Soaring through the sky comes at a heavy price
In this regular op-ed feature, we give an honest breakdown on popular activities many have listed on their bucket list. We judge base on quality of experience, price paid, and whether or not we would sincerely recommend it to a friend.
Tandem skydiving is probably high up on many’s bucket lists. The irony of taking a giant leap of faith and putting your life in another’s hands as an activity for a bucket list isn’t loss on us but it must be why the activity is so appealing. But it’s not just that moment of death-defying fear of course, it’s also the bird’s eye view of shimmering oceans, and even icy mountain peaks, tawny stretches of deserts and glowing cities that are just unparalleled to seeing the same view from the safety of an aeroplane.
I chose to do tandem skydiving in one of Australia’s iconic holiday destinations – Gold Coast. With its sun, sand and beautiful strip, what’s there not to love about Gold Coast? Whether into hunting food trends, chasing waterfalls around the hinterland or getting a rush with water activities, there’s something available for just about every kind of traveller. Especially for those who love a good amount of action and adventure – this is the place to be to try out activities like Jetpack Flyboards, Air Factory Trampolines, Sideways Go Karting and the most popular activity here, Gold Coast Skydiving.
Gold Coast Skydive is the only Tandem Skydive in operation on Gold Coast and it boasts an excellent safety record (we Googled and there really is no dirt on this one) alongside a pristine stretch of sand – Kirra Beach, a clean beach frequented by locals that is ideal for exploring and comes with easy open air carpark access by the beach.
But enough about the location, one might be wondering what comes after the flight up and that leap of faith (or rather, your tandem skydiver’s who makes the call on when to exit the plane). Well, after you’ve spread your ‘wings’ to experience the high-speed wind in your face for a good 30 seconds, the skydive instructor will then deploy the parachute and the next few minutes will probably be one of the most scenic moments of your life as you take in the ultimate #flatlay of the location while safely descending. It feels almost as if you’re floating about like a leaf in a gentle breeze. This was the climax of the experience.
Before long, the skydive is over and you’ll be instructed to lift your legs so as to land softly on your bum. That moment officially completes the tandem skydiving experience and all that is left is to unbuckle, return to the office to fresh up and wait for your images and videos, should you decide to purchase them – which you should and here’s why.
As much as this was something I had on my list to cross off, the experience wasn’t the most fulfilling. Maybe it is just me but I felt empty throughout the day – it could be because I went for a rainforest retreat in Lamington National Park just after, or it might be due to the fact that as a former athlete, adrenaline peaks and drops faster than others. But without the “proof” in the video and images I had purchased, it honestly felt as though the jump did not happen.
I began to wonder if the six-minute journey was really worth the huge load of money and I’m here to honestly tell you, it is not. Firstly, the jump costs A$375, and the video and still images (which turned out to be just screenshots from the video) cost an additional A$175, bringing the grand total to A$550. This may pale in comparison to a number of other tandem skydiving experiences around the world but it is still a large sum of money for the average person, and especially so for someone like me who comes from a family where indulgent purchases such as these are few and far between.
If you have the extra money, by all means, go for it but rest assured for everyone else that although this is an extraordinary experience, it is by no means life-changing or a necessary item to add to your own bucket list.
Need to know:
- Prices for tandem skydive starts from A$355 for weekday jumps and A$375 for weekend jumps (inclusive of taxes)
- The minimum age for jumping is 12 in Australia but requires parent or legal guardian for anyone 18 years and below
- There is a maximum weight limit of 95kg for tandem jumps. If 95-110kg, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for special accommodations
- Location for GPS here
- For those taking public transportation, catch bus 700 from Broadbeach South Station, which will stop 100m away from the office
- Alternatively, Gold Coast Skydive offers free transfers from anywhere between Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta, Kirra Beach
- It’s best to go during summer (December to February) for the best weather to skydive
- Try the shoulder months of March to May for less of a crowd
- Book ahead at Gold Coast Skydive here