I left the vivid colours of Autumn behind me and headed for the distinctly chillier climes of the South Island. I did attempt to acclimatise myself beforehand though with a visit to Minus 5 Ice Bar in Auckland but there was no need to worry. The temperature had climbed to zero by the time we landed in Queenstown. I love being able to see the mountains so I was always going to love it here. Flying in this morning over the Southern Alps was really nice but I was stuck in an aisle seat with a snap-happy Japanese girl obstructing my view out of the window.
Once we landed at Queenstown I hired a car – smaller this time and manual transmission which took some getting used to. It’s no Zeus but maybe could be one of the lesser gods.
Having found a voucher in my welcome brochure for 30% off a massage I set off into town but somehow ended up in the parachute jump place to see if they had anything available for tomorrow. They did but the weather is supposed to be crappy for the next couple of days and it just so happened that they had a free space this afternoon.
Well that was it. The next thing I knew, I was in a jumpsuit with a man strapped to my back and sat in a small plane climbing to 15,000 feet above ground level (which is 16,020 feet above sea level here in Queenstown). Falling at 54 meters per second for just over a minute. Somewhat weirdly maybe but I was far more nervous doing the SkyJump. I’m pretty sure that stumbling across how to survive an unplanned freefall from 15,000 feet had nothing to do with my lack of nerves.
Once back on terra firma I made plans to meet up with a few of the other jumpers for some drinks and a bite to eat back in town.