New Zealand at 16,000 feet

I am the biggest chicken alive. So how is it that I found myself launched out of a small plane 16,000 feet above the Bay of Islands in New Zealand? In partnership with Tourism New Zealand I spent the last week touring the northern part of the country’s North Island along with 3 other online journalists and our host.

Our trip as a group has come to an end and I’m about to embark on a completely different adventure with the Brit – a road trip around the South Island for the next 10 days. But I do want to share an experience I will not soon forget: skydiving over the Bay of Islands at 16,000 feet above ground with Skydive Bay of Islands!

Bay of Islands Sky diving New Zealand  photo

I didn’t do a very good job hiding the fear in my eyes!

Tandem skydiving Bay of Islands New Zealand photo

I made a conscious effort to keep my eyes open because as nervous as I was I wanted to savour as much of the moment as I could. The freefall – the best part of the dive – was about 75 seconds.

NZ Skydiving Bay of Islands

My breath escaped me as we hurled out of the plane but quickly recovered as soon as I fixated on the vineyards and green fields sprawled beneath us. I was in such awe I don’t think I managed to shut my mouth the whole way down. I might have drooled a little bit.

Tandem sky diving with photographers photo

Skydive Bay of Islands offers a few different packages but if budget isn’t an issue I’d recommend the Platinum so you can have a photographer film you separately to get a different perspective of the experience. Here I am with my team! Also, they offer other levels (9k and 12k feet) but it’s worth it to do the 16k feet so you can maximize the experience – it all happens too quickly and once you’re up there already you might as well go full tilt.

Tandem skydive Bay of Islands New Zealand photo

We did a few twists and turns so I was feeling a little sick at this point but my sheer awe of the experience eclipsed everything and I loved navigating a little by pulling the yellow straps.

Tandem Sky Dive Bay of Islands New Zealand photo

I also can’t speak more highly of the staff at Skydive Bay of Islands. Everybody from the woman who signed us in to the diving team was extremely professional, helpful and skillful in easing our nerves. The guy I was strapped to had already dived 6 times that day before he got to me and had been doing it for 4 years. I felt like I was in really good hands.

If you want or are in need of a good laugh watch the video so you can see how absolutely terrified I was up to the point of the falling out of the plane. I also promised Mama Yee I’ll never jump out of a plane again (in her words: “do you know how difficult it was to raise you?!”) so I’m glad I have the footage for keepsake.

Note: I was a guest of Tourism New Zealand and STA Travel.

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