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6 Important Things to Know When Bungee Jumping in Australia
What is Bungee Jumping?
Bungee Jumping, occasionally spelt as Bungy Jumping in some parts of the world, is an adventure sport / activity which involves a person jumping from a great height whilst connected to a long rubber elastic cord.
The cord is often wrapped around the person’s ankles and they are secured in a waist harness for additional safety.
The bungee platform is usually attached to a tall structure such as:
- Crane or
- Cliff side
After completing the jump, the person is usually pulled back up to the surface or intercepted by a boat (if landing over a river) to be detached from the cord.
It truly is an exhilarating experience!
Is Bungee Jumping Safe or Dangerous?
As with any adventure or extreme sport, there will always be some risks that you must consider. However, the number of deaths attributed to bungee jumping each year is low.
Given that an accident, injury or death from bungee jumping could destroy a company’s reputation, most companies are very stringent with safety procedures and protecting their customers.
They also have experienced staff and use the latest equipment to mitigate the risk of anything going wrong.
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Based on the statistics I could find, the frequency of bungee jumping deaths is low.
You’d be very unlucky to have something go wrong during your jump.
The estimated ratio is 1 death to 500,000 jumps.
To put it in context…
Here’s the death ratio of some other adventure sports:
- Hang Gliding: 1 in 560
- Canoeing: 1 in 10,000
- Mountain Hiking: 1 in 15,700
- Skydiving: 1 in 101,083
- Bicycling: 1 in 140,845
- Bungee Jumping: 1 in 500,000
- Skiing: 1 in 1,4000,000
- Snowboarding: 1 in 2,200,000
If you’d like to read more about the different death stats per sport, you can check out this awesome infographic.
The risks associated with Bungee Jumping can also depend on whether you have any of the following medical conditions:
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Condition
- Previous Dislocations
- Neurological Conditions
- Existing Back Issues
- Fragile Skin
- Physical Impairments
- Recent Surgical Procedures
- All Physical Disabilities
- Any Other Medical Condition
If considering bungy jumping with an existing medical condition, you should always check with your doctor first to make sure it’ll be ok.
You should also disclose any medical conditions to the company before you go bungee jumping.
Is there an Age, Height or Weight limit to go Bungee Jumping in Australia?
- Age limit: Yes
- Weight limit: Yes
- Height Limit: No
In Cairns Australia, all bungee jumpers and swingers must be at least 10 years old. However, anyone between the ages of 10-18 must have parental consent and a parent/guardian present.
The minimum age limit across the world can vary, however there doesn’t seem to be much information on a maximum age.
Globally, there seems to be a general agreement of the following:
- Minimum weight limit: 35-43kg (Approx 95 pounds)
- Maximum weight limit: 118kg (260 pounds)
However, this will depend on various factors including:
- The location
- The operator
- The height of the jump
One of the great things about bungee jumping is that the staff are well trained and can adjust the length/height of the bungee cord to match the weight of the jumper.
They can even judge the distance between the ground and the person down to the last centimetre.
This is why it is always important to check with the bungee jumping company as to what their guidelines are and check any FAQ’s on their website.
From what I could find, there are little to no height restrictions to go bungee jumping in Australia. However, for some of the bigger bungee jumps around the world, you may need to be over 120cm.
As long as you fit into the harness correctly, you should be OK.
Will Bungee Jumping Hurt My Back or Eyes?
There are some concerns circulating around the internet about bungee jumping causing your eyes to fall out or the retina in your eye to detach.
However, according to Bungy Australia, this has never happened.
(At any of their sites anyway)
They compare the pressure experienced by bungee jumping to be similar to sneezing!
Some jumpers also worry about back pain or damaging their spine. But, this is not commonly experienced by healthy jumpers.
Although the some can experience minor whiplash (If you bounce on a weird angle), the bungee cord is designed to suit your body and stretches with you for smooth deceleration.
In fact, bungee jumping is said to have no more impact on your back than:
- riding a mountain bike
- wake-boarding or
- running on a hard surface
If you have any back concerns or pre-existing issues, definitely seek advice from your doctor.
Also chat to the company leaders before you go as they will be able to provide you with the right guidance.
What Should I Wear When Bungee Jumping in Australia?
The month that you choose to go bungee jumping will naturally impact what you wear.
As a rule of thumb, it is best to wear comfortable clothing and closed toed shoes (or at least shoes that wont fall off). T-shirts, singlets, shorts and exercise / sports gear are good options.
If you’re a female, you’ll want to avoid dresses and skirts… for obvious reasons.
It’s also a good idea to tie your hair up before you jump so it doesn’t get in the way… or get caught on anything.
If you happen to wear the wrong shoes on the day or prefer not to wear shoes, you may have the option to jump barefoot. A few places offer this.
What is the Cost of Bungee Jumping in Australia?
The cost of bungee jumping around the world can vary a lot depending on where you’re jumping and the height of the jump.
For instance, the Nevis Bungy in New Zealand (the highest jump experience in NZ) is $245 to $275 AUD. Whereas, bungee jumping in South Africa is around $80 AUD.
To go bungee jumping in Australia the cost typically ranges from $99-140 AUD for adults.
