Bungy jumping – the craziest in New Zealand

(VOVworld) – If you feel that horror films are not scary enough, if you are bored of the air glider in the park, just go to the top of the tallest building and jump off. You will definitely feel awesome. I’m not kidding. I’m talking about Bungy jumping, the most famous adventure sport from New Zealand. Let’s find out   more in this week’s Culture Rendezvous segment with Amber Harris, a New Zealand tour guide.

Q: Hello Amber Harris! Thank you for joining us today. New Zealand is famous for its many adventure sports for anyone looking for thrills and excitement. Can you name some?

A: Yeah we have many different mountains in New Zealand, lots of big landscapes, so people do base jumping, that’s when you run to the side of the mountain, and you have a parachute in your back pack. And also sky diving (jumping from the airplane). We have one other famous sport in New Zealand which is called Zorbing. You go inside a big white plastic ball, and you sit down, and you roll down a mountain.

Q: It sounds fantastic! Can you tell me more about Bungy jumping?

A: It was invented by a New Zealand man called Kiwi in 1986. So we call ourselves Kiwi, but his name is AJ Hackett. He was very adventurous when he was young. He wanted to dive off a building, so he attached a cord to his legs, and he created Bungy jumping. He put many pieces of small elastic, the same kind of elastic that girls use to tighten up their hair, to make a cord. He knew that he could spring back.

Q: It’s so dangerous, right? Is there any story behind the reason why Kiwi did such a crazy thing?

A: Maybe in New Zealand we have a very quiet life, a very small country down the bottom of the world, and perhaps he just wanted to start something, and he became a big success. He decided to bring attention to Bungy jumping by traveling to Paris and he jumped off the Eifel tower. And nobody knew what was going on. They just thought that he was a crazy man, but he had the Bungy cord on his feet, so the entire world was watching him, and then he became famous straight away.

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A Bungy jumping in Kawaru Bridge, New Zealand (Photo: rontravel.com)

Q: Since Bungy jumping develops into a sport in New Zealand, are there now any rules for the jumpers?

A: You have to go to a registered company. There are a lot of different tour companies and tour guides that set up and you have to go and jump with them. You can’t just jump by yourself. In Bungy jumping, they have many different safety checks. You just get checkup beforehand through the medical team. They have 4 or 5 people to check you before jump, and all the equipment is safe, so you’re always protected, you have a lot of safety gears. You have a really good team of make you feel calm, and then you just go and do it. Well I think, you’re crazy enough to do it or you definitely not!

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A 43m-Bungy jump in Queenstown, New Zealand (Photo: vansingel.be) 

Q: How high can a Bungy jump be?

A: In New Zealand, we have Queenstown, the biggest snow capital. Everybody comes there each year for snowboarding and skiing, and there is a big volcano there also. You can do the biggest Bungy jump in the world there. It’s 355 meters, and it’s called the Nevis, it’s owned by a company called AJ Hackett, which was the man who invented Bungy jumping. This Bungy jump is very famous. People come from all over the world because this is the biggest. So the biggest one was 355 meters, but you can do one that’s 300m if you want, you don’t have to jump too high if you want to try it out. I think it would be too scary, but there has never been anything wrong.

Q: How long does it take for a Bungy jump?

A: When you jump, you go all the way down, and then you spring back, kind of bounce back up. So when you do a Bungy jump, it can take 10 minutes. Because when you jump, that’s only 1 second, but it’s bouncing up and down, you could be doing a Bungy jump for about 10 minutes, and then they slowly pull you back up.

Q: Can I jump from a building?

A: Yeah you can also jump from a building as well if you want to. You can have a Bungy cord wrapped around. In Auckland, our biggest city, they have a jump from a famous sky tower. It’s the tallest tower in New Zealand.

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A Bungy jump from Sky Tower, Auckland, New Zealand (Photo: MIT Mathematics)

Q: Well I bet adventure sports have made New Zealand become one of the most famous tourist attractions.

A: Yeah definitely. New Zealand attracts a lot of tourists through its adventure sports. New Zealand is the only place in the world where you can climb a volcano, and you can fly across. I think we like to do very crazy things in New Zealand cuz we just have so many natural landscapes, mountains, volcanoes, so we just create sports out of them. We’re very proud of them.

Q: Thank you, Amber Harris, for talking about Bungy jumping, one of the craziest adventure sport in New Zealand. For VOV24/7’s Culture Rendezvous segment, I’m Thu Ly. Catch you then!