Monday, December 22, 2014

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Travelers Who Pack Courage Can Leap Into New Zealand's Extreme Sports

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New Zealand is the birthplace of bungee jumping and offers plenty of adventure dedicated to the pure pursuit of adventure. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

In New Zealand, one could say the national dress is the safety harness.

"The whole country is basically just a big adventure playground," says Shane Wairau of AJ Hackett Bungy.

For certain visitors to New Zealand, that statement is a call to action. A sharp spike of adrenaline is the sole justification for adventure addicts who travel thousands upon thousands of miles.

As for me, when I am a guest of New Zealand tourism, I find driving on the left and through the backroads quite enough of a challenge, thank you.

So what's a nice girl like me doing risky things in a place like this? Despite my fears, I usually succumb to the siren call of a dare -- in a no-fault country no less, where you only have yourself to blame.

As it turns out, everything I do is just a delay tactic for the thing I fear the most -- the dreaded bungee jump.

New Zealand is the birthplace of testing your wits by dangling from a cord off of crazy heights, so how can I not defend this particular passport stamp, and the honor of my 101st country?

My goal is to jump from the very scenic Kawarau bridge in Queenstown, the birthplace of bungee.

Shouldn't I do a warm-up jump first? When push literally comes to shove, it isn't Kawarau bridge, but at the AgroVentures Adventure park in Rotorua, there is tandem jumping from a crane. I take a leap there with my eyes closed, nearly busting a blood vessel, hugging a stranger -- albeit a cute one -- like my life depended on it.

Finally, I can now board the plane with my head held high, right? Wrong, says my nagging travel conscience. It isn't the bridge.

When push comes to shove, again, I finally take the leap at Kawarau bridge, cuddling like a Kiwi bird in another tandem jump, the jump. My eyes are wide open, because I might be chicken, but I'm no fool.

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As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP