Four of the Best Bungy Jumps in New Zealand

Think bungy and most people think New Zealand.  This adventurous activity has been associated with the country since A.J. Hackett and his ski buddy Henry van Asch set up as the first commercial bungy operator back in 1988.  Actually, the origins of New Zealand bungy jumping can be traced to the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, where it’s been going on for centuries on Pentecost Island.  But for those who prefer their ankles to be attached to a proper cord rather than worryingly fragile vines, then the place to be is New Zealand.  Here’s where you can get your adrenaline rush without worrying (too much) about your personal safety.

Top 4 Locations for New Zealand Bungy Jumping

Kawarau Bridge Bungy: The original one

If you want to recreate that 1980s feeling, you won’t need to grow a mullet or don some leg warmers.  Instead, head to the Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown.  Back in 1988, 28 people each paid $75 to leap off the 43 metre high bridge; today it will cost you a bit more but the thrill is guaranteed to be the same.  Set amongst the stunning scenery of the Kawarau Gorge, it’s still the country’s most popular location for bungy jumping in New Zealand location and, if you think you might lose your nerve, it also offers a tandem jump option.  Choose to dangle, dip or be dunked, it’s up to you.

New Zealand Bungee Jumping: Kawarau Bungee
Kawarau Bungy, Queenstown: Photo by Mat Cros / CC 2.5

Nevis Highwire Bungy: The high one

If you’re of the opinion that a mere 43 metres is the stuff of wimps, then the Nevis Highwire Bungy should satisfy – it’s not only the country’s highest but at 134 metres, there’s no bungy taller in all of Australasia.  Replacing the Pipeline Bungy over the Shotover River, brave souls will freefall for a breath-grabbing 8.5 seconds.  If you can keep your eyes open, that’s just enough time to admire the scenery of the beautiful Nevis Valley as you leap from the glass-panelled jump pod to the experience of a lifetime.

New Zealand Bungee Jumping: Nevis Bungee
Nevis Bungy, Queenstown: Photo by Che010 / CC 3.0

Ledge Urban Bungy: The urban one

You don’t even need to leave Queenstown to leap from the Ledge Urban Bungy.  Take the Skyline Gondola from the centre of town to reach this iconic jump location.  It’s a 47 metre leap back down to the bright lights of Queenstown and yes – you can opt for a night jump.  On this one, the cord is attached to your waist rather than your ankle, enabling you to run right off the edge before you dive, plunge or twirl gracefully back to earth.

New Zealand Bungee Jumping: Ledge bungee
Ledge Bungy, Queenstown: Photo by Will Ellis / CC 2.0

Auckland Bridge Bungy: The ocean one

Not all the action takes place in and around Queenstown; Auckland offers the chance to bungy right into the ocean.  With views over Waitemata Harbour, the scenery from the Auckland Bridge Bungy holds its own against those South Island jump sites and the bars and cafes of New Zealand’s largest city are of course right on hand to host a post-jump celebration.

New Zealand Bungee Jumping: Auckland Bridge Bungy
Auckland Bridge Bungy: Photo by Duncan Blair / CC 2.0

About JuliaHammond


Julia Hammond is a Geography teacher turned travel writer with a passion for places. Winning Mail Travel's Deep South competition was the catalyst to write for a diverse range of publications including Bradt's Bus Pass Britain Rides Again. She’s written Kindle guides to Cape Town, Peru and London for Unanchor and advice on Savannah for Wanderlust. When not travelling, she can be found at home in Essex planning her next trip, her two golden retrievers curled up at her feet.

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