Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the South Pacific – and it’s easy to see why. It’s such a stunning place, with spectacular scenery and the options for adventure sports and activities are endless.
Of course, this kind of adventure comes at a cost, so after doing a cost benefit analysis, I decided that the best adventure sport in Queenstown – not to mention the best way to see Queenstown from above – was to go paragliding.
I am so glad I chose to go paragliding in Queenstown as it was definitely one of the best experiences I have had ever – let alone during my trip to Queenstown.
If you are thinking of taking the leap (literally), this post has everything you need to know about paragliding in Queenstown.
G Force Paragliding is the main tandem paragliding company in Queenstown. They have awesome service, friendly staff and such a convenient location, so it’s really the top choice for paragliding in Queenstown.
+ $50 for photos
Due to changing weather patterns, paragliding is not available every day or at all times. The best thing to do is to keep your schedule free and don’t make too many fixed plans before you get there. Give G Force a call in the morning and they will let you know if they are open or not for the day, so you can schedule your paraglide time.
Getting to the G Force Adventures office is really easy. Simply go up the Skyline Gondola (or walk up the hill if you feel up to it!) and then out the door on your left you will see the G Force kiosk. From there your paragliding partner will lead you up to the cliff for take-off.
You obviously need to get all strapped up at the top, but your partner will make sure that you are all secure.
This part is a little scary when you haven’t experienced before. I mean, you have to run and jump off a cliff! But just relax, and remember you are attached to a parachute and your guide knows what he or she is doing. Literally, all you need to do is run until your feet no longer touch the ground. For me, I weigh less than 50kg so I almost got lifted up as soon as I started running. If you are heavier, don’t worry – you’ll still glide! The parachutes can take up to 200kg.
The flight is the best part, and the fact that you are paragliding in Queenstown (not just anywhere) makes it even more phenomenal. Queenstown is an absolute perfect backdrop – from the forest of beech and pine trees, to the perfectly still lake, to the surrounding mountains. Take in the scenery and enjoy the ride.
If you’re lucky, the wind will carry you for a while. I flew for around 25 minutes, but my instructor said that it can sometimes be around 10 minutes when the wind isn’t as strong.
TAKING THE REIGNS
If you want to have a go, your instructor will hand over the steering reigns and let you drive the parachute for a while. This is really quite simple, and I got the hang of it pretty quick. If you pull on the left side, you will veer left. If you pull on the right side, you will veer right. The harder you pull on the string, the sharper the turn.
FLIPS AND TRICKS
Again, this is optional, but if you are a bit of a thrill seeker it is so awesome. Your partner (yes, you have to hand the controls back to them) will do a few twirls and spins in the air as you come down for landing. This makes for an exciting descent.
To land, put your feet forward and get ready to touch the ground. Just like with the take off, you will need to run for a few seconds to land easily.
PARAGLIDING VS SKYDIVING
I had done skydiving before, but never paragliding. Of the two experiences, I honestly prefer paragliding. With paragliding, you tend to spend more time in the air, so it’s a bit more worthwhile. It is still fun, but a bit more peaceful and serene, which gives you time to take in the scenery. And above all, if you are trying to decide between adventure activities in Queenstown, paragliding is quite a lot cheaper.
*Thank you to G Force who partially sponsored this fantastic experience for me. All opinions are my own*
Have you ever been paragliding or done any adventure sports? Would you consider paragliding in Queenstown? Let me know in the comments!~