Braced for the days madness we got an early start and moved our van to another more central campsite which was better in every way aside from being slightly more expensive. I was feeling gutted – the weather was pretty poor and that’s just not what you want when you’re doing something as momentous and long awaited as we were doing. We made our way to the office and hopped on the bus out to the Nevis Bungee site where upon arrival we were greeted by a welcome sight – blue sky! Forty minutes out of town and the weather was fine! Result!
The Nevis Bungee is famed as one of the highest in the world – I’ve just found at least 5 higher with a quick glance at Google but it’s still pretty high at 134 metres. As this was the highest option we had it was first on the day’s list and in no time at all we were kitted out and riding the cable car out to the platform suspended high above the canyon floor. It’s a hell of a setting for simulating your own death-by-fall and a damn sight better than a pub car park in northern England off a landlord’s mates crane (this option never appealed to me).
A fella before me had a GoPro camera strapped to his forehead so once he’d returned from his own death-defying fall I asked if I could borrow it for my own leap to which he sportingly agreed. As it turned out Fi was chosen to take her leap first and bravely stepped out onto the edge after being triple-checked and connected to the long stretchy rubber band that would prevent her from connecting with the floor below. The rest is history as the photos in the accompanying Thoughts of a Flowertot… article show,
When the time came for my turn as Linkin Park blasted over the speakers I had both the headcam and our own tough camera strapped to my wrist. Adrenalin fuelled and ready I did my best Lara Croft swan and leapt out over the canyon.
YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS.
Amazing; one of the single best things I’ve ever done in terms of fun and rush. It was one of the kind of standout moments you want to feel and experience.
High as kites we rolled over to the Nevis swing platform. This is apparently the world’s biggest swing so naturally we decided to do it upside down and facing the valley floor. While in no way as big a rush as the bungee it was still a lot of fun and worthwhile doing while you’re in the swing of things…
We bought the whole package of videos and photos while we were high on the experience and don’t regret it; this was a real standout experience for me and to have a few snaps of it is a great way to remember. We caught the bus back into town and grabbed a bit of lunch before heading to our scheduled last activity of the day – the Ledge bungee over Queenstown. While nowhere near as high the view is incredible and the big difference here is that your feet aren’t tied – the bungee cord is attached at the waist. This gives a whole different feel to the experience and you’re actively encouraged to do what you want and be as crazy as you want when executing your exit over the edge.
Long considered there was only one way to go for me – the Stallone Cliffhanger leap. Few know this leap (I’m sure My Fry will) and it was incorrectly but understandably identified by the fella who hooked me up as the “Prince of Persia burning building leap” but could just have easily been referred to as the Matrix “That’s impossible!” or some sort of Incredible Hulk leap – no matter; it was a big crazy leap out into nothingness and I was well up for it. After the hookup I went as far back as I could and then bolted as fast as I could to the edge of the platform before leaping as long and as far as I could arms flailing out into the open air forward and falling, falling, falling…twang – there’s the cord – awesome.
Fi followed with a brave dash of her own and I managed to get into position to film her from a viewing platform. Both bursting at the seams with adrenalin we grabbed more photos and videos and made our way back down the mountain. It’s hard to say whether the Nevis or the ledge topped it – the former was bigger and the first I’d ever done but the latter gave you a whole different level of control and thus allowed you to screw with your head by taking a running a leap into the air while all your instincts freak out. It doesn’t matter – we did both and enjoyed both.
After cleaning up we set about celebrating our mad day of adventure by visiting a world famous restaurant for their legendary cuisine – FERGBURGER. I have insufficient superlatives to accurately relay how incredible this burger was. Even writing this I’m salivating. Washed down with a beer it was then on to an Ice Bar (of which there are now apparently two) for a few drinks. I’d been under the impression that this was just a come and go as you please place that just happened to be bloody freezing and filled with ice sculptures but it’s actually quite a controlled affair where you queue up for sittings, are kitted out in heavy duty togs and spend 30 minutes in a freezer drinking cocktails. It’s still cool – the ice sculptures are there and indeed the whole bar and even the ‘glasses’ are made of ice but it’s just different from what I was expecting.
A final ale in a nice nearby bar by the fire to warm up saw our day and our time in Queenstown draw to a close ahead of our planned break in Lake Wanaka the next day.