Auckland holds a pretty special place in my heart. When I went on a trip around both islands of New Zealand, I ended up spending a lot longer in Auckland than I expected. I met up with a friend who lived in Auckland because it meant I could stay in the city for free and I ended up staying for over a month. At the time, I was seriously considering looking into rental properties in West Auckland and finding somewhere I could move into because I had no plans for what I wanted to do when I got back home. It never ended up happening but I definitely would consider moving there in the future. So, when I realized the next stop on my world cruise on Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s Black Watch was Auckland, New Zealand, I was very excited.
Our ship arrived into Auckland a full day earlier than expected so that more time to get out and explore. Auckland is located in New Zealand’s North Island and has an urban population of around 1,534,700. A last minute change of plans meant that I was going to get to bungee jump from the Auckland Harbour Bridge with AJ Hackett Bungy Jump. Since Danielle was definitely not going to join me, she decided to venture off into Auckland on her own to shop and explore.
AJ Hackett Bungy Jump
I arrived at AJ Hackett Bungy Jump after taking a cab from the CBD. What’s AJ Hackett Bungy Jump? Situated under the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge, the AJ Hackett Bungy Jump in Auckland is a 40m bungee jump. That’s just over 131 feet from the bridge where you’ll jump so hold on. It’s also the only over water bungee jump in all of New Zealand AND Australia.
From the AJ Hackett Bungy Jump New Zealand website:
Old meets new – the most enduring sight on the Auckland horizon is also home to a Bungy operation of epic proportions. Our Bungy Pod is attached underneath the bridge, and is ready to go for thrill-seekers looking for a buzz in New Zealand’s biggest city. You can even dip your head in the ocean below, bouncing back up feeling fierce and unstoppable.
Checking In At AJ Hackett Bungy Jump
Upon check in and payment, you’re then asked to step on the scale not once, but twice. And then, yes this is true, your weight is recorded on your hand with a bright red sharpie marker. Oh that’s always a way to impress people is to show everyone around you exactly how much you weigh with shoes, jeans, and a full stomach. On your right hand they record a number for you to collect your photos and videos at the end.
From here you move into the locker area where you can put everything you own into a locker. Then one of the staff members will get you into a harness and a hard hat for the walk under the bridge.
Walking Auckland Harbour Bridge
Once you’re ready to go, you’re then escorted outside for what seemed like an hour long walk when it was really maybe 20 minutes.
This was similar to the Sydney Harbour BridgeClimb I did in Sydney where you’re attached to the railing by a lead that you have to maneuver along and around the edges.
Arriving At The Bungy Pod
Finally, we arrived at our last stop and we could now walk up a small ladder to the final destination. Once inside, we were merely steps away from the actual jump area and a sign on how to and not to jump.
There was a young woman on the ledge preparing for her jump and it was only at this moment that it hit me that I was actually going to bungee jump.
Preparing For The Jump
The order for jumpers is predetermined and I was the second one to go in my group. The first person in my group had previously bungeed jump and I was glad I could watch someone go before my jump. When it’s your turn, you’re asked if you want to touch the water or not. Considering my red hair bleeds in water, as much as I wanted to, I decided to pass on that part of the jump. Then you have to sit down while they attach something that looks like ankle weights to you. Then elastics are strapped on over your shoes so you don’t lose them.I gasped as I saw him jump and then dangle above the water below, mostly because I knew I was next. Click To Tweet
From here they tell you the procedure on jumping and that you can pull the strap to right yourself whenever you like after the first bounce. You’ll probably bounce up to five times and it’s up to you whether you like the feeling of blood rushing to your head or not. Jumper number one hopped on up to the platform, quickly made a sign of the cross, and then fearlessly jumped into the air. I gasped as I saw him jump and then dangle above the water below, mostly because I knew I was next.
Now It’s My Turn
Then you kind of have to hop over to the ledge and it was here that I really started to question my sanity. The staff member, Bjorn, who was assisting jumpers said, “Ok I’m going to start counting down now from 3 and you can go.” For some odd reason I then asked if he was going to push me. Bjorn didn’t hesitate and replied, “No you’re going to jump. 3, 2, 1.” Clearly, he just needed me to jump.The experience was liberating and free and reminded me why I like to take chances on everything in my life. Click To Tweet
And like that — I was airborne and free. The jump lasted less than 15 seconds but was amazing. I righted myself and found I was giggling like a little girl. The experience was liberating and free and reminded me why I like to take chances on everything in my life. If I don’t try it, how will I ever know that I like it or that it’s something I was supposed to do? While this approach to life may not be for everyone, I’m trying to live a life free of regret and what if’s. Bungee jumping in Auckland is an example of how I should always live my life. From my righted position I was slowly lifted back up to the deck where I had a perma-grin on for the remainder of the day.
