365 Days on the Road
Here we are, back in Auckland city – the place where the crazy 365 Days: 365 Activities began. It’s our final day of this epic journey, but how to do celebrate the finale of such a momentous day (to us, probably not to anyone else)? Well, walking around the edge atop the Southern Hemisphere’s highest building and jumping off it seems like a pretty awesome way to go! In a country full of adventure and adrenaline activities, why not do one of the most adventurous things you can do in a city?!
The Auckland Sky Tower
The day starts in the fantastically blue Attic Backpackers, a cool and contemporary “flashpackers” in a super central location, where we pack up our camera-filled backpack for the last time and head on out to our final day of adventuring. In no time, we are looking up at the highest building in the Southern Hemisphere at a height of 220m: The Sky Tower.
Before we go up, we must go underground to where we check in with the team at the Skywalk and Skyjump. Because Robin is scared of heights, he thrilled to learn that he can’t do the Skyjump, a jump from 192m to the bottom of the Sky Tower, with a broken arm. So, just like that time when we bungy jumped in Queenstown, Laura is taking one for the team and taking the plunge!
Getting suited up for the Skyjump
Of course, you have to jump from the Sky Tower in style, so one of the Skyjump team, Eden, is helping Laura into a brilliant blue and yellow jumpsuit. Now everyone will be able to see her falling from the Sky Tower! Yay?!
Harnessed up and ready to go, Eden sends Laura to the elevator to floor 53. The elevator floor and one wall is made of thick glass, just to make sure you really know how high you are going…
The moment before the leap
On floor 53, Laura meets more Skyjump crew who start attaching her to various chords, as well as a handy cam to capture all the action. A couple of final “pre-jump” photos are taken, then we are stepping outside…
192m above the bustling city of Auckland is a real “gulp!” moment, especially when asked to put your toes over the edge of the Sky Tower and “let go of the chords after three!” Erm… Ok?
1… 2… 3!
Woosh! It’s like the most extreme flying fox (zipline) imaginable! Two chords on either side control the jump, where a chord on the back controls the speed, which at 85km/h feels pretty damn fast! Laura makes it to the bottom feeling windswept and absolutely buzzing. Eden unharnesses her and now it’s time to go back underground and get prepared for round two of high-in-the-sky madness.
Awesome 360-degree views of Auckland City!
Time for Robin to face his fears with the Skywalk
There’s no getting out of this one for Robin. Even on our last day he is still facing his fears… Even though it has become apparent that he will never get over his fear of heights. Oh well, at least he is rocking the bright orange jumpsuit we are now getting changed into for the Skywalk.
This time, we are going to be walking around the whole edge of the Sky Tower at 192m!
Doing the “Skyshuffle”
We both get to enjoy the elevator ride this time, seeing the city shoot further and further below us out of the elevator windows. Once again, we are at floor 53 getting clipped to an overhead rail. We step outside, walk to the edge where a narrow walkway around the Sky Tower begins – no hand rails, nothing… Just a walkway.
Robin starts shaking like a sh*tting dog around the walkway, doing the Skyshuffle rather than the Skywalk. As for the rest, he can’t remember a thing – his memory wiped with the fear of seemingly walking on thin air 192m above the city. Luckily, Laura is here to tell you what happens next.
Leaning over the edge of New Zealand’s highest building
Eden sets a number of challenges during our 360-degree walk around the Sky Tower. It starts with a simple putting our (by our, we mean Laura – Robin just says: “NO!” to every challenge) feet over the edge of the walkway and looking down. The whole city opens up below us giving a surreal and stomach-flipping feeling. After getting through a series of challenges, they end with a terrifying lean facing forward over the edge of the Sky Tower, her weight relying solely on the wires attached to her harness.
We finalise our loop around the Sky Tower with Robin bolting for the door as soon as he unattached.
“I am not staying here while you guys stand here and chat!” he whimpers and Skyshuffles to the door. Something tells us that he didn’t appreciate the unobstructed city views…
Regroup, replan and onto the final activity!
Back inside, Robin is back to himself and Laura is pumped! It’s the perfect dose of adrenaline in the morning to only be topped up by our final sky-related activity: our final skydive! Only… the weather turns to sh*t and it’s cancelled. Awkward! Well, let’s move straight onto our final activity for New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year then? Check it out in the next and final story!
We made it around the Sky Tower! Now Robin is ready to run for the door.
Have you read yesterday’s post about doing a scavenger hunt in the Kauri Museum? How about these articles?
- 8 Adrenalin Activities in Auckland
- Auckland City Centre – Guide for Backpackers
- Checklist for Leaving New Zealand
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See you tomorrow!