The following post about skydiving in New Zealand is a guest post by Umang.
If you’ve researched even a little about New Zealand, you know that the country is not just famous for its ‘Lord of the Rings’ landscape or its geology. It’s also very well known for its adrenaline-pumping adventure sports.
here are more than 200 types of adventures you could embark on in the country! Right from bungy jumping to river rafting to luge riding to spelunking, jet boating to paragliding, the list of adventures in New Zealand seems to be endless.
However, one of the prime experiences that you absolutely shouldn’t miss out on is skydiving. The sheer thrill of freefalling at the speed of above 124 miles per hour is unimaginable in theory. The gust of wind that leaves your face wrinkled will give you such an adrenaline rush that these few seconds of freefall will be engraved in your memory forever.
Why You Should Try Skydiving in New Zealand
Unless you have a severe phobia of heights or are unfortunately suffering from some heart ailment, you should take the plunge. Freefalling from a height of 15,000 ft and savoring a bird’s eye view of the surreal landscape below is not an experience you will have every year (unless you can afford it, of course!).
Why should you go skydiving in New Zealand? There are two great reasons.
- #1 – New Zealand has aced the industry of extreme sports and is known as the ‘Adventure Capital’ of the world. Here, you can expect to find state-of-the-art equipment, latest technology, innovation, and experienced guides to hold your hand through the journey.
- #2 – New Zealand offers skydiving in some of the most beautiful and scenic locations in the entire world where you’ll be blown away by what you see below.
First things first, you DO NOT need any special training or fitness level to skydive. People with heart diseases are usually advised against doing it, but it’s best to check with your doctor to figure out whether your nerves can handle it.
You also have to be under a certain weight. Different skydiving centers have different requirements for that, so be sure to call beforehand to make sure that you’re okay to skydive with them.
READ MORE: New Zealand Travel Tips + a Budget Breakdown
Where to Go Skydiving in New Zealand
While there are numerous locations to choose from, these are the ten sites that will be worth your money and bravado. Here are the best skydive sites in New Zealand after tons of research.
This countdown represents my recommendation of how awesome the skydive is based on the scenic beauty that you can enjoy while free-falling and a few other parameters such as heights available, value for money, and reputation.
Best 9 Sites to Go (Tandem) Skydiving in New Zealand
1. Skydiving in Rotorua
Honored six times as New Zealand’s most beautiful city, Rotorua boasts of hot springs, geysers, and dense and deep woods. Imagine what the green and expansive blue cover would look like from 12,000 feet above?
Charges: $360 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operators: Rotorua Combos
2. Skydiving in Taupo
Can you believe that Lake Taupo is almost as large as Singapore? As you leap off, you will first notice the magnificent peaks of Ruapehu, Tongariro, and Ngauruhoe and nestled within it the azure & rippled lake. As you freefall at 124 mph, you will feel that nothing can stop you from plummeting straight into the lake, but the parachute blows out just in time to ensure a safe landing for you. You can choose heights ranging from 9,000 ft to 18,500 ft.
Charges: $478 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operator: Skydive Taupo
3. Skydiving in Auckland
Seventy-five seconds of breath-stopping freefall, followed by the sight of the sprawling glamorous city of Auckland below, is what you get here. Rest assured, you will be craving another jump as soon as you land from 20,000 ft above.
Charges: $295 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operator: Skydive Auckland
4. Skydiving in Wanaka
An incredible scenic flight captures 360-degree views of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, glaciers, six lakes, and River Clutha before you take the final plunge above Lake Wanaka, providing you unforgettable views of the Aspiring National Park Rainforest, Mt. Cook and more. This skydive is highly recommended by locals with heights ranging from 9,000 ft to 15,000 ft.
Charges: $339 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operator: Skydive Wanaka
5. Skydiving in Queenstown
Queenstown is recognized as the birthplace of tandem skydiving, this flight of fantasy will give you magnificent views of beautiful landscapes and snow-capped mountains. You will fly above The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu and enjoy views that no amount of time spent on land can provide. You get 12,000 ft, and 15,000 ft skydives available here.
