This giant Bridge Swing features a mind-blowing 50m freefall from the Mokai Bridge before arcing into a massive swing through the canyon below. This canyon swing affords amazing views of the Rangitikei River while getting your adrenaline flowing!
Swingers can go solo or in tandem with a friend who has no excuses!
• 1 activity - $110 per person
• 2 activities - $175 per person
• 3 activities - $240 per person
I love swings, I always have a go when I'm at the park with my nephews and nieces, always trying to go that bit higher and a bit faster. So the thought of doing the bridge swing was very exciting, because a 50 meter swing must be better than the kiddy 5 meter ones, right? Surely it will be the same nice gentle ride that usual swings give me, right?.....
So after we made our way back from the flying fox and crossed the bridge, which for some reason seemed much higher than when we crossed it the first time as I looked over....."it's gonna be awesome" I keep reminding myself, but it started to sound more like a question. Sitting down back at the Gravity Canyon headquarters it gave me a good chance to see the bridge swing in action on the T.V they have on the wall with a dvd playing footage of all the rides over and over again. All the people were smiling and looked like they were having a good time, and why wouldn't they be, it's just a swing..... right?
Finally the time came for us to head along the rather narrow walkway to the drop point and our harnesses to be put on, again safety is paramount and all straps and clips are checked and checked again, I can't say enough how professional the staff are at it. Once I was rigged up and in a comfortable seated position in the harness on the platform a quick run down of what's to come was given. To be honest I didn't hear much of what they were saying because by now they had swung me out over the river way, way down at the bottom..... I had now become that cartoon character who mistakenly runs off the edge of a cliff and has those few last seconds to have a look around at his situation before the drop. My heart could now smash concrete with the way it was beating.
"This is gonna be one hell of a rush" I stutter, not to sure that this is what I wanted to be doing at the time, which the staff must of picked up on.
"It sure is" they say "now wave to the camera"
I turned to the camera and tried my best to smile and wave, but really it wasn't a wave I was just showing the camera how much my hand was shaking......
CLICK, the pin was pulled, a deathly silence came over me and I was on my way..... Now I've done a few rollercoasters in my time, and thought they were a rush but nothing compared, at the time, to the bridge swing (I did this before the bungy). Stuck in the seated position waiting for someone to drop you and having no control is one of the worst yet best feelings you can have, its hard to explain you just have to do it.
But before you know it you're into the swing part of the journey and I fully recommend letting go of the harness and leaning back, the sensation and the view is tops!
Then I was hoisted back up to where it began.
"You looked like you enjoyed that" I heard "shall we drop you again?" suddenly my sweat was back on and the realisation that I was at their mercy hit me like a bat to the chest.
"Not yet" I said, but I definitely will one day.
By far and away the most exciting thing I *EVER* want to do in my life, this is an awesome way to remind yourself that your day-to-day life is probably quite boring and soul-killing!
2 years on, and here I was again, hanging in a harness 80m above the beautiful Rangitikei River, about to let someone else decide when I was about to either scream my lungs out, lose my lunch or perform the required movements to justify the need to get an on-site laundrette.
Hanging... suspended above 80m of sweet-F-A... with a river below that... shaking... heart hammering... trying to look calm and 'in control' for the camcorder I am aiming at my own face '...just in case I have any *really* last words'... and the jumpmaster (or would that be drop-mistress?) says to me "Would you like a count-down, or just to go?" "Oh, just -click- go... -insert sound of air whistling past a falling body- yeah, like that..." Damn, I hate it when they do that...
That split second of hanging in mid air, knowing that gravity is once again about to enfold you in it's loveless embrace, and tear all the complacency and ambivalence out of you... I tell ya, that sure is a hell of a way to be reminded that really living isn't just a matter of being alive. The poor sod in the rafting tour boat below me wasn't quite prepared either... as I reached the bottom of my swing I quite clearly heard him give a short sharp exclaimation not suitable for public repetition. Seems he was hoping to be well past by the time someone came hurtling down towards him at terminal velocity.
In some respects, I kinda wish this attraction could be made to last longer, as it feels like it's all over in a matter of seconds, but in other ways I am quite glad that it is. I don't think my thighs are going to fully recover from the chafe any time soon, caused by my bad wardrobe selection of loose cargo shorts... and the wedgie-of-the-gods I suffered, again due entirely to "nocens vestis lectio", is something that will haunt me every time I watch the video of our adventure.
Overall, a brilliant interlude between the warmup entree of the Fox and the suicidal main course of the Bungy (for those crazy enough to do it... a fraternity I am glad NOT to count myself amongst.)
Dropping suddenly from a bridge 80 meters above a river really IS a great way to be well and truly reminded that you definitely are alive!!!
It has now been 5 days since I experienced Gravity Canyon, and I can STILL remember the exact sensation of plunging down through space towards the river at an extreme rate, heart trying desperately to thud its way out of my chest. This is NOT for the faint hearted!! But if you have even an ounce of adventurous spirit, then the bridge swing is definitely something you HAVE to try.
