A New Zealand vacation is all about learning to appreciate the marvels of nature....
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And so, after a few expensive days and nights in Queenstown, Darren and I parted ways and I headed up to Franz Josef Township to take my 19,500-foot step into the void. New Zealand became a capital for skydiving because of several factors. The landscape is stunning, Kiwis are a daring lot by nature and about 10 years ago, a price war broke out among the various companies making the sport more affordable to consumers. It was often cheaper to skydive than make a bungie jump or a white-water rafting trip. Once the price war was over—the remaining companies are fairly large and were able to withstand the cut in profits—prices inched back up and companies like Nzone seeking to distinguish themselves by marketing the experience as a character-building exercise. I won’t go too much into the experience here, as I will let the story tell most of it, but I screamed, I wailed and when I landed I wanted to do it again. I said “fuck” a lot as the shakes from the adrenaline wore off. Damned if the marketers weren’t at least a little bit right. My fear of heights lay naked and beaten at my feet, at least for the moment.
Trained guides lead visitors up the Fox and Fran Josef glaciers, safeguarding both the ice field and their climbing groups. Located on the South Island’s western coast, the Fox and Fran Josef glaciers are among the steepest commercially-guided glaciers in the world. With crampons and pick, climbers carve their way along the solid, snowy mountains and consider the glacial movements that shaped the country’s unusual landscape.