Date: 8th January 2013
The thrill of bungy jumping with AJ Hackett Bungy, into the wild rugged ravines of the rivers around Queenstown, has captivated and terrified travellers and locals alike for two decades, but the history of bungy reaches back centuries to the jungles of Vanuatu.
The inspiration for AJ Hackett Bungy all started on the island of Pentecost with tribesmen leaping from a wooden tower with vines attached to their ankles, ideally stopping only inches from the ground as a means of proving their courage. The annual festival is the highlight of the Yam harvest and its origins are steeped in myth. Understandably the length of the vines and their degree of elasticity is crucial, an aspect modern bungy pioneers Henry Van Asch and AJ Hackett approached methodically with assistance from scientists at Auckland University.
AJ and Henry set about testing and developing latex rubber cords convinced the public would pay for the adrenaline fuelled experience of leaping off a platform or bridge.
A number of test jumps were made including a leap from a ski resort gondola 91 metres above the snow before they decided on a “publicity leap” which ensured their global profile for years to come. In 1987 AJ Hackett slept overnight in the Eiffel tower and the next morning leapt into history and brief arrest by gendarmes.
Since then the bungy phenomenon has become a global industry with the AJ Hackett Bungy enterprise renowned for their safety, service levels and professionalism.
They have developed an industry standard and a code of practice and were the first company in the world to be granted an “S” class certification for excellent safety and quality assurance.
Since their first year of operation at the Kawarau Bridge site in 1988 AJ Hackett Bungy has boomed with additional sites set up over the Nevis Canyon, (a 134m Bungy Jump and a 300 metre arc on the Nevis Swing) and 400 metres above Queenstown, the Ledge Bungy and Swing.
Posted in: Queenstown Activities