Fancy a rush you’ll never forget?
We look at the history of the bungee jump, and some of the highest jumps in the world.
Nearly thirty years ago, AJ Hackett was the owner of a ski shop. Business was slow until one day, a group from the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club came in looking for an adrenaline rush and Hackett had an idea…. He spent a year researching equipment and techniques before trying serious jumps; in 1987, he was arrested for bungee jumping off the Eiffel Tower. By ’98, he was ready for others to try and on 12th November of the same year, 28 people bungeed from the Kawarau Bridge.
By today’s standards, the 43-metre-tall Kawarau Bridge jump is positively tame, however it is still worth a jump. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned jumper, joining the ranks of more than 700,000 jumpers by leaping from the site of the first ever bungee jump is pretty special.
Macao Tower – Macao, China
At the AJ Hackett Macau Tower bungee jump, you can leap from a staggering 233 metres above ground. After jumping, adrenalines junkies will free fall for 6 seconds, stopping just 30 metres above ground, before rebounding; the ultimate white-knuckle experience!
Verzasca Dam – Ticino, Switzerland
Most of us remember the opening scenes of Goldeneye, where Bond is scaling the impossibly high wall. Well, you can make like 007 with a bungee jump off the very same Verzasca Dam in Switzerland.
Unsurprisingly, the 1995 Bond film sparked a flurry of interest in the cast, smooth surface of the dam and today there are a number of options for the bungeeing connoisseur: opt for the straight jump, the backwards leap or the terrifying night-jump, where you leap 220 metres into a black abyss.
Find cheap flights to Switzerland here.
Royal Gorge Bridge – Colorado, US
It may not be regularly open to the public any more, but when it comes to breath-taking bungees, the Royal Gorge Bridge must have a mention. A massive 321 metres above ground level, the jump was by far the highest in the world.
Just looking at the bridge is enough to make you feel vertiginous, so if you are passing, don’t worry about the fact that the site is no longer open for public jumps; it’s still worth a visit just to behold the bridge that held the title of World’s Tallest Bridge for 74 years.
Bloukrans Bridge – Western Cape, South Africa
If you have caught the bungee bug, or you are even considering a bungee, the likelihood is that you have a bungee bucket list. If you do, Bloukrans Bridge has got to be on it.
It’s not just the height, which at a whopping 216 metres tall, makes it the highest natural bungee jump in the world, but its location that makes Bloukrans so special.
The bridge spans over a deep valley: as you jump, you will draw ever closer to the rugged South African wilderness before rebounding back to safety. As far as extreme experiences go, this one ticks most boxes. If you don’t fancy the jump, you can walk over the bridge and still enjoy the incredible views.
Find cheap flights to South Africa here.
Europabrücke Bridge -Innsbruck, Austria
192 metres high and over 760 metres long, the Europabrücke Bridge connects the two sides of the Whipp Valley, supporting the Autobahn as it snakes through the Alps from Italy to western Australia. If driving over the bridge isn’t enough of a thrill, why not jump off it?
Find cheap flights to Austria here.