“OMG…I’m freaking out. They want me to jump off a 192 meter high building here in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m shit scared of heights!…Should I do it?”
Jumbled up thoughts of fear and my trying to overcome that with bravery raced through my mind as I waited at the bottom of Auckland’s SkyWalk at the top of New Zealand’s tallest building.
I knew jumping off the tower would make a good story for our blog, but I also knew that my fear of heights was very real and one that I possibly couldn’t overcome. I mean 192 meters if pretty bloody high.
I paced back and forth, taking deep breaths and trying not to think too much about it.
I’m terrified of heights. I wish that wasn’t the case and I had conquered my fear previously. I was determined to experience the moment, face my fear and at least get to the top of the Sky Tower.
Getting organized into groups of six, we dressed into orange overalls and were briefed on the safety aspects of the walk.
“I’ll just start with the SkyWalk around the top,” I told myself. “Then I’ll think about jumping off.”
There was no turning back. After all, it was just a walk right?
Kiwis are GREAT at scaring the lights out of people.
Their fearsome rugby team the “All Blacks” have been intimidating opponents for years.
And the bungy jump is a New Zealand invention. All over the country there are options for leaping off some structure or natural settings.
If you want adrenalin, if you want to FREAK YOURSELF OUT, come to New Zealand.
Challenging myself to a SkyWalk
Using only a safety harness while walking on a one meter wide platform with no handrails, I walked 360 degrees around the external circumference of the tower suspended 192 meters above the ground…
…with nothing but air on either side of me!
Safety is paramount of course, with wind speed being an obvious hazard. Anything over 50km per hour and you aren’t allowed to complete the walk.
The wind was gusting up to 70 km per hour, so we could only go half way around the building which was fine with me.
Whilst on the platform you’ll stop at various points to have your photo taken, learn some Auckland history, and have a go at leaning over the edge.
This is easier said than done, particularly letting go of the rope with your hands, which was a definite ‘mental’ safety net.
Hanging off the edge of the tower allowed me to feel some small victory in conquering my fear.
Jumping off the tower
Not only can you walk around the SkyTower, if your game enough you can REALLY freak yourself out by jumping off the platform.
Reaching speeds of 85km per hour, you rush through the air and fall for about 11 seconds.
Again your attached to a harness which is connected to a steel cable that guides you all the way to the ground, landing on a bullseye target.
It’s basically base jumping by wire cable – just like a stunt man.
Should you jump?
That’s the question. Should you leap off the famous Auckland skytower?
Yes, the views are UNBELIEVABLE.
Yes, the thrill would be UNBEATABLE.
And yes I’m sure the experience would be UNFORGETTABLE.
If you’re all about pure adrenalin and living life on the edge, then don’t dream it, go do it.
However, if you’re like me and genuinely terrified of the idea, rather than simply apprehensive, then probably no.
Whilst it’s good to challenge ourselves at times and step outside the comfort zone, never feel obligated to take on a challenge just to prove something.
For me, the SkyWalk was brave enough and a small victory.
Location – Corner of Federal & Victoria St, Auckland
Age Limit – You must be 10 years old to jump.
Note – All jumps AND walks are subject to weather conditions.
QUESTION….What adrenalin activities have you experienced on your travels around the world?
My trip to New Zealand is courtesy of Qantas and the Great Crusade tour, however all opinions are my own.