Skydiving is almost a rite of passage for anyone visiting Australia. Nearly every tourist town and city you visit will have skydive packages on offer.
I took some time to research the best companies and locations. In the end I decided to do my skydive over Mission Beach, situated two hours south of Cairns. There were three reasons I decided on Mission Beach as my location of choice, it offers a jump from 15000ft (is the highest possible jump), views of the Great Barrier Reef and the Mission beach is one of few skydives where you land on the beach.
The company I went with was Skydive Australia, they offer a wide range of prices and packages. The standard is from 7,500ft and comes in around $199 AUD. I opted for 15,000ft jump which was more expensive at $329 AUD plus I also added the handicam video package which cost an extra $149 AUD. The additional $149 AUD was abit on the pricy side for photos and the video footage, however skydiving is potentially a once in a life time thing so I wanted the memories.
We stayed at the YHA Hostel in Mission Beach and I was collected by minibus at 7.00am. After a short 10 minute drive I arrived at the office where I registered and the safety briefing was carried out.
As I mentioned, the landing zone was just on the beach which was next to the office. I took a stroll down and looked where I would be landing later that morning. Golden sand, clear water and blue skies, I was starting to get excited. I could hear the sound of engines above. When I looked up I could see blue and yellow parachutes appear, floating down. The first group of the day all landed in front of me on the beach, each person smiling and laughing.
I headed back to the office and waited for my instructor. I was then strapped in and recorded a video intro with my instructor. We then boarded the bus and headed to the airstrip.
This was about a 15 minute journey. My nerves were starting to build but so was my excitement. We pulled in beside the aircraft and after a quick group photo we got aboard. The engine noise grew louder and with everyone seated we started to take off.
As we climbed to jump height my instructor tightened the straps keeping us together. I had a great view out the window as the plane climbed up over the hills and turned left towards the beach. The sight was truly spectacular, I honestly thought at this point I would be nervous but I was just excited. As we got to altitude the door opened and the air rushed in, we were going to be the second pair to jump. The tandem in front of me on the bench slid forward and their legs dangled out of the plane. A second later they were gone and it was my turn.
Sitting with your feet hanging out of a plane at 15,000ft is a strange feeling, the views are amazing but the air rushing in your face almost takes your breath away. I didn’t get much time to think about it as a second later I was almost weightless falling towards the ocean.
The wind rushing past your ears, the feeling of falling one second replaced with a jerk and the silence as the parachute opens. The views were amazing and the adrenaline rush was one of the best I’ve ever had.
Landing on the beach I had the same smile on my face as those I’d seen earlier. I can honestly say the skydive was the best I have ever done. I walked back up to the office, collected my video which was ready within minutes and headed back to my hostel.
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