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Best Bungee Jumps

Along with its untouched wilderness, iconic landscapes, ancient heritage and unique wildlife, New Zealand will also be forever remembered as the place people began tossing themselves off bridges, buildings and viaducts. Forget your misgivings over the wisdom of it, just choose one of many of many structures from which to dive, and let gravity do the rest.

Featuring over and again on bucket-lists the world over, New Zealand is THE place to come to get ticking off the bungee jump entry on such dream lists. For starters, it is home to the world's first commercial bungee site opened in the 1980s by iconic pioneer jumper AJ Hackett. Add into the mix more jump sites than you can shake a stick at which include bridges, platforms, cliff edges, rail viaducts and climbs. Last of all is the fact that New Zealand scenery tends to be of the spectacular variety and you can perhaps start to understand why the country has become a Mecca for the bungee jump seeker. Here is a selection of some of the best, the majority of which are operated by the aforementioned bungee hero – AJ Hackett.

AUCKLAND – Bridge Bungee

Getting to the suspended pod of this bungee's launch spot is an adventure in itself with a bridge walk high above the waters of the Auckland coast – not for the timid. Water dunking is not unusual for bungee jumps but salt-water dips – such as that offered here and only here in New Zealand – are.

Height: 40 metres

Operated by: AJ Hackett

Claim to fame: Country's only ocean dip bungee and all bungee options offered – freestyle, traditional ankle harness and tandem.

Setting – A cute jump pod suspended under the city's bridge with views of the city, Waitemata harbour and coast.

AUCKLAND - Skytower Skyjump Base Jump

We've snuck this one in because it isn't actually a bungee jump – it’s a wire-attached base jump and incidentally the only one in the country. However, we figured anyone interested in hurling themselves off very high places might be interested in this so it gets to stay.

At 192 metres it's a whole lot higher than New Zealand's highest bungee (the Nevis in Queenstown at 134 metres) and you'll not so much be flying like a bird but plummeting like a rock at 85 km per hour. After 11 seconds of terror you will come to a dignified, smooth and controlled landing in the Sky City Plaza where typically you will be met by astonished plaza crowds who might just burst into spontaneous applause.

Height: 192 metres

Operated by: Rumour has it this is another AJ Hackett owned enterprise.

Claim to fame: New Zealand's highest building and the country's only commercial base jump.

Setting: The iconic Skytower high above the streets of Auckland with views out to the ocean.

QUEENSTOWN – The Kawarau Bridge Bungee

No list of New Zealand's best bungee jumps would be properly complete without including the country's very first jump site opened in 1988. This also happens to be the first ever jump site on the entire planet where the general public could come for thrills.

This AJ Hackett operated jump offers tandem bungees – the only one in Queenstown - for all those who think getting strapped to a buddy somehow makes the whole process less terrifying and if getting dunked appeals then water touches are also available.

Height: 43 metres

Operated by: AJ Hackett

Claim to fame: World's first ever commercial bungee jump site.

Setting: Stunning river gorge from a bridge.

QUEENSTOWN – The Nevis Bungee

You may have bagged yourself every bungee going in New Zealand but until you've launched yourself from the Nevis River platform you have not done the country's highest. Located on private property, you can't even get a peek at this bungee until you're there and ready to take the plunge which will give you a whole 8 ½ seconds of gut-wrenching freefall.

Height: 134 metres

Operated by: AJ Hackett

Claim to fame: Country's highest bungee

Setting: Beautiful river gorge suspended platform jump reached by cable car

QUEENSTOWN – The Ledge Bungee

Projecting from a rock-face high, high above Queenstown – 400 metres above in fact - is the platform-based Ledge bungee jump. This jump is for all those bored of (or not interested in) the plain old swallow-dive type bungee. Here a specially designed harness allows an almost endless range of stylish – and not so stylish - possibilities which include twists, flips, somersaults, taking a running approach and otherwise weird shape-making in the air. If you lack imagination you can get some inspiration from the 'jump menu' which lists all your options from the crazy to the downright kamikaze.

A further twist on the conventional bungee theme is the possibility of night time bungee as Queenstown twinkles below you and the stars shine above you.

Height: 47 metres

Operated by: AJ Hackett

Claim to fame: Freestyle jumping and night bungee jumps

Setting: Platform bungee at 400 metres with all the glory of Queenstown's mountains and lakes set out below you.

TAIHEPE – Gravity Canyon Bungee

A dramatic steep-sided gorge setting and a few claims to fame which include being the country's highest bridge bungee make this a definite one to tick off your been-there-done-that list.

Height: 80 metres

Operated by: Mokai Gravity Canyon, previously High Time Bungy

Claim to fame: The country's highest bridge bungee and highest tandem bungee as well as being the North Island's highest overall.

Setting: A bridge launch over a spectacular section of the Rangitikei River – a truly majestic gorge.

TAUPO – Taupo Bungee

Terrifying people since 1991, the picturesque Taupo bungee stakes its claim as the country's highest water touch bungee and what a beautiful crystal clear river you will be getting your soaking in. Views are of the stunning kind from the launch platform – if you can bear to open your eyes and look.

The bungee menu here includes both solo and tandem options as well as staying totally dry (boring!) to an up-to-your-ankles plunge.

Height: 47 metres

Operated by: Taupo Bungy & Cliffhanger

Claim to fame: New Zealand's highest fresh water touch bungee.

Setting: Cantilever platform jump over a spectacular river gorge.

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