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Bungy Jump in Queenstown

Kawarau Bridge
Bungy jumping was always one of those once in a lifetime things I had wanted to do for years, but never really got around to actually do it. Whether the queue at the event was too long, or, probably more often, I just didn't feel like paying eighty Euros for jumping off a platform at the top of a ghastly crane next to a home city square. But once I went to New Zealand, the very home of modern bungy jumping, there was absolutely no way I would not have a go.

We went near Queenstown, to Kawarau Bridge, which crosses a river with the same name. Although there are many other, way higher bungy sites in and around Queenstown, the 43 metre jump from above the Kawarau River seemed the most appropriate - after all, this is the world's first commercial bungy jumping site. Here it all began.

Some people might recognise the river from Lord of the Rings films. The gorge nearby the bungy bridge represented River Anduin, where the Fellowship of the Ring paddled past Argonath, the Pillars of the Kings. The place was made to look much bigger and wider during the post production and the statues themselves were, of course, computer generated images.

The bungy jumping site itself was very well organised operation. There is a big dome built on the rock by the 100-year-old  bridge where you can buy your jump. You can watch ongoing jumps inside on big screens or go outside on a platform with a perfect view to the bridge and the jumpers. There is a tour called The Secrets of Bungy you can take, and a café to rest your feet. For jumpers, everything goes really smoothly. Enter the desk, fill in a form, decide if you also want to buy a DVD or photos of your leap, pay for your jump, have yourself weighed and go to the bridge to wait for your turn. It all happens so easily and effortlessly that before you know, you're falling down.

Kawarau Bridge Bungy Centre also offers various types of bungy jumps. You can decide between an ordinary 'dry' jump and dips of various types in the river. I definitely wanted to do a head splash.

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