The Best Place to go Bungee Jumping in Australia
Queensland, the adventure capital, is the only place where you can go bungee jumping in Australia.
Personally, this surprised me…
I thought that bungee jumping would be more prevalent in Australia given our neighbouring sister, New Zealand, invented the sport.
From what I could find, bungee jumping was temporarily banned in New South Wales back in the 1990’s. Supposedly, two people were injured when one of the cords broke free, leaving them dangling just above water.
Since then, I couldn’t find many updates on the situation.
Bungee Jumping in Australia – Cairns, Queensland
As previously mentioned, Cairns is the only place in Australia where you can bungee jump. This makes the bungee site quite unique and special.
Located about 20 minutes from Cairns, the jump site was chosen for the beauty of its surroundings – the Cairns rainforest. It is therefore renowned for its incredible views.
The bungee tower was built back in 1989 by the man who founded bungy jumping in New Zealand (AJ Hackett).
It may not be the scariest bungee in the world (being only 50m high, however, it makes up with scenery.
It’s also a good starting option for beginners.
Normally, the cost of bungee jumping in Cairns is as follows:
- Adults: $179 AUD
- Students (with valid ID): $139 AUD
- Children (10-14yrs): $99 AUD
However, currently there seems to be a deal where adult jumps are $99 AUD. This appears to end after March 2021.
- Skypark Cairns by AJ Hackett – McGregor Rd, Smithfield, QLD 4878
Things you should know about the AJ Hackett Bungy Jump in Cairns:
- AJ Hackett have done over 4 million safe bungee jumps worldwide
- AJ Hackett are the original company that founded Bungy
- Bungee jumping has become a famous milestone to do when people hit 30 years old
- You will want to allow an hour or more to enjoy the experience. This includes the transit time to get to the site and complete a jump.
- You should book before you go. Otherwise, if a tour bus arrives when you’re there, you could be waiting for hours!
- You can buy DVD’s & photos for an additional fee
- There is no minimum age for the Giant Swing, as long as you fit safely into the harness.
- The maximum combined weight for a tandem bungee jump is 240kg
- There is licensed bar on site – a very important detail for some!
If bungee jumping isn’t your thing, you can also go on their Giant Jungle Swing. From what I’ve read, it can be a lot of fun as well.
6 Additional Bungee Jumping Tips for Beginners
Bungee jumping can be a very frightening (but also exhilarating!) experience for first-timers.
If you’re considering making the jump, here’s some additional tips that you may want to consider.
1) Don’t hesitate, lean into the fear
As you walk onto the platform and lean over the edge, your head will automatically tell you “Don’t Jump!” Afterall, it is our survival instinct to stay alive. However, the more you pause and hesitate, the stronger and more convincing that part of your brain gets.
The best thing to do is jump…FAST!
Get yourself to the edge of the platform and when they say JUMP do it, with as little thought as possible.
The more you think, the more you’re likely to chicken out!
2) Don’t eat right before you jump
Given you can occasionally be jolted around at different angles, it’d be a bad idea to eat right before you jump. I’d suggest to leave at least 30 mins to an hour between eating and jumping to be safe.
3) Try to jump early in the line
Many think that by “watching others” it will help them pluck up the courage to do it themselves, especially if afraid of heights.
I personally found the opposite to be true.
If you let numerous people go before you, you’ll probably hear their screams and feel even more freaked out than you were initially. You may even use that time to determine a list of excuses for why you shouldn’t do it.
Waiting creates additional anxiety before your jump.
Take the leap of faith and get it done
4) Look straight, not down
I kept looking down by accident when doing my bungee jumps… but I like the adrenaline rush that comes with it.
If you’re afraid of heights, look straight out ahead or close your eyes as you jump.
It will reduce your tendency to freeze.
5) Trust the Jump Master
The staff at the bungee jumping site are well trained and know what they’re doing. Trust them.
When they give you reassurance or guidance, listen to them. Feel free to ask questions.
There’s no such thing as a silly question and the jump masters are very knowledgeable
6) Jump with a reputable company
Your #1 priority when bungee jumping is safety.
Never ever make any compromises when it comes to your safety.
That’s why it’s always important to choose reputable companies when you go bungee jumping.
Well known companies are tightly regulated, invest in the latest equipment and have well trained staff. They are also paranoid about safety ratings and reviews as it can make or break their business.
AJ Hackett is a great company.
I have done 3 bungy jumps with them so far and each experience was fantastic.
So there you have it….
A Beginner’s Guide to Bungee Jumping in Cairns, Australia
Let’s do a quick recap of what we covered in this article and the main points to remember:
- Bungee / Bungy Jumping is an adventure sport that involves a person jumping from a great height whilst connected to a long rubber elastic cord.
- Bungee Jumping is relatively safe
- There is a minimum age limit of 10 years old.
- There is no height limits as long as you fit safely into the harness.
- There is a min weight limit of 35-43kg and a max weight limit of 118kg.
- It is uncommon for bungee jumping will injure your back or eyes (unless you have existing injuries)
- Wear comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes
- Cairns in the best place to bungee jump in Australia
- The cost of bungee jumping can vary. In Australia, it ranges between $99 to $18 AUD.
- 5 Additional Bungee Jumping Tips for Beginners