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8 Things to Know BEFORE Skydiving in New Zealand +BEST Places to go!

8 Things to Know BEFORE Skydiving in New Zealand +BEST Places to go!

Listen up, thrill-seekers. It’s not THAT much of a secret that New Zealand is considered one of the best countries in the world to go skydiving.

With so many stunning places in New Zealand, this country is known for its dramatic landscapes, from glaciers to gorgeous beaches, and there’s really no better way to truly appreciate its natural beauty than falling from the sky at speeds of up to 200 kilometers (124 miles) per hour!

Skydiving is one of the best things to do in New Zealand! It’s truly an experience like no other, and if you’re looking for a unique way to get your adrenaline pumping, this is it.

Of course, before you take the plunge and jump out of a plane, there are a few things that you need to know. Plus, given that there are so many amazing locations to skydive in New Zealand, it can be difficult to know where to go!

My partner, Daniel, is a skydiver and has jumped all over New Zealand, so I’ve spent years hearing about his free-falling adventures and the different places he’s visited. Believe me when I say that if you’re thinking of taking the leap and skydiving in New Zealand, this is your one-stop shop for all of the necessary information.

Let’s dive (get it?!) into 8 things you need to know before skydiving in New Zealand, as well as the 7 best places to go.

1. Is skydiving in New Zealand safe?

Bailey skydiving about to land
That’s me coming into land!

Yes!

New Zealand is one of the safest places in the world to skydive.

They don’t mess around with health and safety in New Zealand – in fact, it’s taken very seriously, which is hugely reassuring when you’re jumping out of a plane.

Skydiving accidents are very rare, especially when you consider how many people travel to New Zealand each year to skydive. The safety protocols are stringent, and all of the instructors are highly trained professionals who have a wealth of experience in teaching people to skydive. You won’t find any cowboy operators here!

So, rest assured that your safety is the number one priority of any skydiving business in New Zealand.

If you’re looking for top-notch safety standards as well as an unforgettable experience in the skies, then New Zealand should be your go-to destination to skydive – whether it’s your first or your 50th time.

2. Can anybody go skydiving in New Zealand?

Bailey in free fall while skydiving in New Zealand
It’s so much fun!

You don’t need any experience to skydive in New Zealand. Unless you’re an experienced skydiver, you’ll do a tandem jump, which means you’ll be securely harnessed to an experienced instructor, who will lead the way and take care of all the technicalities.

All you need to do is enjoy the breathtaking views and the free-falling sensation!

If you want to do an independent jump, you’ll need to do a multi-day course and become a qualified skydiver. This consists of ground school, practice jumps, and tests of your technical skills.

While this is certainly an amazing thing to do (a fact which my partner Dan will attest to), lots of travelers just want to do a one-off skydive or simply don’t have the time to spend training while they’re in New Zealand, so for the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to be talking about tandem dives.

Since skydiving is a pretty extreme activity (to put it mildly), not everyone can skydive. There are age, weight, and health restrictions in place.

You can’t skydive if you are pregnant, have back or heart problems, or suffer from any other serious medical conditions. If you’re in doubt about whether you’re eligible to skydive, you should always check with your doctor first.

There is no legal minimum age limit for skydiving in New Zealand, but skydiving companies set their own rules. I mean, they’re definitely not going to take a toddler out on a tandem jump. However, the regulations are mostly based on weight and fitting into the harness. 

Skydivers under the age of 18 also usually need a letter of consent from their parents.

Generally speaking, the minimum age that a child can skydive is 7 years old, but some companies set the limit at 8 or 12 years old, and they need to weigh at least 30 kilograms (66lbs) to participate, although sometimes that limit is set at 40 kgs (88lbs) depending on the height of the jump.

Companies tend to increase their age limits for higher skydives, too – for example, 20,000 feet dives usually require participants to be at least 15 years old. This is because the free-fall will be longer and the risk factors are higher.

As for the upper weight limit for tandem skydiving, 100 kilograms (220 lbs) is usually the benchmark. However, if you’re just over this weight, then it may be worth contacting the company and asking to make sure. Sometimes, companies can accommodate passengers who weigh up to 110 kilograms (242 lbs), but again, a lot of this depends on how your body fits into the harness.

