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Ben looking very pleased with himself.
Ben looking very pleased with himself.
Ben looks less than impressed.
Producer Karen gets ready to jump.

Nevis Highwire Bungee

Thursday, November 8, 2001
Is the office trying to get rid of Ben? But who else would do a terrifying bungee jump over the Nevis River? ... Go Ben!

It's a 134m jump, the highest in Australasia, and features the world's first purpose-built gondola, or "pod" bungee. The development of the pod attracted 30 international patents. It cost NZ$1.5 million and took two years to set up.

More than 12,000 have taken the jump from the highwire, which is suspended across the Nevis Valley and the 30m-wide Nevis River.

A 4WD bus transports jumpers and spectators from Queenstown to the site. Jumpers are weighed so the size of the elastics can be adjusted to suit individual weights. The bungee straps are made of 30cm x 3cm-wide latex strips. After a safety briefing, jumpers and spectators are fitted into a jump harness. Six at a time can travel in the cable car to the pod, which is suspended from wires hanging across the valley. The steel-and-glass pod can carry up to 25 people, usually about half of them spectators. The pod has a 360° view of the area and a quarter of the floor is made of glass, allowing you to see straight to the river below.

The person jumping approaches the jump seat, is given another individual briefing on how to jump and how to operate the rip cord and then ankle straps are put on. From the pod you walk out on a 50cm-long plank, smile at the camera and count down for your jump. It lasts about eight seconds, but of course, for the jumper, it feels a lot longer. After a couple of bounces you pull the rip cord and that puts you in an upright position. A recovery device is lowered down the elastic rope to winch you back to the pod.

here are two-way radios between the cable car, pod and the boarding spot on the side of the mountain.

AJ Hackett has invented a number of crazy jumps and is constantly thinking of more ideas and looking at new technology.


The Nevis Valley, 32km southeast of Queenstown on New Zealand's South Island.


AJ Hackett Bungy jumps cost around $120 per person, including transport to the Nevis Valley from Queenstown and a certificate. Videos, photos and T-shirts are available. They operate all year round, except for Christmas Day.
Qantas has return economy airfares to Queenstown starting at $699 from Sydney, $982 from Brisbane and Melbourne, $1112 from Adelaide and $1312 from Perth. Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth have connecting flights to Queenstown out of Christchurch.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

AJ Hackett
(0011 64 3) 442 7122
Qantas: 13 13 13
Best Western: 13 17 79

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