Your heart will become temporarily attached to your throat, your limbs will shake for ages afterwards, and you may possibly need a spare change of clothing- but you most definitely WILL get one of the best thrills of your life by giving this extreme activity a try, and quite likely be eager to get dropped straight back over that bridge the moment they've finished hauling you back up from the first time!!
The staff were very patient, supportive and friendly, which made it a LOT easier to push past my almost blinding fear, and give it a go. Safely strapped in to a huge pile of harnessing, their safety checks are very thorough, which helped to add a feeling of security as they swung me out over the edge. They don't pull the pin that'll send you plunging down towards your doom-.errr-downwards- until you let them know you're ready, and from there on, it's pure crazy, adrenaline pumping, thrill seeking excitement!!! Once the plunging stops, you find yourself swinging (at first rather rapidly, then more gently as the momentum of the swing slows down) over a gorgeous piece of NZ scenery, with the Rangitikei river flowing beneath you, tempting you to want to be released from the harness so you can go for a swim! I dearly wished I'd found a way to rig my camera up to take it on the ride with me, simply so I could have taken the opportunity to get photos of the stunning scenery that surrounded me. I could happily have stayed swinging there for ages- except for the fact that from the moment I stopped hurtling downward, and began swinging, I very much wanted to be at the top just so I could do it all over again!
Well worth the money- and the risking of life, which really isn't at risk anyway, as they do everything possible to make sure it's safe- and something I will be working on saving up enough money as quickly as possible so I can go back and experience it all over again!!
"A life lived in fear is a life half lived."
Not often do I get a chance to really get outside my comfort zone and put a bit of thrill into my life, so when I had the chance to head up to the scenic Mokai Canyon to visit Gravity Canyon adventure park and do a few mad things... I took it.
A little over an hour's drive north from Palmerston North we found the clearly signposted turnoff. A further 15 minute drive and we came upon a truely wonderous sight. Exhilaration... on the end of a rope. After starting off with the Flying Fox we decided to give the bridge swing a try. WHAT A RUSH!
I am terrified of heights, and have a strong fear of falling, so this was going to be a big step outside the happy-place for me, but, it had to be done. After a few minutes of strapping up into the harness, I was clipped to the swing boom arm and swung out over the drop. "Umm... just drop me when you are ready mate... I'll figure it out as I go along, eh." was the closest thing to sensible I could manage as I mumbled my mantra of "Don't look down, just don't look down..." to myself.
-sensation of wieghtlessness-
-sensation of acceleration, downwards-
I mean, what else can you say when you suddenly open your eyes and there's a river heading up at you at high speed? But before I could really get freaking, I noticed I had stopped falling and was well into the swing, in fact nearly at the apex of the swing and starting to head back! This was most reassuring, and gave me a chance to have a good look at the stunning scenery, and to have a conversation (even if it was yelled) with some of the people watching from the observation platform, and my family awaiting my return on the bridge.
Overall, this had to have been the highlight of the last decade for me. Not only did I do something seriously scary and NOT have a heart-attack, but I loved every split-second of it. It was so thrilling, I wanted them to haul me back up to the bridge and just drop me again! And yes, you don't have to worry about getting your feet wet, they haul you right back to where you started! A most excellent experience, and entirely safe, thanks to the highly skilled and trained staff.
TIP: Don't Do this if you have to be up early the next morning.
I threw myself off a bridge 30 hours ago and still, every time I think about it, my heart begins pounding again, throwing more adrenaline into my bloodstream. This caused real problems sleeping: while lying in my bed in the darkness, and suddenly the ground is rushing up towards me and the wind is blowing thru my multi-colored hair, and, yeah, I wanna do it again. But It's 4 am. And they are closed.
But oh my word. This is purely the best adrenaline rush I have ever experienced. It starts to build as you "sit" in the full-body harness. Then slowly increases as they "swing" you out off of the platform, and 80 metres over the canyon floor below you. Then the adrenaline starts to dissipate as you bring your breathing back under control, relax as much as you can, and get used to the feeling. And then it happens.
That life changing, unforgettable noise.
Your stomach is in your throat. You are falling.
The ground is rushing up towards you.
You're going to hit it... and fas-.
No, wait. Am I going up now?
Im not going to meld with the rock floor below me. Phew.
And then the initial shock begins to wear off. And by the time words make their way to your lips, you know you are safe, and then, well, its just a big swing. And your extremities begin quivering. And then the staff begin to hoist you up to the platform. You can breathe a sigh of relief, and begin planning your next trip up, so you can do this again.
Very Worth It. Given the option to do this again, I would do it without hesitation.
An exhilarating rush. Maybe a little pricey. But well worth it. You will have no regrets.
Random listing from 'Tourist'...
For families and those wanting something a little more sedate, we also have a water-powered Chairlift which affords magnificent views through the spectacular Mokai river canyon. Its construction is a marvel of Kiwi engineering ingenuity.
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