Knowing we had a bed for the next few nights took the pressure off a bit and we headed to Fox Glacier for today’s main activity, Sky Diving. We had always wanted to do a skydive over Dubai but on further reading apparently the conditions there are generally not the best (too much sand). But upon doing some research we came across Fox Glacier apparently the second best Sky Dive in the world thanks to the views of a glacier, mountains and sea. It was lucky we was coming this way and when we found out it was ranked no.2. we knew this was the one we had to do!
Getting to the site 45 minutes early gave us the chance to watch all the promotional footage and really get to grips with what we was letting ourself in for. Hayley was really staring to get scared and at times I did wonder if she would go through with it, then I remembered how Hayley’s mind worked and that this was costing us £500 so I knew she would jump. It was not long before we was getting kitted out.
First was our jumpsuits and then a really heavy duty harness, seriously this thing was insane. We then put on our silly little caps and tested out our glasses, we looked silly but safety first. Now the waiting began. We was on the second drop and watched as the first group clambered into the plane and took off. I was getting really excited now. After about 20 minutes of waiting it was our turn. Trying to get into the plane with the wind of the aeroplane propeller was really hard but we all crammed ourselves into this tiny plane, sitting on the floor.
This was my first time I had been in the air in anything but a commercial airliner and I was shocked how fast it got airborne and the speed at which it could manoeuvre. We had fifteen minutes until we was at 13,000 feet and the scenery was amazing. Our instructors were explaining all these things we could see and that we would jumping from higher than the highest mountain in New Zealand, Mount Cook, which we just happened to be flying right next to. Amazing. The view of the Glacier was totally different to what you get from the surrounding hikes, you could really see the sheer size of it from up here.
The time had come, time to jump, and I was first. The door slid open and we shuffled to the edge, I managed a quick wave to Hayley and without so much as a “are you ready” we was hurtling toward the ground at 120 MPH! What totally shocked me is how normal you feel when you exit the plane, there is zero free fall feeling. Apparently because the plane is moving so fast, when you exit you just hit a wall of wind. If you jump from a stationary object you would get that free fall feeling that is so familiar from all then white knuckle roller-coasters.
The dive was absolutely amazing and I would recommend anyone to try it, I bet you love it. We was even allowed to steer the parachute on the way down but I soon gave it back to the instructor so he could do some fancy tricks whist I soaked up more of the amazing views of Mount Cook, the Fox Glacier and the coastline.
Still full off adrenalin we spent the rest of the day hiking to the Franz Joseph Glacier but it was nothing compared to what we had just seen but still a good easy hike to finish the day before we get into a BED!