bungee jumping, Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion

Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion

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I am not sure why bungee jumping off large objects, rocks, or planes truly makes us feel alive—but I’m not complaining!

Maybe it is the surge of adrenaline rushing through our bodies or the bragging rights, but these kinds of activities have well earned their place on most people’s list of things they need to do before they die. And bungee jumping is no exception.

My Bucket List Review of Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett

Who Needs to Add This to Their Bucket List?Adrenaline junkies who love free-falling.
Best Time to GoDecember to March
Traveling DifficultyEasy
Physical DifficultyEasy
Popularity Rating5/10
Group/Tour RequiredYes, please don’t do this by yourself.
Wheelchair AccessibleNo
Where I Went Bungee JumpingAJ Hackett
Where to StayHeart of Queenstown

If you need more information about the categories of this table, please check out the Bucket List Reviews guide.

bungee jumping, Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion
My leap of faith bungee jumping in New Zealand!

Why Should Bungee Jumping be Added to Your Bucket List?

Now let’s quick chat about why on Earth you would willingly take a swan dive with nothing but a rope attached to your ankles. This was at least my internal discussion when I was standing on the edge of a platform with nothing below me. 

Most people that I know compare this to skydiving. Let me be clear—this is a completely different beast to conquer. With my experience with skydiving, I didn’t exactly have a choice whether or not to jump.

This was mostly due to the fact that I was directly strapped to a qualified tandem buddy. I may have chosen to participate, but at the end of the day, it was he who jumped. 

Bungee Jumping is a Mental Challenge

Bungee jumping is different and, in my opinion, it is more of a mental challenge than skydiving. This is because it is YOU who decides to jump; your buddy doesn’t do it for you. When you are waddling out onto that platform preparing to jump, every inch of your body seems to be screaming, “This feels wrong! You shouldn’t be this high up! You are going to die!”. 

It takes a very mentally strong person to override these instinctual red flags and take the ultimate leap. I would not consider myself a person who is afraid of heights, but it even made my stomach a little queasy!

Quick note–if you ARE a fan of heights, I would also check out this hotel in Peru that would be your dream come true. 

bungee jumping, Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion

The reason that I would recommend doing this activity before you die is that once you take control of your fears yourself and take the jump (quite literally!) it can feel extremely rewarding. After that mental and emotional victory, all you have left to do is…well…fall.

A small disclaimer (because I did say honest), I think that everyone should feel that mental victory, but this was pretty scary.

I don’t think it is for everybody and I’m not sure that I would do it over and over again.

Where did I Go Bungee Jumping?

If I was going to jump off a platform and go into a total free-fall situation, I wanted to do it right! That’s why I chose the original home of the first commercial bungee jump: AJ Hackett! 

Cause who wouldn’t want to take the leap in the adventure capital of the world: Queenstown, New Zealand? I know that there are other locations within New Zealand, but I’ll just focus on bungy in Queenstown for now! 

To start, I had two options. I could go with a beautiful view from Kawarau Bridge Bungy or the higher Nevis Bungy

bungee jumping, Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion
Getting ready to jump at AJ Hackett!

Kawarau Bridge

If you are going on the bungee for bragging rights and beautiful photos, then Kawarau Bridge might be the option for you. It comes with some nice jump variation such as the water touch where they can give the rope just enough slack for you to touch the crystal clear blue water below. I also read that there is a tandem option. 

This wasn’t an option when I went and although I don’t recommend it because I think you should jump yourself, it might be the only way some people will participate in this activity. Something is better than nothing

Don’t get me wrong, any bungee jump is going to be a scary experience, but if this is a major fear for you then this option might be the place to start. It is beautiful, done by many tourists, off of a bridge, and is a 43m/141ft dive. All things considered, it could be a lot worse…

Nevis Bungy

This sounded incredible, but when I compared it to the higher and much scarier Nevis Bungy, I had to go for that one (yes, I am okay…I think). 

This baby is the highest in New Zealand134m/440ft and 8.5 seconds of pure terror and adrenaline. Instead of diving off of a bridge, you are diving off a platform that is suspended in the air. 

The whole thing including the bus drive took about 4 hours and I also purchased the add-on videos and photos because if I’m being truly honest with myself I’m just not sure I would do it again. This isn’t anything against AJ Hackett, it was just terrifying!

bungee jumping, Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion
Jumping from the suspended platform at AJ Hackett.

What to Expect + My Personal Experience with Bungee Jumping

Before I get started, I would like to say that this is based off of my own personal experiences. Your actual experience is going to largely depend on the company you go with, your personal fears, and how well you handle being in a total free-fall situation

Bungy Jumping with AJ Hackett

As I said early, I ended up choosing the Nevis Bungy with AJ Hackett. I arrived at the shop/bus station about 30 minutes early. This gave me plenty of time to walk around the store and accumulate a healthy amount of nerves. 

