So remember how I said I would never ever jump off anything high? Extreme activities for me here in New Zealand end up being something like tackling a 1,000-piece Van Gogh puzzle with a deadline of 10pm (the generator at Gunn’s Camp near Milford Sound cuts off then).

But then I meet Yvonne, sky-diving Yvonne from Holland who manages to convince people that a swing is just a swing and just pure fun and they should do it.

So when we got to adventure-filled Queenstown (a city known for extreme activities- bungy jumping, sky-diving, drinking insane amounts… and looks like a ski village in the Alps), I signed up for a tandem ride on the biggest swing in the world.

We knew it was a 300 meter arc in the mountains. We didn’t quite realise that included a 70 meter free-fall at the start of it.

Yeah, I am totally comfortable with this. It’s going to be awesome.

Being really really prone to vertigo, I shut my mind off, looked straight ahead and tried not to flip out. Denial is a powerful tool and I was relatively ok until we were hanging off the ledge, sitting on a “seat” that was really just a harness, little feet dangling.

“Do you want me to count down, or do you want a surprise?” the guy who straps you in and hopefully knows all about safetly and physics asked. Surprise us! And then bam- drop- just a little yelp and then no sound. We wooshed down towards the ground. I couldn’t even scream. It was scary and exhilerating.

Gulp. Calmly being brought back up to incredible heights.

When we reached the bottom, we swung like a swing should swing. We tried to catch our breath while laughter seized us. Wheeze-giggle-giggle-wheeze.

And then they slowly (really slowly and scarily) pulled us back up, letting us dangle for longer than strictly necessary.

We were shaking for hours. My legs were like Jello and the walk back to solid ground on a little bridge with a few screws loose was even more terrifying. Something to do with adrenaline?

It was something I never thought I’d do, am glad I did, but will probably never do it again. I’d recommend it, though.

I got a hat and a certificate for my bravery.

And in case you were wondering, we never finished the Van Gogh puzzle, no thanks to an early-rising two-year-old who got his little destructive hands on it.

Advertisements