Skydiving In Lake Taupo
Skydiving is quite the must-do activity in New Zealand. Surely, this thrilling activity is not for the faint-hearted, but the after-feeling does linger in our minds so long after we took the dive. So, in a way, the money does make up for the experiences.
For those on a budget, you can always opt for the 9,000ft skydive, like we did! Although there won’t be a much longer free fall, we think it’s more than enough to experience it.
Of course, if you think that upgrading it won’t hurt your budget, then by all means go ahead. After all, there’s a difference between free falling and when the parachute opens! In a nutshell, we think that skydiving is an activity that one must try at least once in a lifetime!
The call to upgrade
“Would you like to upgrade to 12,000ft or 15,000ft? It’s an option. Most of the 9,000ft customers came down and said they wished they have done higher.”
Honestly, skydiving was an activity that was way too expensive for our budget, so we pretended to give it a thought and politely rejected her. What’s the point of changing my mind now? I thought it was just some sort of psychological thing to get us making rash decisions to up our altitude.
Actually, the difference between them was just 10 seconds more free fall. Psssst, I used that money to purchase my exit photo. And I have also gotten a handy cam video option for $139.
Once she has completed her paperwork, she cheerfully led us into the door behind the counter. She gave us two keys for our lockers, which were way too spacious for our watches, phones, and necklaces. Really, we could have just shared one. But, oh well, we paid.
What followed was an interesting wait that made our nerves tighter. I was trying my best to stay calm. It was not that I was really nervous to the point of shaking or at the brink of collapsing.
When the instructors called our names, they gave us a red-white suit, which I think was cool. Inside, I had roughly 3 layers of clothing, and the suit still managed to give me a really slim figure. Thankfully, I did not look like a roly-poly.
Then, a guy came around with a basin on his hand, filled with colored cloths in plastic packaging. Turns out it was a buff for us to wear on our heads. Not sure if it was to cover the stinky, sweaty smell of the headwear from the past customers, or to keep us warm.
Meeting my instructor
Another guy came and fixed a harness on my body. Like a princess getting dressed by her handmaid, I was just standing there, holding my arms wide while the guy did his job to strap me up.
Once they attached the harness on us, I met my instructor—a stranger who would chuck me out of a plane within half an hour. In fact, those were the exact words he used.
“Are you ready for me to chuck you out of an airplane?” Holding a handy cam in front of my face, he asked. Now, I felt even more like a celebrity, getting interviewed before a great stunt.
“What would you tell your friends back home in Malaysia?” He asked professionally.
“Do it!” I screamed. “Just, do it!”
Inside, I was dying.
The cozy plane to my doom
Then, we entered the plane, crawling on the soft cushions that lined the floor of the plane. However, the plane was really compact, fitting only 6 groups of 12 people.
Like in the movies, all the instructors were cheering and wooo-ing when we took off. Admittedly, it did hyped up the mood for us.
On the plane, the instructors were busy strapping us to them, making sure our bodies were tightly moulded onto theirs. It was an extremely intimate position to be doing it with a stranger. But, we could only trust them.
The landscape became smaller as we ascended higher and higher into our doom. So, this is how it feels like, paying a large sum of money just to get tossed out of an airplane.
Why did I do this? Most importantly, why would Louis—someone who fears even the slightest shake of a swing bridge—agreed to do this with me!?
Everything was really hard to process.
Lake Taupo was visible. I could see the flat, green, and fertile landscape flourishing below us. How high is this thing still going?!
Seeing people getting pushed off the plane
The plane came to an altitude where it stopped going higher. That’s when the first pair took their exit photo. After that, she was pushed off the plane and disappeared in front of me in mere milliseconds.
Heading to my 9k doom
I cannot even begin to describe how terrified I was looking at them disappearing in front of me.
Soon, the second pair was up. Each time, the instructors made sure to push their heads back before exiting the plane.
Louis was the third. Obviously, he couldn’t stop cussing and displaying every bit of fear that’s eating him alive. At that moment, I pitied him. Well, I could’ve jumped off first, but the arrangement meant he had to go first.
His screams disappeared beneath us as he got pushed off the plane.
Of course, he was still cussing a lot.
Finally, my instructor put on my flight cap and goggles. Immediately, I looked like Peter Pan. Now, I was the cool kid. Ready to fly. Literally. Fly.
My instructor manoeuvred me to the exit as it was my turn now.
The wrong gesture
My instructor asked me to look at the DSLR hanging in the corner of the plane to take my exit photo, which I did a high-five gesture to. Really, it was just pure stupidity as I meant to do a rock-on gesture.
My brain couldn’t process well at that moment. I WAS ABOUT TO GET PUSHED OFF AN AIRPLANE! WHO CARES ABOUT MY STUPID HAND GESTURE!?
After the camera took our exit photo, my instructor pulled my head back, asked me to hold onto my harness—and embrace!
He swung me—one, two, three.
I guess the combination of both our weights had us free-falling at an abnormally crazy speed.
I’ve seen people’s photos with their eyes squinted and their lips blown open, looking like squidward from Spongebob. Thankfully I looked nothing like that. On the contrary, Louis looked just like the LOL meme. Seriously. Google it.
Very soon, my fears were gone as I was now fully focused on taking in the views, senses, and experiences.
It went from:
I paid more than $300 for this.
Why did I pay $300 for this?
I’m so glad I paid $300 for this.
Flying like a bird!
While I was clinging onto my harness (and my instructor) for dear life, he tapped me suddenly and gestured me to open my arms like a bird. And boy, was it an entirely different experience.
It was like I was actually FLYING!
My instructor also showed me some figures on a watch-like device on his wrist, though I had no idea what the figures on his watch meant at all. My eyes were entirely fixed on the view that I paid to see. Who cares about the seconds I have left to free fall?
Unconsciously, I spread my arms and thought, “It’s cool to be a bird.”
Poof! Like a mushroom blooming from the bark of a tree, the parachute opened.
My instructors started twisting and turning the parachute to give me a 360 degree view of Lake Taupo and Mt. Ngauruhoe in the distant.
After the whole excitement was over, I realised a painful pressure building up in my ears. It was stinging and hurt so bad. At that time, it was starting to get difficult to focus on the views.
“Raise your legs the whole way up, we’re landing on our bums.”
When we landed, it wasn’t a hard thud or a painful bum landing, but smooth as marshmallow. We slid on the grass and it was the best feeling ever—an end to the best feeling ever.
9k was definitely enough!
I loved it!
It was what Louis and I thought. We didn’t regret our decisions to choose 9k. Not the slightest bit.
We cheered once the 12k groups landed, each one louder than the next.
“You’re the most excited group I’ve ever met today,” The lady who guided us back to the station told us.
Of course! We jumped out of an airplane today!
If you want to experience this once-in-a-lifetime thrill, definitely give skydiving a go! There are so many skydiving options in New Zealand, with Queenstown as the most popular one! Albeit the most expensive one as well! The reason why we did ours in Lake Taupo was because we were looking for the experience, not entirely on the views. Really, it depends on what you want. Of course, a great way to go skydive is by looking for deals first. One of the most common website to book for cheap skydiving activities would be Bookme!
Have you skydived before? If yes, I’d love to hear your experience! Do leave a comment and let us know!