The bus ride itself was filled with wonderful scenery before we stopped at the first stop at the Kawarau Bridge. I had just enough time to grab a coffee and flick myself on the forehead for not just choosing the shorter one off the bridge. Then it was back to the bus! We had a bit longer in the bus until we hit a dirt road that took us to our final destination. 

Once we were there, I bought some warmer socks and we went through the stereotypical safety briefing videos. After signing some waivers it was time to get geared up and head to the platform. 

Do you remember when I told you that you were going to be jumping from a platform suspended in the air? Well that means that you have to get to the platform suspended in the air. Not that it was scary or anything. It was a little weird standing on a plate that was wheeled out in the middle of a canyon. 

We then were finally to the middle main platform. There was an area where we could stand and hang out when we weren’t jumping. I was about 4th or 5th to do, which did absolutely nothing for my nerves.

bungee jumping, Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion
The first moments of my bungy jump!

What I felt when I Actually Jumped

Finally, it was my turn to take the leap. I sat in this reclined chair while 3 employees surrounded me. They hooked me up to all of these funky straps and ropes that I knew nothing about. It’s funny how I knew absolutely nothing about how they worked yet in the next 5 minutes, they would be responsible for my entire life. 

After I was all hooked up, I waddled like a penguin to the edge looking to the horizon. Then I looked down, which I admit now was my first mistake. Trying not to think about it, the staff member told me I was all clear and I jumped without hesitation. 

For a brief moment, I was really proud of myself for jumping! Then…I fell. Now if I am being honest I have never been a fan of the dropping rides at amusement parks and this felt just like one of those rides but 10x more intense. 

My stomach literally felt like it was going to come through my throat. I couldn’t even scream because it felt like I didn’t have any air I was falling so fast. 8.5 seconds seemed to last a lifetime. But then, as with everything in life, it passed. 

After I jumped

I was then hanging there by my feet glaring at the ground. Normally, you would pull a strap to swing you upright to enjoy the ride sitting upright. I, however, could not find the strap and did the entire journey hanging by my feet. It felt a little like getting reeled in like a fish but there was no complaints from me! 

After they reeled me in and got me all unhooked, we got back on the platform to return to the lodge and watch our videos and photos. Easy, right?!

bungee jumping, Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion
Being reeled back in after going bungee jumping at AJ Hackett in New Zealand.

Tips and Recommendations

Jump Right Away!

It is natural to hesitate when they tell you to jump because what they are telling you to do feels very unnatural and dangerous (even though you are strapped in and taken care of by professionals). 

This hesitation only makes you overthink it more and makes it harder to jump when you eventually try again. Don’t think about what you are about to do. Just do. Let go and just jump. 

Feel the sensation (and see if you even like it)

If you have an amusement park that drops you (think the Tower of Tower at Disney), that is very similar to the sensation. Granted, this is more intense and you have less of an illusion of safety since you aren’t harnessed into a comfy seat upright. You are flying head first with the only contact point being your feet. 

However, it might help just to feel a taste of it first. For those of you who haven’t felt this, it feels like your stomach is moving upward and it is quite a strange feeling. I personally don’t care for it but I know that some people enjoy the experience.

bungee jumping, Bungee Jumping with AJ Hackett: My Honest Opinion
Bungee jumping in New Zealand!

Maybe don’t eat a ton of food before

Previously, we talked about the feeling in your stomach that you get when you are free-falling. 

I can’t imagine that it would coincide very well with a stomach full of food. I ate something small for the nerves. This was completely fine, but I am glad that I didn’t have a full-fledged meal. 

Purchase the photo and videos

If it is in your budget and especially if you don’t see yourself doing bungee again, I would recommend getting the video/photo package

Adventure Bucket List Resources

I am here to help your travel adventures go as smoothly as possible! That way you can check off that bucket list with minimal complications and spending!

AIRFARE – It is no surprise that like many travelers, I have found that Hopper is one of the best resources to use when finding cheap flights. 

ACCOMMODATION – My two favorites are Booking.Com for hotels and VRBO for rentals. 

GUIDED TOURS –  If you are looking for quick and easy tours, check out GetYourGuide and Viator

MULTI-DAY TOURS –  For more in-depth tours that span several days, TourHub has many great options with reputable travel companies. Use my code (ALEXANDRA1GURU) for up to 5% off your next bucket list adventure. 

TRANSPORTATION –  You can either rent a car yourself with Discover Cars or do a guided bus tours like Big Bus Tours

CREDIT CARD –  I always use my Chase Freedom Unlimited card for all of my purchases. There is no annual fee and you get 1.5% cash back and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel. 

SIM CARDS –  Avoid expensive roaming charges with an eSim card with Airalo.

TRAVELER’S INSURANCE –  Check out VisitorsCoverage for affordable insurance plans.

More Adventure For your Bucket List

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