Maybe it’s because throwing yourself from a plane at 15,000ft goes against every instinct we humans have to stay on the ground, and to stay alive. But ask anyone who has skydived before and chances are they’ll tell you it was one of the most incredible experiences of their life. Thankfully for these people, modern society has the capacity to cater to their inclination to hurl themselves from the sky towards the ground, when in a previous time Darwinian Evolution may not have worked in their favour. Oh, what a time to be alive! Australia’s wide open spaces and New Zealand’s luscious rainforests and mountains present some of the most interesting sights for the skydivers bucket lists. And here are a few of our favourites…
Fox Glacier, South Island, New Zealand
At the top of our list, you’ll soar over one of the most beautiful drop zones in the world. Take in panoramic views of Westland National Park, rainforests, rivers, lakes, and the Tasman Sea. Dive from above the peaks of some of New Zealand’s highest mountains, Mount Tasman and Mount Cook, and admire the largest glaciers and snow fields in the Southern Alps. Be it winter of summer, the sights will be beautiful, with snow-capped mountain tops visible year-round. Four hours from Queenstown, either make a day trip or spend some time in the nearby Fox Glacier Village, with plenty of accommodation and activities for a small-town getaway. The most popular and highest jump is from 16,500ft, which takes you 4000ft above Mount Cook, and gives you 70 seconds of freefall. Or jump from 12,000ft which takes you to the peaks of Mt Cook and gives you 45 seconds of freefall.
Lake Wanaka, South Island, NZ
A little under 150km away from our number one spot, we come to another spectacular skydiving sight over Lake Wanaka. With views over Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring, you’ll see another side of the most beautiful skydive New Zealand has to offer. With mountains that descend into rainforests, and glaciers that trickle down to rivers and lakes, you’ll see every kind of landscape New Zealand has to proudly boast. From either 15,000ft or 12,000ft, strap yourself onto a stranger, apologise to your mum, and throw yourself literally and figuratively into something truly spectacular.
Mission Beach, Queensland
Once you’ve visited Queensland, snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, and seen it from the bottom of the ocean floor, next up on your bucket list should be to see it from the sky. Tandem jumping from 14,000ft, the Mission Beach skydive gives you views of Queensland’s tropical rainforests, off-shore islands, the Great Barrier Reef, and the long, white beach front that stretches out alongside it. Take the 20-minute scenic flight up to the jumping point and enjoy a comfy descent as your feet kick up sand on a soft beach landing.
Taupo, North Island, New Zealand
Keeping in theme with New Zealand’s unbelievably beautiful landscapes, Taupo is no exception. Choose from 12,000ft or 15,000ft jumps where you’ll gaze upon snow-capped peaks, National parks, New Zealand’s central plateau, and Lake Taupo, the country’s largest lake. With so much landscape to take in as your soar to the ground, you’ll be itching to get back on the plane and do it all over again to take in what you’ve missed. And rest assured, the best way to take in all the elements of New Zealand’s nature is as you’re hurling yourself towards it.
Wollongong Beach, NSW
Find the only skydive with a beach landing in Sydney about an hour out of the CBD. The views of this jump are a little different however, as they offer you incredible views of where the peaceful coastline meets the bustling city and all its sights. If you’re lucky, you might get the chance to spot a whale or dolphins. When your friends brag about having seen Sydney from the top of the Harbour Bridge, remind them about that time you fell from 14,000ft above it. And for not too much more money either.