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Ready to jump
It's a long way down

Auckland Sky Tower

Thursday, January 9, 2003
If you want to see Ben scared out of his wits again … jumping from a very tall building — then check this out!

Auckland's 328m Sky Tower is the southern hemisphere's tallest structure. It took 2000 tonnes of reinforcing steel, 660 tonnes of structural steel and 15,000 cubic metres of concrete to erect it. It can withstand 200km/h winds, earthquakes up to eight on the Richter scale and on a clear day, visibility is around 82km. The highest indoor point is Sky Deck, which has seamless glass giving unimpeded 360º views.

There is a 40m video and slide screen as you enter and three glass-fronted elevators can take 225 people to the observation levels every 15 minutes. At 18km/h the ride takes just 40 seconds.

If you would rather walk, there are 1267 steps from the base to the Sky Deck.

Of course, as soon as there is something that looks physically impossible to master, people are out there trying. Sky Jump is a company run by Steve Weidmann and they offer brave people the chance to try the world's highest land-based jump of 192m.

Rather than using parachutes, Sky Jump has eliminated danger by using a fan descender, similar to that used in the movie stunt industry and for safe entry into New Zealand's Lost World Caves at Waitomo.

Jumpers are decked in blue, red and yellow suits and are harnessed to a cable. They start by standing on a six metre platform on the Observatory level of the Tower, 200m above ground. Two highly trained operators are there — one on the drum cable, the other leading the jumper to the edge of the platform.

The fall is controlled to around 60km/h which is slower than a free-fall and allows time to look around — providing the jumper's eyes are open! The landing is a gentle one on a platform four metres above the ground. The operators describe the experience as being "hard on the mind, easy on the body".

For those who would prefer to tackle something a little tamer, there is the Vertigo Climb which is operated by To The Top Limited.

This experience takes around two hours, starting with a video and fitness check on a simulator. The climb is suitable for all ages and almost all fitness levels, and a climb is tailored to each person's simulator result.

The climb starts by taking a lift to the Sky Deck where the 44m ascent begins up the inside of the mast at the top of the tower. There, climbers don an orange climbing suit, helmet and body harness which is attached to a cable system.

There are qualified instructors all the way along, and platforms every four to six metres allow climbers to rest if they wish.

The climb culminates at the first crows' nest and the achievement of reaching the southern hemisphere's highest public viewing area, 300m above sea level.


Auckland on New Zealand's North Island.


Sky Jump costs around $170 per person. They operate daily.
To The Top Vertical Climb costs around $85 per person. They operate daily.
Qantas flies daily to Auckland. Return economy airfares start at $649 from Sydney; $702 from Melbourne and Brisbane; $977 from Adelaide: $1050 from Perth and $1320 from Darwin, per person. Prices include charges and taxes. Sale ends March 31, 2003 Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Sky Jump
Victoria and Federal Streets, Auckland
Ph: 0011 647 878 7788
Fax: 0011 647 878 6266
To The Top Limited
Box 91291 AMSC Auckland
Ph: 0011 649 368 1917
Qantas: Ph: 13 13 13

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