The Mrs (Sophie’s) Skydiving Experience
Before arriving in New Zealand, if someone were to say to me, ‘Do you fancy jumping out of a plane at 12,000ft going roughly 200km/hr?’ I would have quite frankly, told them where to go.
With a fear of heights and never been on so much as a roller coaster in my life, Sky Diving was never at the forefront of my mind. It was just an item on my bucket list that I never thought would see the light of day.
That was until we (my two friends and I) arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand for the first time! We arrived and checked into our Hostel at around 4pm. At the check in desk my adventurous friend Justine enquired about skydiving availability… there were three spots left, just for us – Leaving in 30 mins! With no time to think, we booked, paid and ran nervously to the toilets!
Before I knew it we were getting geared up to go. I had a dutch tandem instructor and being half dutch myself we hit it off straight away. He nicknamed me Little Lion after the Dutch meaning of my surname and knowing that I was terrified, he thoroughly enjoyed winding me up.
The plane journey was an experience in itself. We reached the height of the Remarkables (the mountain range and skyfield in Queenstown) and were told that this was only the half-way point! Watching the altimeter the whole time, getting higher and higher, it dawned on me what we were actually doing.
To make it worse our small, tin like, noisy plane suddenly banks to the right. Sitting next to a plastic hatch door, not strapped in or onto a parachute… All I could see was the ocean and my life flash before my eyes. Me and my friend screamed and grabbed for some miraculous life saving rail next to us.
And then it was time to jump!
The altimeter reaches 12,000 ft and I was suddenly being strapped to my wind-up tandem instructor. I looked to my friends in pure terror, a few unflattering words came out of me at this precise moment.
Before I knew it the shutter suddenly opened, I was being butt-shuffled to the edge and my legs dangled out of the plane… we were looking down to earth. Im rocked back and fourth a few times and that was it. It was like my my breath was taken from me and i’d been winded.
The first part of the free fall was insane. As though jumping out of a plane and plummeting towards the earth at 200km/hr wasn’t terrifying enough my instructor decided to push it to the next level… A place where I found my voice again. He back flipped me through the air so much that I had no idea which way was up!
Then we start to level out, still free-falling but everything was suddenly visible. We had some fun here doing spins and high-fives with the camera lady before opening the shoot. The pictures during the free-fall were just brilliant, with our mouths and noses full of air we looked like little piggies! (Those pictures have definitely been hidden away).
The shoot opens and it starts to sink in that I’ve survived. Looking around I see heaps of parachutes popping up and at this point I can honestly say I had the time of my life. It was amazing! And Queenstown was just picture perfect!
This part of the skydive is just as exhilarating as the free-fall. We spun down and I screamed my little head off, uncontrollably laughing the whole time!
The pace really slowed down towards the last few minutes and I got to seriously experience the breath-taking beauty Queenstown has to offer. The view – Just wow!
And shortly we touch back down to earth and I have a new found respect for gravity. My ears popping, can hardly speak being so overwhelmed. I turn to see my friends already landed, running and hugging them with all my might.
The girls and I were on a serious high for the rest of the day. We felt like we’d be drugged!
An experience of a lifetime, one off the bucket list and an adventure we will never forget.