Tubisode: Bungy Jumping with Friends!

Another early morning came to VNTRbirds on the fourth day of their adventures. Being a couple hours away from Queenstown, at 5:45am Oliver hopped down off his bunk and flicked on the lights. With enthusiasm that was very unwanted that early he shouted, “It’s the morning! Time to get up!” Thanks O.

Slowly raising off of their pillows and stretching out their wings, TUB finished up their intense yawns and joined Oliver in getting ready and packing up the car. It was still dark outside and to top off the early waking, it was raining. Backing the Nissan right up to the door of TUB &O’s room, the trio tossed all of their belongings into the car and then settled in themselves. Not too eager on traveling through the weather Jaime and Kelley took the liberty of sleeping while Oliver navigated towards Queenstown.

After the first hour of the drive, the rain let up and blue skies broke through the clouded atmosphere. This is when the birdies woke up to view the beautiful Southern Alps. Surrounded by these enormous, snow capped mountains that were spread as far as TUB could see, the girls were feeling right at home, but still couldn’t peel their eyes away from the windows. The teal blue sky just intensified these peaks.


Cruising through Route 6, TUB &O had to choose very wisely where they would be stopping the car to take in and take pictures of where they were. Too many stops would result in TUB &O being late. Late to what you wonder… well, you’ll see.




Hours flew by and VNTRbirds were in Queenstown. This place was bustling with excitement, or maybe it was just the three in the car ready to burst out and explore. Queenstown is a simple and small city, no real tall building but a lot of boutiques, snowboard shops, adventure stores, extreme activities centers and bars galore. Qtown has a good reputation for their pubs, with over 100 in a two block radius!

TUB &O ended up touring around the town for a couple of laps because they were in search of a parking space. Finally giving in, the trio scrounged together $10 and ducked into a parking garage. Stretching, snacking and hiding all of the ‘expensive items’ from the back seat TUB &O were off to the streets of Queenstown. First stop, Subway! Yes, New Zealand has American fast food chains like Subway, McDonalds, Burger King even KFC (no Taco Bell – could be a deal breaker for some). While the three companions were munching on their 6inchers about seven different friends from not only Wellington, but also Auckland were spotted and gladly reunited. Keeping together and finishing up their sandwiches, there was only one thing on the TEANers minds… Bungee Jumping!

Now don’t let VNTRbirds lie to you, they were terrified thinking that the 134meter (about 440ft) and 8second freefall was coming up so soon. At around 12:30, no one could think of anything else. At about 1 o’clock, TUB &O went into AJ Hackett’s Bungee shop/ office and checked in. Getting weighed up and then again for safety, they were marked up on their hands the session they were in and were told to return at 1:45 when the shuttle would come to pick them up, or go on their computers to use the free internet. Naturally, TUB couldn’t help but want to update their statuses, but also there was no way they would enjoy wandering around Queenstown when all they would think about was the jump.

The rest of the crew filtered into the store to get checked in soon after. There were 9 crazy Americans total. After laughing and joking about what each of them were going to do before and when they jumped, the shuttle van pulled up. The black van was more than half full with 2 o’clock jumpers and all were chatting anxiously. The driver was the last one in. He stood in the front for a moment and faced the participants. “Okay guys” he started “it’s going to be about a 40minute drive up to the sight. Just stay relaxed and enjoy the ride” then proceed to blast a heavy metal soundtrack for everyone to ‘relax’ to. Not like anyone minded though, the music started getting everyone even more pumped. Driving out of the city center, the van rolled pass another AJ Hackett bungee site (a lot smaller) and everyone was at the windows to watch someone jump. Continuing on, the van started driving up hill. As it got higher and higher, nerves were getting more and more intense.
Pulling into the site VNTRbirds lined up with the rest of the group to get their harnesses and suited up. Pictures flashing everywhere showing the unflattering attire, people were ushered inside to get weighed once more. Safety first! Shuffling out the door and looking at the cable car out in mid-air excitement took over. It was finally happening, TUB has been planning this Nevis bungee jump since before they even took off for New Zealand.

The boys got in the metal trolley first and were carted to the cable car. TUB along with Sumi, Katie and Lauren took the opportunity to talk to an employee about the jump, take pictures from the observation deck and watch some of the last jumpers from the session before. The trolley was back. Loading in, Sully was the guide and he hooked up everybody’s karabiners to the trolley and explained how the jump goes down. Quick tip to all of you future bungeers, DO NOT JUMP FEET FIRST! You’ll most like break your knees and have the worst form of whip lash in the world. Jump off of the platform in a diving position. Yes, head first. This is the time to go BIG or go home and home is a long ways away.
The girls finally made it to the cable car and crossed over. No turning back now.

