Terminal Velocity - Lake Taupo, New Zealand

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August 31st 2016
Published: August 3rd 2016
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Lake Taupo is the largest lake in New Zealand and is situated right in the middle of the North Island. I came here looking for one thing and that was to jump out of an airplane. Seemed reasonable enough. Once in town I went to the three skydive operators and failed in my negotiations for any sort of discount. All of the companies have a price agreement and do not undersell one another. Smart move by them, but bad for me. Anyways for the price of $NZ339 ($272 USD) I booked a 15,000ft. skydive for the next day and set off about the town to think about what I had done.

I barely slept at all that night. I was full of excitement, anticipation, and certainly a little anxiety. The drive to the airport was solely on autopilot as my mind was consumed about what I was about to do. Once at the Tandem Taupo office me and 3 other fellow jumpers had a quick briefing, suited up, and were loaded onto the plane for the 15,000ft. journey up.

The twenty five minute journey up was a little sketchy. I generally don't do well in planes as it is, but this was the smallest plane I had ever been in. The ride up was bumpy, loud, and inside the fuselage it was very cold. We even had to wear little oxygen masks on the way up. That's when it really sank in that this was going to happen. The door was opened up and the wind rushed into the plane. Somehow I was the last person to go and it was the strangest sensation seeing the people that were just sitting next to you tumble out of the door in front of you and they are gone, just like that. Looking back it probably would have been better for the nerves to go first rather than last. Nonetheless my number was up and out the door I went. It was incredible. I loved every second - about 65 of them - of the free fall. The sensation and feelings are just something I cannot really describe. Once the ripcord was pulled and the chute deployed everything was really silent and tranquil. This was the only time in the whole jump experience where I did become nervous and a tad frightened. I did not enjoy the glide down at all. The sooner I reached the ground the better. I knew going into the jump that this would be the worse part for me and it held true. Regardless I made it safe and sound and what a thrill it was. I'll definitely do it again.

I didn't pay for a video or any photos, but the company posts a group type video. I'm not in it very much since I did not pay, but if you are bored you can view the video at:


Another LOTR film site sits off the banks of Lake Taupo. Mt. Doom and the realm of Mordor dominates the skyline on the Lake's southern edge. It's always really cool to see an active volcano up close. So I drove out to the range, took some photos, and then made a beeline south for Wellington where I'll drive onto the ferry for the South Island and the next New Zealand journey will begin.

Additional photos below
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