Charges: $299 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operator: Skydive Queenstown
6. Skydiving in Abel Tasman
Pristine islands, wide national parks, turquoise oceans, snow-capped mountains, and rugged cliffs – get all of these in the same jump. You’ll wish you could spend some more time in the air to be able to truly grasp every inch of the panorama below you. Explore options from 9,000 ft to 20,000 ft dives.
Charges: $249 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operator: Skydive Abel Tasman
7. Skydiving in Bay Of Islands
Very popular with skydiving addicts, travelers come here repeatedly to get the rush of their lives. With 144 islands before you, the icing on the cake is that that you land on the beach, with the warm ocean welcoming you to fly out again. You get 9,000 ft, 12,000 ft, 16,500 ft and even 20,000 ft dive heights!
Charges: $299 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operator: Skydive Bay of Islands
8. Skydiving in Glenorchy
It has earned the epithet of ‘Gateway to Paradise’ for a reason. Several movies, including the Lord of the Rings, features the old-world charm of this alpine town surrounded by forests and imposing mountains, which is what you get to see when diving. Choose either 12,000 ft or 15,000 ft diving heights.
Charges: $335 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operator: Skydive Southern Alps
9. Skydiving in Fox Glacier
This is one of the lowest altitude glaciers in the world. Cut all the crowd and enjoy the scenery from high above the ground instead. The glacier is surrounded by lush green rainforest, and the sea beach is just about 12 miles away, which from above seems right next to each other.
This will be the fall of a lifetime, and you will literally feel like you can almost touch the ice sheets if you extend your arms out. It has been voted the ‘2nd most scenic skydive in the world.’ Pick heights ranging from 13,000 ft to 20,000 feet for your skydive.
Charges: $249 NZD per head – onwards
Recommended Operator: Skydive Franz Josef & Fox Glacier
How Did We Finalize Our New Zealand Skydive Zone?
Out of all these skydive zones, I picked Fox Glacier to jump off the plane due to the beautiful bird’s eye view of the Fox Glacier and the ice sheets along with the stunning ocean.
However, due to weather conditions, our flight got canceled. We postponed it to the next day, but the weather continued to be sporadic and unpredictable, and with clouds spread in the sky, we again had to drop the idea.
We ran out of the days that we had assigned for Fox Glacier, so we had to leave for Queenstown. But, we didn’t give up on skydiving. After not being able to skydive at Fox Glacier, we had our eyes on Glenorchy.
Finally, we were able to jump off the plane above Glenorchy and had a memorable experience!
Out of all my New Zealand experiences, skydiving in Glenorchy was the best! The Nevis Bungy Jump was a close second, followed by the Milford Sound cruise.
The instructors at Glenorchy were very friendly and made us comfortable. The good thing about the skydive zone was that they were very clear if the conditions were favorable for the jump or not. They didn’t leave us waiting for hours. We were lucky enough to get a chance to jump in a 2-hour perfect weather window while we were in Queenstown.
General Tips to Enhance Your Skydiving Experience
- Don’t eat a heavy meal right before your flight. It will make you feel heavy and nauseous. Don’t go on an empty stomach either. Eat a moderate meal that’s not too oily or loaded.
- Dress right! Don’t wear extremely tight-fitted clothes that do not allow flexibility of movement. Wear something warm because it’s definitely chilly up there. Wear comfortable sports shoes that are laced up tightly.
- Although it’s going to cost you a few extra bucks to get a photo/video of your jump, go for it, especially if it’s your first time. You will regret not being able to look back on the moment later.
- Keep talking to your instructor about how you are feeling. It’s okay to be freaked out. Let him/her know if you have motion sickness or any other ailment so that they can adjust the fall accordingly.
- Difficult as it may sound, keep calm, and breathe during the fall. Keep your eyes open forcefully, or else you will completely miss the scenes below.
- Don’t overthink. New Zealand is a very safe place to skydive. Trust the operators, and let go!
>>> EVEN MORE ABOUT TRAVELING NEW ZEALAND <<<
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad and epically failing at the American Dream since 2011. Her sassy yet informative blog, Where in the World is Nina? is all about how to work abroad to live a more adventurous life. If you want to travel longer you have to work to wander.