Trip Start Mar 10, 2010
30Trip End May 22, 2010
We worked our way north from here passing through the Tongariro National Park and passing Mount Ngauruhoe. For those of you who are interested, these two locations were Mordor and Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings films.
It was then another 30 minutes or so to get around the side of the huge Lake Taupo, to the town of Taupo. At 238 sq. miles, Lake Taupo is New Zealand's largest lake by surface area. Impressive it is
This journey took most of the day to complete, so the rest of the day was spent having a little wander around the town and milling around in the hostel, waiting for the big day tomorrow.
Today was the day of the skydive. It wasn't until 3pm, so I had to spend the day waiting around, preparing for plummeting down to earth from 12,000ft in the air. The company that I chose also had an interesting way of picking up the customers. It was via limo. Oh the embarrassment. Everytime I see one of these, I just think that everyone inside has really bad taste. I felt like I had bad taste. Ah well, it all had to be done.
Once I arrived I got kitted up straight away with a jump suit, harness, hat and goggles. I had to wait for a group before me to go and do their jumps first. It takes about 30 minutes for the group to get ready, get up, do the skydive and for the intructor to be ready to do the next one
So, after that half an hour of waiting, we got into the plane which took about 8 minutes to get to the 12,000ft target height. I got a few last minute pointers from my instructor Steve, such as hold on... you know how it goes. We shuffled to the edge of the plane, legs out and off we went.
It was such an amazing feeling, accelerating to 200km/h in a matter of seconds. The views, or what I can remember of them were amazing. There was about 40 seconds freefall before the parachute was pulled. Once we were 'floating' down to earth again, Steve told me that normally it takes 1000ft for the paracute to fully open. It took us 2000ft. Hew said that if we had fallen for a further 2-3 seconds, he would have released the chute and pulled the reserve.
This extra freefall time was shown when we touched down. We were the last ones out of the plane, yet we were the second pair to land, by quite a long way as well. Lucky I had no idea how long it should take to open. Otherwise I would have gone mental.
I had to spend an extra night here in Taupo as the bus only leaves 5 days a week when it isn't summer. I spent the day walking around the town, not really doing a lot, as there isn't really that much to do here. I went to watch a few people do a bungy, but that was about it.