I have wanted to sky dive for years. When I first met Deb, I told her that I wanted to sky dive and she said I wasn’t allowed. It would freak her out too much to have me plunge to earth to my imminent Demise.

That was 20 Years Ago

Now not only is Deb encouraging me to jump out of a plane, she is taking off to Fly a Stunt Plane while I jump out of a plane of my own.

skydive abel tasman in mid air

It was a quick smooch goodbye I was on my own with the rest of the Flying Kiwi Gang that were jumping today with Sky Dive Abel Tasman.

It is my first time skydiving. I have bungy jumped a couple of times but have never had the opportunity to jump out of a plane.  I always say, “If your going to do something, you might as well go big or go home.”

So today I chose to jump from the higher elevation of 16,500 feet. Skydive Abel Tasman is the only place in New Zealand that you can jump from so high. Abel Tasman is the place to do it because the scenery is outstanding and you can see both the North and South Island when you jump.

freefall skydiving in New Zealand

There was no briefing for this tandem Sky Dive.

All I had to do was wait my turn and get into my harness and wind suit.  It was a beautiful sunny day and I caught some rays as we went up in a plane two at a time.

6 People in total went up in each airplane, but most of us opted to buy our own cameraman to take photos and video. So with the instructors and cameraman and me we were a team of 3. There was one other skydiver in the plane with their team as well.

Just in case you can’t wait until the end of this post…Here’s the video of my jump!

We took off and I was suddenly nervous.  I really couldn’t take advantage of the 20-minute scenic flight over Abel Tasman National Park. All I could think about was the 80-second freefall that I was about to have.

At 13,000 feet the oxygen came out.  Only 3,500 feet to go and I would take part in my first jump. As I breathed my oxygen I started to calm down.


Half way up the instructor clipped me to his harness and we were joined together for the final ascent. I could feel his heavy breathing and I wondered if everything was okay? It was now my turn. We shimmied together to the edge of the plane where I was hung out of the door dangling only from my instructors harness.

standing on the plane skydiving in Abel Tasman

After a quick look at the cameras for a photo I assumed the position of looking straight up with an arched back.

Time to jump!

It wasn’t difficult to jump; it was more like being pushed gently by my instructor.

The first few seconds were chaos. It wasn’t scary jumping, it was just disorienting. We tumbled through the air and I didn’t know which way was up. Before I knew it, we were stable and dropping to the ground.

skydiving in New Zealand with Sky Dive Abel Tasman

We now had about 70 seconds to kill. So what was one do during a freefall? When you have your own personal videographer, you ham it up for the camera.

I naturally wrote ThePlanetD.com on my arms along with my favourite New Zealand saying “Sweet As” to show off for the camera.

The cameraman and instructor played around to make sure to get the best shot. We even grabbed a hold of each other for a couple of seconds, which was pretty cool.

tandem skydiving with writing on arms

The freefall was a blast and surprisingly when they pulled the parachute we went up with a jolt.

It was all gravy from here.

He loosened off the buckles a bit to make the trip down more comfortable and we floated to the ground. Not gently to the ground though, we did some spirals and spins to have some fun before finally landing gracefully on the airfield.

Abel tasman sky dive new zealand

I will have to say that I enjoyed sky diving far more than bungy jumping. It is better value for your money and it is equally exciting without the stress of bungy jumping.  After my Queenstown Bungy I felt that I didn’t have the need to do another bungy jump. I have done a couple and that has satisfied my adrenaline factor. However now that I have done some skydiving, I am ready to do some more!

  • The cost for a jump is $399 NZD
  • To hire your own camera man and receive video and photos you can get a package of $599 NZD
  • 1 NZD = .70 USD and CAD

Skydive Abel Tasman is located in the South Island of New Zealand in the Motueka in the Abel Tasman Area.

This post is also a part of the #Blog4NZ effort going on with travel bloggers around the world uniting to show that New Zealand is open for business.

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Leave a comment


    1. davendeb

      It was worth it Kate. Abel Tasman is probably the most popular place in New Zealand to skydive.

  1. Merav | AllWays Car Rental NZ

    Ha! Told you skydiving takes it all! And the value for money – don’t get Eran to start with that again. I’m happy you are having an amazing time and we are waiting for you to come back to Christchurhc (yep, the kids asked!)

    1. davendeb

      Oh yes, I know you guys loved it! And now we’re going to get you on the stunt plane too! Awesome.

  2. Lauren

    Wow, that actually made my palms sweaty watching that!!! Looks absolutely incredible though. I never in a million years considered skydiving but since watching your video, I’m a little bit tempted to!!

    1. davendeb

      Glad we could tempt you Lauren. We are always looking to corrupt perfectly sane people.:-)

  3. Ken Kaminesky

    While I’m terrified of heights, such as standing on the edge of a building, bridge, or cliff, I think this looks like so much fun! Maybe I should wear a parachute all the time and my fear would disappear ;)

    One day I’ll muster up the courage to do this! Can’t let Dave have all the fun.

    1. davendeb

      You must try it Ken you’ll love it. It is completely different than standing on a bridge. Being that high up in the air doesn’t feel real and takes away most of the fear of heights.

    1. davendeb

      That is funny. We have heard a lot of pilots say that they would never skydive. I wonder why that is?

  4. Annie

    I wish I had a better word than to say that looks amazing but it does! Those photos actually look like the edge of the earth!

    As I was watching the video and the time was going it took me a while to realize how long you were free falling, I think I would totally freak out! Then again, now I’m tempted…

    1. davendeb

      I think if you can bungy jump, you can skydive. It is much easier. I see that you took the leap of faith in Queenstown. gonna head over and read it now!

  5. Rick Griffin

    Awesome video I LOVE IT!!!
    It brought back a lot of memories. I want to do my next jump in New Zealand like you – the scenery is incredible! Were your pants dry when you landed? :)

    1. davendeb

      Haha, thanks Rick. Yep, I highly suggest doing your second dive in New Zealand. Abel Tasman is astounding.

  6. Brandon

    Yep, you guys are badass. As an avid skydiver myself I congratulate you. It doesn’t look like you got too much of that Earth/Sky Earth/Sky action – That’s always good! My first jump was pretty bad if you can’t tell. They get better as you go.

    1. davendeb

      Thanks Brandon. Glad to hear that my first jump wasn’t too bad. Yes, there wasn’t too much tumbling through the air and I am very ready to do another one. Sky diving is one expensive sport though.

  7. Trisha Miller

    WOW! Dave you are far braver than I am – I don’t think I’d have the nerve to make it out the door…..but it certainly looks like fun and I’m really glad for you that you did it! :-)

    1. davendeb

      Hi Trisha, it is less scary than bungy jumping. They make you look up and you are attached very snug to the instructor so you feel pretty confident by the time you are sitting at the door. I think you could possibly do it!

  8. Jason

    Good stuff Dave. Brought back memories for me, as I used to jump a bit when I was younger. 16000 feet, is quite high mate, it must have been a great free fall. Plenty of time to just take it all in. It looked like quite a nice day as well.

    1. davendeb

      It was awesome Jason. They kept me distracted on the freefall (which was a good thing for the first one I think) by having me do all that stuff for the camera. I’m looking forward to the second jump when I can take more in. Cheers!

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  18. Ed Rex

    Sounds absolutely immense! I did a skydive in England and it’s one of the best things you could possibly do. Hoping to do one in New Zealand.


    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Ed, you’ll have to let us know how the jump goes if you do it in New Zealand and make sure to say hi for us!

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