And just a quick note – you’ll be weighed on the day, so don’t even think about lying!

Related read: Another amazing way to see NZ from above is to take a scenic flight over Queenstown. I promise they won’t make you jump out of these planes!

3. Can you skydive in New Zealand all year round?

A Tandem skydive falls from a plane
Leaving the plane right at the start is the best part!

Yes, you can skydive in New Zealand all year round. There are no seasonal restrictions and most companies run their operations seven days a week (weather permitting).

The best time to visit New Zealand and skydive is during the summer months when the weather is typically more stable and the days are longer. However, you can skydive during any time of the year, so there’s no need to worry about missing out if you’re visiting during the winter months.

Usually, if you book a skydive and the weather is bad on the day, the company will reschedule your dive for the next available date – but be sure to check this carefully before you book. 

I will say that skydives tend to sell out faster during the summer, which lasts from November – March, so make sure to book in advance if you’re visiting New Zealand during this time!

4. How much does it cost to go skydiving in New Zealand?

Bailey comes into land while skydiving
Our cameraman!

It costs anywhere between $279-$600 NZD to go skydiving in New Zealand. The biggest factor in determining the price is the altitude of the dive. Generally speaking, higher dives cost more money.

The price also varies slightly by location, but in general, most companies offer a standard skydiving package that includes the tandem jump, a professional instructor, and all necessary equipment.

Video and photography packages are usually available to purchase after your jump and are not included in the price. Again, this varies between companies slightly, but you’re usually looking at around $120 NZD for your photos and $130 NZD for your videos – and no, you can’t bring a GoPro and take your own footage!

5. How high can you skydive from in New Zealand?

Another big reason why New Zealand is such a popular skydiving destination is because you can skydive from greater heights than in most other countries. In Australia, for example, the maximum height is 15,000 feet (4,572 meters), but in New Zealand, you can skydive from a whopping 20,000 feet (6096 meters)!

A higher jump means you’ll get more time in the air, so you can take in the incredible views and really enjoy the experience. A 20,000-foot jump gives you around 85 seconds of free fall – woo hoo!

If you’re brave enough and have room in your budget, I really recommend going as high as possible because once you begin free-falling, you’ll never want to stop. It’s such an amazing feeling!

In Taupo, you can jump from up to 18,5000 feet, while you can do a 20,000 feet skydive over the Franz Josef Glacier or Auckland.

Of course, you don’t have to go that high – you can always opt for a lower dive if you’re just starting out and are feeling super nervous or want to save money. If it’s your first time skydiving, free-falling from any height will be pretty exhilarating, but it’s always great to have the higher options available!

6. Where are the best places to go Skydiving in New Zealand?

Auckland

Tandem sky diving in Auckland, New Zealand
Photo credit: GoSkydive New Zealand

Located on the North Island, Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city. It’s a metropolis that’s home to over 1 million people (which is roughly 1/5 of New Zealand’s population) and it’s so much fun to explore – but what’s even better is seeing it from the sky as you free fall!

Skydiving in Auckland gives you amazing views of New Zealand’s East and West coastlines, as well as Waiheke Island and Mount Ruapehu.

This skydiving experience near Auckland is based in Parakai, which is a 45-minute drive from the city center. Transport costs are included in the price of your jump, as is all of your equipment. However, if you want to purchase photos and videos of your skydive afterward, that will come at an additional cost.

There’s a viewing deck on the ground so that your friends and family members can watch you land, and you can choose between a range of heights:

  • 9,000 feet for $295 NZD
  • 13,000 feet for $325 NZD
  • 16,000 feet for $425 NZD
  • 20,000 feet for $595 NZD – this is the maximum height available in New Zealand!

The 9,000 feet skydive offers 25 seconds of free fall, while the 20,000 feet jump will give you 85 seconds. This is definitely a great way to experience the beauty of Auckland and the surrounding coastlines, all while getting your adrenaline fix!

You should book your skydive in Auckland online in advance here to avoid it booking up!

Related read: Make sure you’re set for before and after your jump with a great place to stay in Auckland!

Franz Josef

Skydiving in Franz Josef
Those views! Photo credit: Skydive Franz

The Franz Josef Glacier is one of New Zealand’s most stunning natural attractions, and admiring it from the sky really is an experience like no other, especially if you choose the 20,000-foot jump!

