall but you have just done something completely insane and trusted a complete stranger with your life. I got to view the tallest mountain range in New Zealand during my free fall upside down for a split second before we started hurtling to the ground. How many people can say they’ve done that?
Doing a skydive is awesome and as long as the company you go with has a good safety record then you are going to have an amazing experience.
Can I go again please??