New Zealand – Shotover Canyon Swing

So I mentioned previously how post-breakfast, blood sugar levels running high, I agreed to accompany Elaine on some adventuring. Adventuring in Queenstown means either jumping off of something high, falling off of something high, or getting really wet.

Elaine doesn’t swim, and we didn’t want something too time consuming (canyoning) since Sarah wouldn’t be joining, so that left us at the Shotover Canyon Swing.

I am, at heart, a big wuss. But I felt like I had to do it. Mostly because Elaine was doing it, and I have this unfortunate competitive streak. Especially in matters of gutsiness. Gutsiness which was slowly eroded by subtle cues as we progressed from purchase to jump.

This is what the friendly staff drew on our hands to communicate our weigh-ins. A bomb and a hanged man.
What fate befell Evil I?


Basically, you stare over a precipice while your throat goes dry, jump/get kicked off the edge, drop for 60 feet … which ends up being way more fun and delightfully like flying than you expected.

Only slightly worried pre-jump
Aaaaaaahhhh!! (…what I would have said if I weren’t the scared-and-silent type).

Quicker than you realize, the swing kicks in (quite gently) and you seem to be soaring over a canyon.

Just you, the canyon, the blue sky, the warm sun.

Quite peaceful really. Why were you even freaking out 3 seconds ago?

This thing was really fun.

Really fun.

Elaine and I both ponied up for a second round with very minimal deliberation.

Ready for round 2!

The way this works is you pick what fancy way you want to plummet over the edge. There’s the pin drop, where you stare at your feet as you go down, with your hands tied behind you. There’s the lawn chair that you get strapped to as they tip you over slowly (Elaine did that one). There are forward somersaults (I tried this the first time and ended up just, um…running off the edge), which I successfully got in a couple of the second time. If you want to go, try to go during lunchtime. It’ll be less crowded, so you’ll have more attention and more options and more time, meaning that discounted second round is actually a possibility.


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