Skydiving Byron Bay | Review |
I am a little bit of a thrill-seeker. I’m not saying sponsored by RedBull and falling out from space, but out of my close friends, I’m more likely to be put forward for doing certain (probably stupid) things like jumping out of moving car or cliff jumping in Croatia. Skydiving has been on my bucket list since University, but like many people it’s an activity that sits there for many years until a kick up the backside forces them to do it. In this case, it was when I was bought it as a Christmas present (Thanks Dan!). Check out what it was like to Skydive Byron Bay!
Plan A – Skydive Wollongong
The initial plan was to do the jump with Skydive Australia over Sydney just after New Years. I mean, what better way to celebrate the dawn of the New Year hungover, falling out of a plane and probably trying very hard to keep the eggs benedict and beer cocktail inside my stomach. It was going to be an epic 14,000 ft tandem drop onto a beach landing (not even sure what a beach landing entails, but I was in). The plan came to an abrupt halt, however when wind conditions were too dangerous for the jump.
Plan B – Skydive Byron Bay
As luck would have it, Skydive Australia also carried out jumps in Byron Bay (no beach landing though) and they were able to do pick up from the Gold Coast. This fit in perfectly with my plans as I was already in Surfers Paradise for some R&R after the NYE festivities and wanted to end up in Byron Bay afterwards.
Pick up and preparation
After a 6 am pick-up from the Gold Coast with some other keen sky diving virgins, our journey took us 2 hours to get to the jump spot. After registration, we were asked to wait for our turn which took some time, during which the mixture of excitement and nerves were palpable as I saw one skydive after another fall out of the plane and descend to the landing spot.
Then my name was called out. Immediately all possibility of things that could go wrong popped into my head (probably shouldn’t have watched that skydive plane crash video before the jump). I was paired with an instructor who kitted me out (sexy blue and yellow tracksuit), gave me brief instructions of what to do and we headed to board the plane. Thankfully he had done over 8000 jumps, so that me feel a little at ease.
13 of us squeezed into a tiny prop plane. As we ascended the view of unspoiled beaches, sparkling sands and luscious Australian hinterland took my breath away, only being disturbed by the obvious shakes and strain of the plane as it ascended the 14,000 ft mark.
Very suddenly any peace that came with taking in the horizon were abruptly stopped when the plane doors opened and the surge of adrenaline and the reality of jumping out of the plane became all too real. What am I doing? This is insane?! Who even invented this sport! Can I back out now?
Before I could even answer those thoughts, my legs were dangling out the door. “Wait, wait a second!…” and without any hesitation the instructor pushed out. In slow motion we flipped in the air as the comfort of the plane disappeared before my eyes. Then we just started falling. Falling and falling. Hurtling towards the ground where I had no control of what was happening. The wind lashing against my skin, trying to keep my body as rigid as possible and screaming silent profanities to no one in particular. As we continued to free-fall, we funneled through a cloud (not as fluffy as you might think), surrounded in white and popped out the other side. By this point the surge of adrenaline was starting to dissipate and the intense fear and excitement I felt had calmed. An overwhelming thrill could never be experienced if you would have stayed on the ground.
After 45 seconds of free fall, the instructor puled the cord and the parachute opened which allowed us to slowly glide towards the drop zone. The intense satisfaction left a silly smile on my face all the way down. Even though it was such a short time from prep to landing, skydiving made you feel alive. It’s surreal, exhilarating, but most of all fun! As we landed I kissed the ground (I know it’s cliche), hugged my instructor and looked up at the other drivers following suit, not really believing that I had voluntarily fallen out of a plane.
Would you skydive? Would you do it again? Is there something more scary than jumping out of a plane? Let me know your thoughts below!
Skydiving Byron Bay: Details and Tips
- Basic jump starts at $249 AU for 14,000 feet. Check website for more details.
- You can opt for photos and videos to be taken of you, or get someone to jump out with you and video 360 style. ( I saw some people who did this and the videos looked insane!)
- You will need a license to jump, but this can be done at the site.
- The wait can take a while so bring something to pass the time, or just gawk at the other skydivers.
- There’s a risk that jumps are cancelled due to weather. I met a group who had theirs cancelled 3 times, but the skydive team will accommodate you at other sites if you are moving around Australia.