Bungy at first sight…now that is a twist on the traditional Valentine’s Day date! Not that I did it, but plenty of people did do a tandem Bungy with a stranger. AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand co-founder Henry van Asch explained it’s all about overcoming your fears and getting the most from your life. Now that makes sense to me, and it certainly has made sense to the millions of adventurers that have dared themselves to do just that over the past 30+ years with AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand. It all started back in 1988 near Queenstown on the South Island, New Zealand and has grown to three iconic Kiwi destinations – Queenstown, Auckland and Taupo – with 13 ground-breaking experiences on offer – from giant swings to bridge climbs, ziprides to Catapults and five unique Bungy experiences. The company has certainly earned its place at the cutting edge of global adventure tourism, and I think their credo also extends to first-class match-making (more on that later) …
Queenstown is the jewel in the crown when it comes to a must-visit New Zealand destination. It’s simply spectacular and delivers the whole package. Queenstown combines the magnificence of the great outdoors with Kiwi indulgence. Expect stunning vistas, walking trails, ski resorts and scenic drives. Spend a day bike riding along the shores of Lake Wakatipu or visit the gorgeous nearby towns of Wanaka, Arrowtown or Glenorchy. Don’t miss a scenic flight, bus tour or self-drive to the world heritage-listed Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. Choose from a myriad of adventure activities on offer plus the chance to indulge in some of the more genteel pursuits such as wine tasting, a round of golf or retail & restaurant therapy. In short, Queenstown is a natural hub and was the perfect place for AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand (AJHBNZ) to establish their first base back in 1988.
A giant leap of faith…
It all started with a daring publicity Bungy jump off the Eiffel Tower, a short detainment and then the impetus shifted half-way around the world to Queenstown New Zealand. The heritage Kawarau Suspension Bridge was established as the site of the world’s first commercial Bungy. The Queenstown environment was a perfect fit. A beautiful place. Spiritual. The perfect backdrop to achieve a personal challenge. It is where you can do something dangerous safely. It’s something anyone can do whether you are 10 or 94 years of age. The challenge is to overcome your fear with the guidance of the AJHBNZ team and apply the experience to get the most out of life.
Live more. Fear Less.
And so Bungy jumping took off. It was recognised as a transformational experience. Visitors from around the world travelled to give it a go, and in so doing AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand gave rise to the birth of adventure tourism in New Zealand. Fast forward 30+ years, and AJHBNZ is still just as committed to their customers mustering up the courage to do something they’ll never forget. And they’ve done so with a 100% safety record. As the pioneers of Bungy Jumping AJHBNZ established a written set of rules for commercial operations. The Code of Practice was instigated in 1990 and is now an industry standard for Australia and New Zealand and used as a guideline throughout the world.
We promise to thrill you…
As a proud Kiwi company AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand is honoured to be a part of the fabric of New Zealand tourism. Their simple goal of inspiring people to awesomeness by helping them do things they never thought they could has extended to community engagement through offering the local graduating high school leaders a free jump. It’s a way of encouraging them to face their fears before they embark on adulthood. The COVID pandemic also forced AJHBNZ to evaluate and reinvent, like no doubt it has for most of us. As a result, AJHBNZ got involved in predator trapping which served the double purpose of not only helping the local wildlife, but redeploying team members with a purpose during the down-times. They also added a virtual Bungy experience (known as Avatar Bungy) so that people in lockdown around the world could give it a go from home. And to celebrate the resumption of domestic travel AJHBNZ invited the local Mayor to Bungy jump!
Now back to the Valentine’s Day event – Bungy at first sight. Well, there’s a nice back story to this as a lot of Bungy relationships have been forged on the jump deck over the years. There’s been Bungy marriages and Bungy babies. I might have to check-in next year to see if there were any permanent hook-ups from the tandem Bungy with a stranger event from this year. Nice work all round AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand I say! Make sure to include AJ Hackett Bungy on your wish list for your next New Zealand holiday…. I know I will be doing just that :).
The summer season (December-February) is traditionally the most popular time to visit. The daytime temperatures average 22 degrees Celsius and the nights are cool. The shoulder seasons just prior and after summer are also good times with less crowds but expect the daytime maximum to drop to 18 degrees. Perfect weather for all activities.
Good to know:
Queenstown enjoys a beautiful alpine setting and it’s well known as the adventure capital of New Zealand. Apart from the endless activities on offer, Queenstown boasts a huge range of excellent restaurants, cafes and boutique shops to wander. Now this is important advice: aim to stay for 3+ days…as there is plenty to do! Apart from the great outdoors and the obligatory Bungy Jump, other top highlights include: take your pick from any of the numerous adventure activities such as kayaking, heli-biking or heli-skiing (depending on the season), Gondola & Luge rides, or the famous Shotover Jet ride, enjoy some stunning vistas on a walking trail, visit the nearby towns of Wanaka & Arrowtown, take a winery tour, and don’t forget to go a little further afield to Milford Sound. Read more on Queenstown & things to do.
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