A few curious facts about bungy jumping in New Zealand (with video)

Here are 10 funny and fascinating facts about bungy jumping, from its beginnings to stats to bungy cord making, and how even “free” jumps come at a price!

1. History of bungy

Bungy’s predecessor, vine jumping, originated in Vanuatu, where, during a ritual, women were the ones jumping off wooden tower structures with vines tied around their ankles.

2. Founders of bungy

AJ Hackett’s Kawarau Bridge Bungy was the first commercial bungy jump in the world. Alan John Hackett, Henry van Asch and Chris Allum set up the Kawarau Bridge Bungy in 1988.

3. Bungy stats

The operation has been going strong ever since. The Kawarau Bridge bungy centre attracts over 400,000 visitors from all over the world every year. 35,000 adventure seekers indulge in a bungy at Kawarau bridge per year. Over 1 million people have jumped or swung at an AJ Hackett bungy site since 1988.

4. Bungy jump styles

There’s a jump menu for AJ Hackett bungy jump sites. Have a look at the menu of the Ledge, Queenstown’s urban bungy jump site:

5. Tandem bungy jumps

You can tandem jump at Kawarau bridge and tandem swing at the Arc. The difference in weight between the two jumpers cannot exceed 30 kilograms.

6. The highest bungy jump in New Zealand

New Zealand’s highest commercial bungee jump is AJ Hackett’s Nevis bungy near Queenstown. It’s 134 metres high, and jumpers plunge from a highwire cable car suspended above a canyon.

7. The highest bungy jump in the world

Macau Tower is currently the highest commercial bungy jump in the world, as recognised by the Guinness Book of Records. It is 233 metres high.

8. The bungy cord

A bungy cord can last for 1500 jumps. At AJ Hackett jump sites, bungy cords don’t have to work too hard; they are thrown out after only 500 jumps. Your weight determines the type of bungy cord used for your jump. This is how a bungy cord is made:

9. Perks of the job

AJ Hackett employees enjoy as many free bungy jumps as they like.

10. The naked truth

Jumpers who would bungy off the bridge in the nude would get their ticket for free. However, this turned out to be quite popular amongst the many cash strapped backpackers. Nowadays, there are no more discounts for topless or nude jumping, but you are welcome to do so if you wish 🙂 There have even been nude celebrity jumpers. Have a look here – Billy Connolly doing the Nevis bungy:

Christina Hegele

About the author: Christina Hegele runs Sandal Road, a blog on her favourite destinations. It just so happened that 95% turned out to be about New Zealand. Follow Christina and her blog on Twitter, like her blog on Facebook, and subscribe to her Youtube channel. Alternatively, subscribe to her email newsletter at the top right of this blog.

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