‘We’re going to take you guys up a cliff and throw you off. Sound OK?’ a tattooed Kiwi man said to Sadie Whitelocks along with a handful of other people.
While Whitelocks was not truly “okay” with it, she was ready for the world’s highest cliff jump challenge to overcome her fear of heights.
Perched 360 feet high in Queenstown, New Zealand, Shotover Canyon Swing is where daredevils come to jump off a platform, free-falling at up to 93 mph on a specially designed rope.
Whitelocks’ heart was pounding while her hands sweated.
She had once before jumped from a cliff into the ocean while on an outdoor trip with her school and just barely missed a bed of rocks.
Ever since, Whitelocks has been afraid of heights.
But the Kiwi man reassured her she would be “fine” and before Whitelocks realized it, she was harnessed up and being led towards the “platform of doom.”
A man said “What’s the worst that could happen?”
To which Whitelocks replied: “I guess, death?”
According to Whitelocks, there are multiple ways to eject oneself from the platform at the Shotover Canyon Swing.
While the more confident jumpers are able to choose more difficult-to-perform positions (allowing them to experience maximum g-force) beginnings and first-timers usually just run, jump and don’t look down.
Which is exactly what Whitelocks did.
While Whitelocks was battling a hangover from the night previous, she credits her brain not having much “fight or flight” left to keep her from jumping.
Before asking once more if she would be okay, she then took a deep breath and ran forwards.
Whitelocks recalls the boarding underneath her feet suddenly vanishing, saying:
“I was unable to control my limbs as I sped through the air. It all seemed to happen so quickly and the feeling of weightlessness was overwhelming. I closed my eyes and hoped for the best while clinging tightly the rope.”
“I was falling so quickly it was impossible to scream – despite my mouth being hinged open in terror – and a cold chill in the air stopped me from passing out.”
It was not long before Whitelocks slowed down and swooped towards the bottom of the canyon with the Shotover River flowing below.
“Instead of crying, I was surprised that my immediate reaction was to laugh as I swung from side to side like a cat’s plaything.” Whitelocks recalled.
“I was hit by a crazy kick of adrenaline and was thrilled it was all over. After coming to a standstill, I was winched back up to my starting point.”
When asked if Whitelocks would like to go again, though tempted, she decided one free-fall jump was enough for one day.
If you are feeling adventurous, a jump on the Shotover Canyon swing costs $249 and it is recommended you book the jump in advance.
Whitelocks participated in the activity with Wild Kiwi, exploring New Zealand’s South Island.
Wild Kiwi offers small group adventure tours for travelers aged 18 to 35 with trips starting from $1,199 per person including tours, accommodations, a professional local guide as well as breakfast each day with optional activities available for an additional cost.
To learn more, you can click here.
NOW WATCH: Sweden Actually Turns It’s Garbage Into Energy | Save The World