The Girl From California
When all of the jumpers in our group had gone, we needed to wait for an escort back to the office. In the interim, I started chatting with a girl who had jumped on her own. I asked her where her friends were and she said she was alone. She was from California and had just arrived in Auckland that morning. The Bridge climb was all that she thought she was going to do that day. At the last minute she added on the bungee jump. Brave girl!
Walking Back Across The Bridge
Back down the stairs to the platform below we went before we could walk across the bridge again.
This time I allowed myself a little extra time to soak up the views of Auckland. We had to wait again for an escort so I whipped out my phone for more pics.
While you’re walking across the bridge, you’re not allowed to take your phone out. So in the end I was grateful for the break so I could take a few quick pics of the Auckland skyline.
Dinner And A Night In Auckland
While my bungee jump was the highlight of my time in Auckland, it certainly wasn’t the only thing that I did. After walking from the bridge back to the ship, I had to quickly shower and change to get ready for a night out in Auckland.
First stop was dinner and I had a fresh salad filled with lots of goodies like pumpkin and mango chutney. Vegan options were limited where we looked so I was glad I found this salad, which I ordered off the menu minus cheese. Danielle had a pizza, of course, and we left feeling satisfied.
That night we enjoyed a few drinks out here and there around Auckland. We even got to watch our home, Black Watch, change berths. At first it was cool and then suddenly worrisome as we realized all of our possessions were on a ship that was technically leaving. Luckily, she found her new berth and all was right in the world.
Day Two In Auckland
Day two in Auckland meant getting up and out to explore the city for a few more hours. When I woke up I just didn’t feel right and I attributed it to lack of sleep and hunger.
We had tickets for the Auckland Explorer Hop On, Hop Off Bus to get a layout of the city.
There are two options for bus tours: Either the red or blue line tour. We chose the red line.
Some of the stops on the red line tour include Bastion Point lookout, Michael Savage Memorial Gardens, Kelly Tarlton’s, Holy Trinity Cathedral, and Parnell Village.
An Afternoon In Auckland
Our final stop on the tour was Queen Street/Civic Theatre. We were starving and in search of food as always and this seemed like the best place to stop. After walking for blocks, we agreed our best bet would be Burger King. They even have a “salad burger” which is a whopper minus the meat. Or for me, minus the meat, cheese, and mayo or simply a bun with a piece of lettuce, tomato, pickle, and an onion. I ate about half and then really didn’t feel well at all.
I didn’t want to bail on our afternoon in Auckland so we checked out some shops for souvenirs. I had been trying to meet up with one of my college friends, Andy, who now lives in Auckland. I figured I’d go back to the ship first. After getting to the cabin, I needed to lie down and I didn’t get up again until the next morning. Not sure if it was a stomach bug, something I ate, or what, but I was zapped and couldn’t go back out. I even ended up missing the beautiful nighttime views of Auckland at sailaway. So sad but I had no control over how sick I felt. Not the best way to end a visit to Auckland, but it just means I need to come back again and visit, right?
Final Thoughts on Auckland
Auckland is one of those cities where you can and should spend more than one day exploring. The last time I visited I jumped from the SkyTower and this time I jumped from Auckland Harbour Bridge. I get the feeling that Auckland is synonymous with adrenaline for me. I can’t wait to return and soon.
Have you visited Auckland? Can you suggest other destinations in New Zealand that you found equally exciting? Leave your comments below. Discover some other great destinations and travel ideas here on the Travel Shop Girl website .
On my new SPONTANEOUS TRAVEL SCALE of 1-5, with 1 being super easy and spontaneous and 5 being you better plan far in advance, Auckland scores a 1 for spontaneous travel since it’s always easy to find something fantastic and fun to do.
While I was provided a reduced media admission to AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand and a complimentary hop on, hop off bus tour from CruisingExcursions.com, as always all opinions and photographs, unless otherwise noted, are my own.