My typical idea of adventure is something like climbing a mountain, hiking into a jungle, or sailing to a deserted island. It’s about the journey and for a while I have kind of associated a ‘good’ adventure with something that takes time and patience to achieve. Man, was I wrong! I just landed safely back on Earth after the team at Skydive Australia hurled me out of an airplane 14,000 feet above the stunning coastline and hinterland of one of Australia’s national treasures, Byron Bay. The whole experience felt like it only took a matter of seconds, but I’m told it’s been almost thirty minutes since I waved goodbye to my friends on the runway – still a skydiving virgin.
Contrary to my former beliefs, skydiving, though quick, is undoubtedly an adventure. There is planning, courage, nerves, adrenaline, uncertainty, and a deep satisfaction after the fact. All the ingredients are there. Skydiving is like taking all the elements of a more traditional adventure and condensing it down to one thirty minute experience – I guess that’s why they call it a rush.
I’ll admit skydiving scares me, and I think that’s a good thing. At the very least, it seems healthy to have some sort of aversion to jumping out of airplanes thousands of feet in the sky. So, it was odd that in the early hours of the morning, before the jump, I didn’t feel nervous. A big part of the reason I wanted to jump was because I like doing things that scare me. Facing fears forces you to grow. Now, I just felt ready. Maybe all that facing your fears stuff is finally starting to pay off.
On arrival, I was greeted by the staff at Skydive Australia’s Byron Bay location and they couldn’t have been more hospitable. Everyone was beaming with enthusiasm. You could tell they were passionate about what they do. It wasn’t long before I was all kitted up and briefed on the proper procedure for my tandem jump.
They say the scariest part is the plane ride up, and thirty seconds after take-off, was right about the time the unusual bout of calmness I was feeling started to disappear. You have no frame of reference for how high 14,000 ft is. You don’t know how the ground is a supposed to look or how many layers of cloud you need to go through before you reach your vertical destination. All the time that you are climbing, it becomes increasingly more apparent that eventually you will reach that destination and there’s only one way back to the ground.
The pilot raised his thumb in the air as we hit the drop zone. The first solo diver pulled the plastic door separating us from, for want of a better word, the sky. My first memory is that of sheer terror, a sinking feeling in my stomach that comes from sudden changes in altitude and then, strangely, relief. After about three seconds of free fall, you realise that there literally is no turning back. You’re rapidly approaching the ground below, and on a tandem dive everything is now out of your control. Thankfully I had my pilot Matt, with 8,200 jumps under his belt, making sure I landed safely.
You’re rocketing through the sky, a human missile and there’s really not much left to do, other than enjoy it.
It’s almost meditative giving up control in a situation like that. For those brief seconds of free fall, life is simple. There’s only one thing in the whole world you need to worry about, when to pull that shoot. It happens so seamlessly; one moment you are spinning and tumbling through the sky, then all of a sudden, a comparatively gentle tug and you’re floating above the Earth. All the beauty of the Byron Bay coast comes flooding back into focus. I could have stayed up there for hours, taking in the breathtaking views of some of the best beaches in world, but eventually my feet did safely touch the ground, again.
Lying on the grass, I looked up fondly at the sky, as I finally started to process the incredible adventure I had just experienced. I’m hooked. I can’t wait to throw myself out of a plane again and as soon as possible. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that feeling. Speaking to Matt after the jump, he told me that there is an entire worldwide community devoted to that feeling. It’s an extravagant thing to do and experience, and it fills you full of awe and wonder to think it can even be done.
Coming from a person who suffers from a fear of heights, you can trust me in saying that no matter what fears you may have, skydiving is something you need to cross of your bucket list. If you are in Australia, I can’t recommend the Skydive Australia team enough. They have locations all over the country, but I think it would be hard to beat the views and the staff at their Byron Bay location. They are even offering readers, AUD$30 off jumps across all of their locations in Australia if you enter the code word BUCKET on online bookings. You can check out their website here.
16 thoughts on “Free Falling Byron Bay with Skydive Australia”
That must have been an amazing experience. I know a few people that have gone skydiving and said it was a real dream come true.
love that you all can do this. I cannot
Sorry. My comment was cut off…I cannot but totally love living vicariously through my friends that can!
I’ve always wanted to skydive, but have just never got round to it. Definitely on my bucket list! What fantastic photos and an amazing view!
OMG, this looks like so much fun! I’ve wanted to try skydiving for I don’t know how long. I might just have to add this to my Christmas list.
No way, this makes my stomach turn just looking at the pictures. What a great thing to put on your bucket list though.
First, let me give you props and kudos for doing such an amazing thing! I wouldn’t dare dream of skydiving! You went to such a beautiful place!
Your pictures are awesome! I have wanted to go skydiving for years. It does scare me a little, but I’m an adrenaline junkie. This is definitely on my bucket list.
This looks like an amazing time! I love hiking, a sailing and visiting remote locations…but jumping from a plane I’m not there yet. 😉
Umm no! I don’t know how you did it. I could never jump out of a perfectly good plane!
Oh my goodness, you are so brave. I’ve often thought about going skydiving but I always come up with a list of reasons why it is a terrible idea. I’m sure it was an amazing experience.
This is uber-exciting!! I can feel the fun and exhilaration. Scary but we need to defy our fear to be able to experience the thrill that comes with the adventure 🙂
Omg now this would be one awesome adventure!!!! I so wanna try it but I think I might Chicken out lol
I don’t know if I could or would go skydiving now. I think maybe in my younger days I would have been totally game for this, so kudos to you! It looks fun but I would be too chicken!
I would be scared to death to go skydiving. More power to you for doing it. I am glad you enjoyed it.
I would absolutely love to go sky-diving, but I haven’t had the chance yet. Plus my boyfriend would NEVER go for this, so I may have to do it on my own haha! Adaleta Avdic