The Big Time
Swings are available just about anywhere you can find a sturdy point to attach them to. From the painted metal bars in an urban park, to a rural tree as older than those using it, to the daredevil ropes that swing out over a body of water. Often, the idea is to get something set up to get the biggest, longest, and fastest swing you can. Some conventional wisdom exists to keep it within some limits for safety’s sake. Then again, some are creating swings for that wow factor. Some swings exist and are maintained for the sole purpose of scaring the rider. These are the kind of swings that dangle out over water. That way the person on the rope can fly out over a drop, and fly off at their leisure. That time spent falling with only the rope to catch and support you is exhilarating. To that end, a particular swing has been made for the sole purpose of breaking records. Suspended incredibly high in the air, a swing exists that specializes in both the intense height, and teasing.
Head to the bottom of the world
New Zealand became even more famous for its picturesque scenery being showcased in several modern movies. Lush green fields and hillsides that seem to defy the encroachment of people with rugged beauty. Located in this beautiful landscape is a town called Queenstown. Often rumored to be the adrenaline capital of the world, it hosts all sorts of activities meant to get the blood pumping and provide a rush. This locale is also the home to the most famous swing in New Zealand. The largest in the world. Called the Nevis Swing, this is as far removed from traditional rope swings as a scooter is from a Rolls Royce. Upon arrival at the site, you are given an opportunity to pay for the experience and take in the view of a deep valley. Standing at the edge of this dip, the next steps are out onto a bridge suspended across the divide, stretching across 120 meters or just shy of 400 feet. The bridge only goes a short way out, about 70 meters or 230 feet. Support wires go all the way across, but a short portion out you reach another station. This is the actual site of the swing itself. Before you take a ride on this incredible swing, you have multiple options to consider yet.
Here we go!
With a rating for 220 kilograms, or 485 pounds, the swing can accommodate two individuals at once, but how you go is up to you. Pictures help to illustrate what you would like to experience. Why sit side by side, when you can sit back to back, forward, backward, similar to a yin and yang, sandwiched up against each other, or so many other options. Once you have made the choice of going alone or with a friend, and how you want to be strapped in, you are attached to a harness and several safety lines. This may be a swing, but risks are still present. The occupants are allowed to move back a bit from the platform as the people operating the swing are known to be somewhat malicious. With a finger on the trigger, they can let you go at any second. Alternatively, you could leave control of the release to friends. Either way, you are keenly aware of the magnitude of the drop awaiting you. The anticipation can last only a moment, or be allowed to drag on- as you are fully aware of just how intensely high this swing is. When released, the harness is attached to the support wires by two anchor points, but you won’t be thinking of those. Instead, you will be overcome with a blast of adrenaline as you begin to free-fall. The length of the rope harness is 120 meters, or 393 feet. That allows you to feel the extent of gravity and the wind rushing past your ears as you fall only slightly turned away from the valley floor. At the bottom of the gorge, a small river flows, and even at the bottom of the swing, you are still 160 meters or 525 feet up in the air. The arc of the swing, the distance you travel falling and stretching the ropes is a massive 300m or 984 feet! This is a thrill that is certainly without equal, but it is not for the faint of heart or those without a little extra money. Aside from the costs of actually getting there, a ride on the swing will put you back $195 for yourself, or $175 per person if you go in a pair. However, as a spur-of-the-moment sort of attraction, they offer a $25 discount if you book in advance by at least 30 days.
To be certain, this is neither an easy nor quick trip. Located in an isolated area of the world, just reaching it can be a challenge. Certainly not one that cannot be overcome, but something to give many pause. On the other hand, this is one of the biggest thrills a person can have on the world’s largest rope swing. The scenery is beyond beautiful, and the feeling is indescribable. Many of us have felt that peculiar feeling of unease in the belly when you swing. That sensation like few others as your insides ignore gravity for a few moments, and you let yourself go with the swing. For most swings, that is a brief moment. For this, it is long enough to immerse yourself in the rush of falling towards the valley floor and realize that while you are safe . . . you are definitely falling a long way! If you love a good thrill, enjoy the swings, and have the ability why not have an experience that will last a lifetime? The Nevis Swing is sure to leave an impression, though some of the more nervous should bring a change of underwear.