Skydiving at Franz Josef Glacier – Day 120
New Zealand’s highest skydive
Today we are skydiving at 19,000ft with Skydive Franz Josef! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities then join our backpacker squad on YouTube!
Alright so we are at Skydive Franz Josef they are the highest skydiving in New Zealand and we’re about to jump out of their perfectly good airplane.
This morning we are doing the highest skydive in New Zealand and I’m totally stoked about it but let’s check in with Robin to see how he feels.
Feeling alright. I’m feeling a bit stupid for doing that. I think the airplane is you know sound safe.
Funnily enough after a quick check in and boarding onto the shuttle Laura is the one that starts stressing.
The Anticipation’s growing.
After a very short drive toward the Skydive Franz Airport We are greeted by the lovely Krista that is walking us through what is going to happen to us today. and the first thing that we have to do is to jump into some very sexy jumpsuits.
While we were suiting up Krista has prepared for us some really cool harnesses. I mean honestly this is the best fashion statement I have made in this entire trip and she’s making sure that I am fashionable enough making sure that all my packages are well tucked in and well tight so I’m safe flying up.
Em just a tiny bit nervous but I’m more stoked than anything so.
I’m feeling pretty awesome I took the helicopter yesterday and landed on the glacier I just can’t wait to see it from way higher and see what’s behind the glacier as well. We’re going 19,000ft that’s the highest skydive in New Zealand. Not even just New Zealand highest in the Southern Hemisphere. What? Hell yeah. See you learn every day. Sweet. Judging by Robin’s jokes being a little bit better than usual I’d say he is stressing as we are getting closer to departure. This is it there is no turning back now the only way to get out of this plane is to jump from it. So here we go.
The flight is a lot different I have to say than what we arrived in a plane to New Zealand it is a lot smaller. We are sat on these little benches in the middle of the plane. It’s a very intimate experience shall we say.
The plane is rocking from side to side and everything is shaking inside this very tiny plane it’s a tension builder like I’ve never seen before.
We’re about to jump on the top of the biggest glacier of New Zealand. How epic is that? The views are amazing. You can see all the way out to the Tasman Sea. Braided rivers behind me. So cool.
Although the flight is over 25 minutes long we actually have a lot to entertain ourselves and take our mind off the fact that we are soon about to jump out of that freakin’ plane. So we are looking at the snowy peak of the Southern Alps, it’s an amazing spectacle and despite the fact that we are super stressed we are in awe. So I’ve got one important question for you. Yes? See that guy behind you? Yes. Do you trust him? He’s my new lover.
As we are ascending higher and higher inching every closer to our jump altitude we are getting some amazing views of Mt Cook which is the highest mountain in New Zealand and the glaciers from a birds-eye perspective and it turns out that I am about to get a closer look at those glaciers right about now.
And within seconds of the door opening I see Laura disappear into the emptiness. I have no idea what’s happening to her right now. I’m just left alone in the plane.
My senses are in complete overload right here. I’ve got the wind pushing up against me making my face look like a duck and I can just hear the wind crashing against my ears and just really I’m trying to make sense of what is happening here. It’s such a surreal feeling.
It feels like an eternity until Ian my tandem master pulls the cord and we are wooshed back up into the sky.
So while Laura is enjoying a lovely little glide above the glaciers I am left by myself in the plane. I chose to jump at 19,000ft which is a crazy height. Laura only jumped at 15,000ft I am left Lauraless no one to joke with aside from the tandem master and the cameraman which are about to do their job, i.e. throwing me out of this plane. I am so stressed right now and they dangle me outside the plane for a wee while so I can take in the view but I just want to jump right now so the adrenaline gets rid of my fear.
For the first few seconds right out of the plane I can barely breathe. I try to make sense of what is happening to me but I can’t even comprehend what is going on right now. My tandem master, Henry, told me that I could do a couple of poses that would be quite fun so I’m going for a superman pose I’m also trying to swim in the air, it’s absolutely hilarious. I feel like I’m just being an idiot in the middle of the air. It’s crazy. I’m just flying by myself. Playing around with the cameraman. The feeling is absolutely amazing. I am in a glorious state of mind right now. I’m taking in everything that I can while just feeling completely overwhelmed by the elements it’s almost indescribable and by the way I am getting the highest high five I have ever done in my life that is a real high five.
So while I’m flying through the air at over 200km an hour the airbag is about to pop in, Henry pulls on the cord and I am flying back up in the air. It feels like I just hit a rock wall and then after it’s on for a really lovely glide and I can even get a glimpse of Laura all the way down there.
So I just jumped over the amazing Franz Josef Glacier and Mt Cook and the views are absolutely incredible. I felt like I was flying. it was insane. Absolutely loved it.
With the video packages that we got we get lots of opportunity to just have a blast with the cameras do a few loops while we’re swooshing and wooshing down from the air.
As we’re coming in for landing Ian is telling me what I need to do with my legs and somehow I end up landing on my ass but at this point I really don’t care. I’ve just had an absolutely amazing time skydiving in Franz Josef.
This is the highest skydive in New Zealand above the biggest glacier of the country. How better does it get?
From below I now get the fun opportunity to watch Robin parachuting down towards the ground which to be honest he seems to be going a lot faster than we did.
Henry is heaps of fun to fly with he’s helping me maneuver the parachute. And giving me a lot of tips on how ti is to fly on your own he’s even maneuvering us really close to the plane. it’s really an incredible feeling to be flying amongst the plane. From up there I can see Laura below wearing the bright red jumpsuit that I’m aiming for her for my landing so I am targeting Laura right here and I am landing right on my bum. That is not really a classy one at I guarantee that’s gonna leave a mark. Just time for a quick classic interview though.
Was epic! That’s the longest freefall I’ve ever done in my life and I just can’t wait to do it again. We’re doing it again right? So I’ve just jumped over the amazing Franz Josef Glacier and the Southern Alps and saw that amazing snowy mountains while falling at crazy speed so I’m buzzing right now like I feel so dizzy and crazy and oh my God it was amazing.
The only way to calm down from such a high thrill is to actually get some booze. So we are heading to the most popular bar of the Franz Josef settlement which is the Monsoon Bar restaurant for their all you can eat pizza evening that’s pretty awesome. And we are taking the time to mingle with our fellow backpackers that are also staying at the Rainforest Retreat and we’re telling them about the awesome experience we just had skydiving over Franz Josef Glacier. That is a story always best told with pizza and beer.
So before we go do you have anything to say to friends and family and anyone watching, well you know where the videos are you know where the hard drives are, so if I’m not making it back just turn my life into a movie.