This is a steep glacier located on the West Coast of the South Island. It’s in one of New Zealand’s top national parks – Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

From the air, you’ll also see the Fox Glacier and Mount Tasman, as well as rivers, forests, and ocean. This is a super diverse and dramatic landscape – and it’s even more spectacular from a bird’s eye view.

You can choose to skydive from:

All dives include transportation from Franz Josef village to the skydiving site, tea and coffee, and all of your equipment. Merchandise and footage of your dive will cost extra. This really is one of the most spectacular skydives in New Zealand.

Queenstown

Skydiving over the Southern Alps with Skydive Southern Alps near Glenorchy
What a view to skydive too! Photo credit – Skydive Southern Alps

Queenstown is a beautiful city on the edge of Lake Wakatipu, and it’s actually renowned as a hub for adventure sports – like skydiving! So where better to experience the thrill of free falling than from high above this gorgeous city?

As you plummet from the sky, you’ll be able to take in the amazing scenery that surrounds Queenstown, including Lake Wakatipu and snow-capped peaks like Ben Lomond, Cecil Peak, and the Remarkables.

You can choose between jumps of:

The Queenstown drop zone has great facilities, including free WiFi, an internet kiosk, and games to play while you wait like chess and giant Jenga. With the above-linked jumps, you’ll also get return transport from Queenstown to the drop zone.

If your friends and family want to come along to watch you dive but aren’t keen to participate themselves, they can even attend for free, so long as there’s room on board the vehicle! Plus, all of the facilities at the base zone ensure that they won’t be bored while they’re waiting for your landing.

And in the instance of bad weather, you will either be able to reschedule your dive to another date or receive a full refund if that’s not possible.

This company also has a slightly higher maximum weight than other companies, at 115 kilograms (253 lbs) so if you’re a bit heavier, Queenstown may just be the perfect place for you to go skydiving in New Zealand.

You can book your skydive in Queenstown online here!

Related read: Splurge on a skydive and then check out all the completely free things in Queenstown!

Taupo

Tandem skydiving in Taupo, New Zealand
Photo credit: Taupo Tandem Skiydiving

Taupo is a scenic lakefront town in the center of New Zealand’s North Island and is a great spot for those who want to see gorgeous vistas from the sky. Situated between Auckland and Wellington, Taupo is known for its diverse and beautiful landscapes, and your skydive will give you an unbeatable view of it all.

As you dive from the clouds, you’ll be able to take in views of Lake Taupo, Mount Ngauruhoe (a.k.a Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings films), and even the famous Huka Falls.

When skydiving in Taupo, you can choose between:

  • A 12,000-foot dive for $279 NZD – this is one of the cheapest dives in New Zealand, as some 9,000 foot dives cost the same or more than this!
  • A 15,000-foot dive for $359 NZD
  • An 18,500-foot dive for $499 NZD

You’ll be transported to the drop zone – which is approximately 10 minutes from the center of Taupo – in a bright yellow stretch hummer, so this experience really kicks off in style (depending on your definition of style…)

The Taupo skydiving company also offers a range of merchandise and photography packages, so you can remember your experience. All of these are available at an extra cost, but you do get a complimentary buff headband to keep afterward – again, nothing but style.

You’ll also get a certificate at the end to say that you completed your dive, and you can use this to prove to all your friends and family back home that you are indeed the bravest of them all.

You can book your skydive in Taupo in advance here!

Mount Cook

skydiving near Mount Cook National Park with mountain views
Just look at the view! Photo Credit: Skydive Mount Cook

Mount Cook is New Zealand’s highest peak, and a skydive here really is something special. The mountain is located on the South Island and is home to some of the longest glaciers in New Zealand, as well as the surrounding alpine lakes, rivers, and vast green fields that make up the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park.

You can choose to dive from:

The whole experience takes around 2 hours, and the staff is super friendly and encouraging. The price of your dive doesn’t include hotel pickup and drop-off, so you’ll need to head to the skydiving airport beforehand which is located just a couple minutes from Mount Cook Village.

Related read: If you want to stick closer to the ground after your dive, there are some great hikes in Mount Cook National Park to check out!

