A Quick Guide to Skydiving in New Zealand

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The idea of stepping out of an aircraft door and hurtling thousands of feet down may intimidate many but it will definitely excite those who truly admire adventure sports. Looking at the beautiful lakes and mountains of New Zealand hits different when freefalling at one hundred and forty miles per hour. Appreciated by adrenaline junkies around the world, skydiving in New Zealand again proves that the country is accurately referred to as the ‘adventure capital of the world’.

The different types of skydiving in New Zealand:

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1. Tandem Skydiving

Suggested particularly for those who are new to skydiving, Tandem Skydiving has the diver jump through the exit of an airplane while harnessed to a trained tandem instructor. From the moment the jump is made, the instructor guides the diver to execute the jump. The instructor navigates the jump, lets the diver pull the ripcord that releases the parachute and also ensures safe landing, allowing to easily experience the thrill of the activity.

Since the instructor does most of the work during landing, a minimal training session that includes watching an orientation video and going through a briefing with the instructor will be adequate enough for the diver prior to making the jump.

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2. Static Line Skydiving

In Static Line Skydiving, a static line attaches the diver to the airplane, but unlike tandem diving there will be no one to accompany the diver during the jump. Till the main parachute opens up, the diver will experience a brief freefall. Since four to five hours of ground school is required for the diver prior to the jump, the session takes up a whole day.

It allows jumping solo, even if you are unfamiliar with skydiving.

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3. Accelerated Freefall Skydiving

Strictly recommended for pros alone, Accelerated Freefall has the diver accompanied by two instructors after jumping from the plane. The instructors maintain a grip on the harness, give the diver instructions through hand signals and duly help to maintain the stability. With a freefall close to fifty seconds, it requires the diver to pull the ripcord when approaching five thousand five hundred feet.

An additional instructor on the ground will guide the diver through a radio mounted on the helmet to ensure a safe landing.

Best Spots for Skydiving in New Zealand:

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1. Abel Tasman

Having perhaps the best scenery in New Zealand that consists of glistening oceans, snow capped mountains and national parks, Abel Tasman claims to be the only drop zone in the country that presents the divers with views of both islands. At Abel Tasman, you can skydive from twenty thousand feet and feel the adrenaline rush during the ninety seconds of freefall.

Charges: NZD 289 onwards for one person
Service Provider: Skydive Abel Tasman
Location: Hangar, One/16 College Street, Motueka 7120, New Zealand

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2. Bay of Islands

One of the most sought after places for skydiving in New Zealand, Bay of Islands has an outstanding view of the one hundred and forty four islands nestled in the ocean. The only beach landing in the country, it lets you experience the thrill of diving from sixteen thousand five hundred feet, seventy seconds of freefall and landing into the ocean.
Charges: NZD 299 onwards for one person
Service Provider: Skydive Bay of Islands
Location: 182 Wiroa Road, Kerikeri 0475, New Zealand

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3. Auckland

With an amazing scenery of both the east and west coasts of New Zealand, Skydive Auckland is an exciting way to experience free falling from a height of twenty thousand meters and at a speed above two hundred kilometers per hour. Skydive Auckland was established more than twenty years ago.
Charges: NZD 295 onwards for one person
Service Provider: Skydive Auckland
Location: 73 Green Road, Parakai Airfield, Auckland 0874, New Zealand
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4. Franz Glacier & Fox Glacier

Now operating as Franz & Fox, Skydive Franz and Skydive Fox were recently merged in 2019. The Tasman Sea, temperate rainforest, glaciers (Fox glacier, Franz Josef glacier), mirror lakes, riverbeds and the highest mountains (Aoraki/Mt. Cook, Mt. Tasman) are all part of the skydive’s iconic scenery.
Charges: NZD 289 onwards for one person
Service Provider: Skydive Franz & Fox
Location: 69 Cron Street, Franz Josef Glacier Base, Franz Josef 7886, New Zealand
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5. Queenstown

The first Tandem Skydiving operation to emerge in New Zealand, Nzone Skydiving Center in Queenstown takes you above the Waikitapu Basin in their flight. There it has a view of mountains and lakes. After you dive from the aircraft, the freefall lasts for almost sixty seconds.
Charges: NZD 299 onwards for one person
Service Provider: Nzone Skydive
Location: 35 Shotover Street, Queenstown, New Zealand

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6. Taupo

Rated as New Zealand’s number one on Tripadvisor, Taupo Tandem Skydiving lets you skydive for almost seventy-five seconds in freefall. The diver will have a view of the biggest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo, along with the spectacular mountains - Tongariro, Nguaruhoe, and Ruapehu.
Charges: NZD 199 onwards for one person
Service Provider: Skydive Taupo
Location: 1227 Anzac Memorial Drive, Taupo Airport (TUO), Taupo, New Zealand
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7. Wanaka

A skydive flight takes the diver above the southern alpine at Wanaka while presenting a three sixty degree view of the Aspiring National Park Rainforest, Mt. Cook, Lake Wanaka, glaciers and rivers. Forty five seconds of freefall awaits after diving from the flight from a height of twelve thousand feet.
Charges: NZD 279 onwards for one person
Service Provider: Skydive Wanaka
Location: Skydive Wanaka, 14 Mustang Lane, Wanaka Airport, 9382, New Zealand
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8. Glenorchy

Although the drop zone at Glenorchy is temporarily closed for the time being because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions, there is no denying that it is one of the most prominent places for skydiving in New Zealand. Apart from the beautiful forest and mountains, The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit scenery is visibly abundant in some of the skydiving locations in Glenorchy. The operators of the skydive have promised that they will be up and running as soon as possible.
Charges: NZD 289 onwards for one person
Service Provider: Skydive Paradise
Location: Glenorchy Airfield, Glenorchy-Queenstown Rd, Glenorchy 9372, New Zealand
What is your favourite spot for skydiving in New Zealand? Let us know in the comments below!

This post was published by Vishnu Kesavan

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