In a country as famed for adrenaline-laced adventure as New Zealand, it’s no surprise that many outlets offer travelers and nationals the chance to indulge their passion for skydiving. Most of the skydiving outings run in the $200-$300 (NZ) range, and to decide which to choose depends primarily on what you want to see when you dive, and what part of the country you are in.
New Zealand is divided into two islands, and both of them offer several spots from which to skydive. The North Island has a few more touristic spots than South Island and offers 18 possible skydiving packages, as opposed to 10 on the South Island. Both islands offer mountain ranges and impressive lakes that highlight the country’s legendary scenery. In many ways, you can’t lose by picking any of the choices listed below. Your first criterion should probably be if you want to dive over mountains and lakes or near a city for an uncommon view of a metropolitan area.
A lot also depends on where you are traveling in country, to access the most convenient company near where you are staying.
Here are several spots from which you can fly and then dive on the North Island:
- Rotorua. This is New Zealand’s top geothermal destination, so access is easy if you are in the area. Descent begins from heights of up to 5,000 m, in tandem.
- Lake Taupo region. This fascinating area around New Zealand’s largest lake features a string of volcanoes that have created the topography of the region. Some of them are still active, but diving in tandem will ensure that you don’t land in any of the craters. This is an extremely popular area for tourists and resorts, so it could be the most convenient for you. Both 4,000- and 5,000-metre options are available for descent.
- Coromandel. Many people call this beach region the most beautiful in New Zealand. You will get a unique perspective of the black sand coast and craggy mountain ranges as you dive.
- Auckland. Get a one-of-a-kind view of the “City of Sails” as you choose from one of three heights—3,000, 4,000 or 5,500 meters. The last option is the highest possible point from which to descend on the North Island.
Here are options if you find yourself in the South Island:
- Abel Tasman. This dive covers an extremely beautiful part of New Zealand—the north end of the South Island. As you ascend to approximately 5,500 m you will get a great look at two national parks and snow-capped mountains hard on golden beaches and turquoise waters. After taking in 20 minutes worth of jaw-dropping scenery, the door will open and you will take flight at almost the exact mid-point of New Zealand.
- Lake Wanaka. Many would argue that this choice is the most scenic in the country. Lake Wanaka has many snow-capped mountains around it, with glaciers that feed into the lake. You can jump from 4,000 or 5,000 m here.
- Franz Josef Glacier. This dive might be the most unique in the country. It takes place over the stunning glaciers of Westland National Park and descends from the highest elevation of any Kiwi dives—almost 6,000 m.
- Queenstown. This city has been called the “Adventure Capital of the World,” so it makes sense that it offers skydiving at heights of up to 5,000 metres. You will get a great look at this charming coastal burg as you descend.
Most of these companies offer photo and video documentation of your dive, so you can prove to everyone back home that you really did see New Zealand from the air at 5,000 metres while free falling towards Earth. For more information on New Zealand’s skydiving, visit this page at newzealand.com. If you are a tourist in New Zealand, many sky diving companies can pick you up from your hotel or hostel Another common way is for people to hire a car from somewhere like Omega Car Rental New Zealand, and drive themselves to the launching site. This allows you more freedom to explore the surrounding areas before and after the jump.