Bay of Plenty

Tandem Skydiving in Tauranga, New Zealand
Photo credit: Skydive Tauranga

The Bay of Plenty is located on the eastern side of the North Island and is well known for its beautiful New Zealand beaches, lush rainforests, and wonderful wildlife, as well as its many hectares of fruit orchards, gardens, and vineyards.

It’s named “the Bay of Plenty” because when James Cook sailed through the area, he noticed that the land was incredibly fertile and full of resources. There’s also a great craft beer scene here, so you’ll be able to reward yourself with a nice cold brew after you complete your dive!

Mount Maunganui is one of the most famous natural features of the Bay of Plenty, and it looks especially incredible from the air due to the way it juts out at the end of the peninsula. The stretch of land approaching the mountain is dotted with beautiful white sand beaches, and it looks truly stunning from above.

A 15,000-foot dive in the Bay of Plenty costs $475 NZD and takes just under 2 hours from start to finish. Trips include round-trip transportation from Tauranga Airport throughout the day, but you’ll need to get yourself there first. It takes roughly an hour to drive from the Bay of Plenty to Tauranga Airport, depending on where you’re staying, so remember to budget extra time for this.

Related read: If you’re traveling as a couple, don’t miss some of the most romantic getaways in NZ – the Bay of Plenty definitely made our list!

Mangatāwhiri

A tandem skydive in freefall in New Zealand
What an experience!

Around 45 minutes south of Auckland, Mangatāwhiri is a locality that’s not super well known among tourists, but it’s an amazing place to skydive. This piece of the sky offers amazing views of Auckland, Hamilton, the Waikato River, and both the East and West Coasts.

You can skydive here from 13,000 feet, but since you’ll need to transport yourself to the Mercer airport, doing a skydive from Auckland may be a more convenient experience. However, if you don’t mind the drive, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views.

13,000-foot dive in Mangatāwhiri costs $325 NZD, which is comparable to the Auckland dives. However, if you’ve already skydived in Auckland or you’re just looking for something a bit different, this will definitely fit the bill!

7. What should you wear when skydiving in New Zealand?

Bailey in her skydiving gear
The overalls are for safety, warmth, and comfort!

Probably the number one rule of skydiving in New Zealand (and just in general) is: don’t wear open-toed shoes.

Literally, every skydiving company in New Zealand will ask you to wear sturdy, covered shoes such as sneakers, tennis shoes, or something similar.

Shoes that slip on and off easily are a huge hazard and no company will risk allowing you to skydive without proper footwear. Like we said earlier, health and safety are no joke in New Zealand!

It’s also a good idea to wear something comfortable that you can move around in, like activewear. Do yourself a favor and leave your jeans at home. Keep an eye on the weather, too, and add an extra layer or two if necessary, like a sweatshirt.

Bear in mind that the skydiving company will provide you with overalls to wear to protect your clothes, but you want to be comfy underneath!

Don’t wear anything like a scarf, a loose skirt, or a dress, and leave any jewelry that could catch and cause issues at home, too. No necklaces, bracelets, rings, or earrings… leave it all at home!

If you wear glasses, that’s okay, as most companies provide goggles that will keep them on your face.

Some companies will provide you with a headband to keep your hair out of your face, but you can also bring your own if you prefer.

Basically, dress as if you were back in school and going to a PE lesson!

8. Should you go skydiving in New Zealand?

Bailey skydiving
The higher you go the more freefall you get!

YES!

Skydiving in New Zealand is hands down one of the most incredible things that you will ever experience. From the awe-inspiring views to the rush of adrenaline that you feel, it’s a truly unforgettable experience. There’s a reason why Dan does it so often!

Plus, with so many amazing locations to choose from, you’ll have ample opportunities to skydive over beautiful scenery during your time in New Zealand. It’s a truly epic experience, and I cannot recommend it enough!

Thanks for reading!

bailey on a boat in the ocean
Thanks for reading!

I hope I’ve convinced you that if you’re going to skydive anywhere in the world, make it New Zealand! The scenery is breathtaking and the safety standards are top-notch, so you can relax (as much as you can!) and enjoy. It will definitely be one of the highlights of your trip!

While you’re planning your getaway to New Zealand, let me help! After living here and visiting so many of its incredible places, I have plenty of tips to make your vacation one to remember. So browse around my other blogs and let me know if you have any questions!

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