bungy jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap

I have gone on the edge of a bridge and prepared to bungy jump twice. I have actually jumped just once. The first time, I had no clue what to expect. I was completely unprepared and naive about all of it. Turns out, it’s all very straightforward. You go to a bungy, pay your money, and then jump.

But, what do you wear? What does it cost? Do you get your money back if you don’t jump? Don’t worry. I had questions too, and, today, I’m here with the answers you’re looking for! I’ve created this post with all the information you need to know and questions to ask yourself prior to having a bungy experience.

First though, let’s clear the air. The rest of the world spells it “bungee”, however, it’s “bungy” in New Zealand. For the sake of this post, I’m going with bungy. Now that that’s squashed, let’s jump in {pun fully intended}.

This post has been updated since it’s original publishing on May 5th, 2016, as part of my ongoing project to sort through the archives of this nearly decade old space.


here’s what you need to know about New ZeALAND bungy


my bungy experience

Back in 2014, Lindsey came to visit me towards the end of my time as an au pair. I was heartbroken to be once again leaving New Zealand, so having Lindsey there as a distraction was welcomed to say the least.

Two years before that, in 2012, Keegan, Benner, S, and myself went on a road trip so that I could have the New Zealand bungy jumping experience I had so wanted! Unfortunately, after gearing up and hanging out on the edge of the bridge for a wee while and then crying for S to come save me, I walked away from the jump. I got endless shit from the boys for the demise of my bravery.

After the non-jump incident of 2012, I was positive I would jump in 2014. This was on my New Zealand bucket list of sorts, and I didn't know when I would get the chance to be back for a proper bungy. I made the reservations for my friend, Lindsey, and I to do it in Auckland, where I was living at the time. S came with the two of us for support, so the three of us made a morning of it.

On the day of the jump, we arrived {in our unintentional matching outfits}  at Auckland Bridge Climb & Bungy a little early. The three of us strolled around the harbor to take in the views of the yachts and sailboats and the bridge we'd be diving off. I was starting to doubt my commitment to the cause, but S reminded me that I had instantly regretted not jumping at Gravity Canyon, where he and Keegan had mustered up the courage to jump.

Courage boosted, Lindsey and I went into the bungy office, which was a converted shipping container. Here, the staff suited us up in harnesses and helmets for the bridge walk up to the “pod”, the name referring to the place where we’d be jumping. We were given basic instructions and signed our liability agreements. In minutes, we were lead with a group of about eight other people in a walk over the bridge and up to the pod.

We were welcomed by two good looking lads with bodies covered in tattoos. I was enjoying the view, but Lindsey and I were both a combination of nerves and excitement. One by one, the people in our group were called by weight order to the plank on the edge of the bridge. And, one by one, they smiled up at the camera and dove off—flat backs, grins across their faces.

And then...there was me...

I soon realized the view was one I would be seeing upside down. I'd be jumping willingly off a bridge. I'd die instantly on impact of the water, something I could take comfort in. Unless! What if I dove perfectly into the water and then got eaten by a shark?! Or hit by a boat passing underneath us?

The guy supervising the jumps called me up last. 'Alright little lady, you're up!' I was not having it. Not one bit. Death metal was blaring in the background replacing the rap that had been playing during everyone else's jump, which I took as a total sign from the Universe. That's the kind of music people who die young listen to and it was not "amping me up" by any stretch of the imagination. The only really good thing about going last is that I managed to see everyone survive.

In the end, I jumped. I didn't have it in me to leave my favorite island with adventure regrets. Would I bungy again? Probably not. It was nothing like skydiving or other adventure excursions I’d partaken in. However, I left New Zealand {that time around} knowing that I’d done what I set out to do all though years ago. Finally.

bungy jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap

why bungy in new zealand?

First of all, you might be wondering why you should even feel compelled to jump off a bridge/platform/tower while in beautiful New Zealand. For the longest time, I was convinced that New Zealand was the home of the bungy jump {and still kind of am at heart, if I’m honest}, but, it turns out, the first modern bungy jump was help in Bristol, England in 1979. The idea came from a ritual known as “land diving” that originated in Vanuatu. I was pretty sad upon finding all this out, as the entire reason I wanted to jump in New Zealand was due to the fact that it was the country of origin. Eh, wrong. Although the Kiwi A.J. Hackett is usually given the credit for inventing the bungy, he is just the guy who made it popular amongst adrenaline addicts.

Despite this mix-up in facts, New Zealand is often referred to as the adrenaline capital of the world thanks to its many outdoor adventures, so doing a bungy here makes perfect sense. Plus, you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to bungy.

bungy jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap
bungy jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap

where can i bungy jump in new zealand?

You’re spoilt for choice as far as New Zealand bungy jumps are concerned. I attempted my first bungy at Gravity Canyon, but only took the leap two years later at the Auckland Bridge Climb + Bungy. Something about jumping over the harbour felt less terrifying than jumping out over a dried up canyon stream.

Here are some of the most highly rated bungy jumps across the country:

  • Auckland Skytower

  • Taupo Bungy

  • The Ledge

  • Kawarau Bridge

  • The Nevis Bungy and Swing


how much does it cost?

Cost will vary depending on where you decide to jump. There’s a rumour that if you bungy jump naked, companies will let you go for free, but I’ve got nothing to back that up other than legend. If you’re preparing a budget, give yourself at least NZD $130-200 for a bungy. If you want professional photos, some places charge an additional fee. The photos I have from my jump at the Auckland Bridge Climb + Bungy came free with an access code as part of the price I paid. However, there are some places in Queenstown where you can pay for a professional to snap your photos for you. This is a pricey option, but might be the best choice for solo travelers who want to commemorate their experience.

Most places accept cash or card as payment for your bungy jump, but check with your company’s website prior to heading that way, just in case. It’s important to note that you will not get a refund if you chicken out at the top. You lose the full amount you paid if you can’t find the guts to go for it. This alone is usually enough to convince people to take the plunge, but it wasn’t for me in 2012. Young, naive Tara lost over NZD $200 all because I couldn’t find it in me and her bank account was devastated…

bungy jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap
bungy jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap
bungy jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap

what should i wear?

Plan on wearing comfortable clothes! Your body is going to be flailing about, so you want to be comfortable. Closed-toes, tied shoes are the obvious choice since you’ll want to keep your footwear on. Ladies, a sports bra is your best friend on a jump— trust me.

what should i bring?

A good attitude and a camera are all you really need. Anything you bring with you will be stored in a secure locker or kept at the base camp while you jump. Now that GoPros are such a “thing”, some companies will let you bring yours on the jump. Again, you’ll need to check with whatever company you’re jumping with.

bungy jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap

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bungee jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap #newzealand #newzealandtravel #bungee #newzealandthingstodo
bungee jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap #newzealand #newzealandtravel #bungee #newzealandthingstodo
bungee jumping in New Zealand: everything you need to know before you take the leap #newzealand #newzealandtravel #bungee #newzealandthingstodo