Skydiving Over Abel Tasman National Park

skydiving over abel tasmen national parkIf you have never done a skydive, I highly suggest you factor one into your future travel plans. And pronto. Skydiving over Abel Tasman National Park was without doubt, one of the best things I have ever done.

Jumping out of a plane at 16,500 feet with nothing between myself and a messy rendezvous with the ground was most definitely a humbling experience.

Nothing can prepare you for the feeling you get jumping out of a plane strapped to nothing but a parachute that you hope will open and a stranger you don’t know from Adam. I was expecting, as I’m sure most people would, to have a minor panic attack when the plane took off and climbed to the height that I would be jumping at. But it never really happened.

Skydiving: It’s a surreal feeling to take off in a plane knowing you won’t be returning to earth in it.

before skydiving

I was surprisingly calm and I think it was because it was so surreal. When you’re about to do a bungee jump or a canyon swing, you’re just 110m above ground level and so jumping feels more real… your brain kicks in and tells you that something isn’t right. But when you’re 16,500ft above ground skydiving, it doesn’t feel real at all – it’s like you’ve woken up in a dream world where you’re suddenly Lara Croft. Just ever so slightly less graceful…

Skydiving, New Zealand

So there I was, perched on the edge of the airplane fuselage, my feet freely dangling above the world below. I crossed my arms, tilted my head back and took a deep breath… pulling a face at the camera man in the process of course.

skydiving preparation

That moment we fell was absolutely indescribable. It takes you a few moments to adjust to the extreme G force of the wind rushing passed your body but when you do and the world comes into focus – wow.

You’re free-falling and in your head you know that to be true, but your body reacts differently to the situation than you would expect. You are conscious, you catch your breath and you are able to take in the view and your surroundings despite the fact you are hurtling towards earth at 120mph. 

Skydiving New Zealand

75 seconds of freefalling later and the parachute opened. *Thank goodness* The scariest moment was perhaps seeing the camera man vanish below me as he continued to free fall in order to land first… At this point your brain fails to fathom that you were really falling so fast.

Once the parachute opened, Matthew, my tandem master took the opportunity to adjust the harnesses – A nail biting moment whilst still so far above ground. However, he knew his stuff and it wasn’t long until we were gliding over stunning scenery, spotting the posh houses and swimming pools – with me in control of the parachute.

How they manage to manoeuvre the parachute to ensure you land right back where you started I will never know. But luckily, we did and I had a grin from ear to ear. I felt a rush of emotions; the mix of adrenaline, pride and relief saw me through for days.

If you haven’t considered skydiving yet – today is the day to do so. 

Skydiving New Zealand

SKYDIVING: WHERE TO DO IT

I was originally hoping to skydive over Lake Taupo but due to the weather conditions that day, unfortunately we had to postpone. This worked out for the best as the skydiving over Abel Tasman National Park allows you to jump from 16,500 feet as opposed to a maximum of 15,000 feet at Skydive Taupo – and that’s before you take into account the absolutely stunning scenery of the national park.

Find out more about Skydiving over Abel Tasman National Park