As each one of TUB’s friends were getting strapped up in the right and necessary equipment, music was blasting to jam to. Out of nervousness Kelley and Katie found themselves continuously dancing. Everyone was all smiles and couldn’t stop talking about how stoked they were for their turn. TUB’s friend Chase was first out of the group. The cable car’s floor is clear so that the people waiting can see the full decent of the bungee. Chase’s jump was probably the most intense to watch simply because he was the first. This sent VNTRbirds’ hearts racing.


One by one the boys jumped. Suddenly Kelley heard her name called. Sully came over and started strapping on her ankle cuffs. Jaime ran over using her iPHONE to video and Chase joined her to hand off his goPRO camera. The perma-grin on Kelley’s face was accompanied by deep breaths to keep calm. Walking to the hot seat and being hooked to the bungee was a time full of advance and recommendations. Kelley then was walked out to the small platform that could just fit her feet, told to look out, one last deep breath, 3..2..1.. BUNGEE! And she was off! Screaming down, then up and then down again, Kelley got her feet unhooked and enjoyed the view. The feeling of the ground rush was so unbelievable.

Being pulled back up everyone was right at the gate. “How was it?” “Did you get whip lash?” “How do you feel now?” All Kelley could stutter out was, “I want to do another one!”


A few more girls went and then finally it was Jaime’s turn to enter the hot seat. Getting her instructions from Sully, Jaime made sure she clarified everything and then got suited up. Waddling out to the platform into the sun was the most surreal experience. After three taps on her shoulder Jaime knew what to do and in a graceful dive jumped from the safety of the cable car.
Jaime’s scream was the winner of the day. Everyone in the car was able to hear her from top to bottom and Kelley was there at the gate videoing the whole thing. After she was reeled in she had the same reaction as Kelley, only wanting to turn around for a second jump.


After Sumi’s jump finishing up the crew, everyone once again filled up the trolley and hooked themselves on. Shuttling over to solid ground was a blur of shaking bodies and adrenaline. Returning the harnesses went quickly and everyone ran inside to see their photos and videos still not believing what just happened. After everyone saw each others’ glorious moments it was time to snag their ‘free shirts’ and get back onto the van. The drive back into town went a lot faster than driving out.

Relaxing for an hour or so, the crew realized that they built up quite the appetite. There was only one restaurant that these kids had their hearts set on, FERBURGER! Fergburger is a burger joint that always has a line packed out the door because it is just that good. With huge patties (beef, chicken, fish or vegetarian) and all of the desired toppings, it’s a joyous struggle to get through. VNTRbirds ordered up their burgs and waited impatiently for their numbers to be called out. “68, 71, 72, 73!” TUB raced to the front waving their receipts in a panic to claim their meals. Opening up to the enormous burger, the birds dug right in topping it off with some fries shared by Tucker.


After everyone was satisfied and full, it was time that TUB &O were off to find their campsite. Fortunately, this night the trio would have some company from the Auckland boys who also wanted to camp. Traveling down the dark path, Oliver came to the road where the site was on, but there was a big notice sign stating that the road conditions were very badly damaged and that only 4WD vehicles were allowed to proceed. Of course TUB &O had to at least try to go through even though their Nissan was only 2WD along with the Auckland boys’ powder blue car. Though, when the sign said it was badly damaged, it meant that WWIII went down on this road. With potholes the size of small cars themselves the group quickly realized this would not happen easily and turned around. Going through the bumps and dips and such all over again the Auckland car lost a hubcap, but everyone made it out unscathed.

Finding another site just down the main road (lovingly paved) everyone decided that would be their best bet since it was already so late. The down side was that TUB &co. would now be camping on gravel. What type of camp site is filled with gravel?! Getting over what was going to be poor sleeping conditions, everyone was off to find wood and Max got a fire roaring. Standing around in a circle the friends shared stories of their different trips and what was coming up next. For VNTRbirds, snowboarding was in their near future.
Soon sleep took them all. Saying their goodbyes before heading into the tents (and the boys peeing on the fire… must be a guy thing) VNTRbirds laid down in their familiar tent and waited for morning.

– VNTRbirds