Tips you need to know about skydiving in the Whitsunday Islands
I’m looking forward to three lights in front of me: red, yellow and green. The red light is flashing then all of a sudden it flashes to yellow. I hear a whoosh and that’s when I realize that the side door of the plane has completely opened. Within a matter of seconds, the green light starts flashing. I’m sitting on the edge of the plane overlooking the clouds and then I’m free-falling into the sky.
I think first I need to back up to how I got here. At Magnum Hostel, there are walls of brochures of how I could spend my time in Arlie Beach. When planning a trip in the Whitsunday the thing to do is excursions. Unless you have a car, there’s not too much to do within the town of Arlie Beach. When I was looking around at the brochures, a couple caught my eye about skydiving in the Whitsunday.
Skydiving had been a bucket list item I’d had since I was 16 that I never expected actually come to fruition. However, low and behold in the reception area in Magnum Hostel the opportunity came to me. That night I thought about if it was something I wanted to do. Realistically I knew that I didn’t need the time my mind was made up the moment that I picked up that brochure.
The next morning I walked right up to the reception area and booked my skydiving experience. There are a couple of skydiving companies in the Whitsundays you can book with. I booked with Skydive Australia, the one that the hostel had recommended. The company was running a New Years’ promotion with discounted prices on their packages. To be honest, I think it’s a possibility that these prices could be discounted the majority of the time.
There are two options you can choose to free fall from either 8K feet or 15K feet. I chose the 8K free-fall which was the cheaper option. I was running low on cash at that point in my trip. Beware Skydive Australia, and any company really will get you with their pricing and the additional add on. Book as fast a possible, spots book up.
Two days later it was time for me to actually jump out of a plane. The company was good about keeping in contact with jumpers on updates. Due to weather our the company texted us with updates of a landing point and jump time. I had butterflies in my stomach and it wasn’t the “Oh sh*t what did I sign myself up for” but more of the “I’m actually about to jump out of a plane today.” The most anxious part was waiting to go to the meeting point.
The meeting point was at the Skydive Australia storefront. There you sign the legal wavier and are able to purchase photo packages. The first option you would have a go-pro attached to the instructor. The second option had a separate jumper videotaping your jump. Obviously, one is more expensive than the other and both are more expensive than what you would assume it would be.
At the store, you watch a 10-minute video and receive pants and an extra parachute with a harness. We jumped on the van and headed to the airplane hanger. There we were introduced to our guides, given gear and boarded the plane for the jump.
When we got to the hanger, there was a screen listing our names, and how high we would be jumping out of the plane. My name was the only one on the board with the 8K free fall next to it. This meant I would be the last to board the plane and the first to jump because I was going the lowest height.
We take off and have a nice 10-minute flight overlooking all the Whitsunday Islands before it is time to jump. I sat next to the panel we would be jumping out of. When it was time to go my instructor Anna got me in position. Suddenly we were out of the plane.
My world felt like I was moving in slow motion. Our initial tumble was through a cloud down back to Earth. What felt like an eternity was only 10 seconds of free fall. A parachute opened to and I enjoyed a 7-minute trip back to the ground
There were so many emotions I felt during the time that I was coming back down to Earth. However, the one emotion I never felt was regret. Skydiving in the Whitsundays was one of the most adventurous things I have ever done. I plan to do it again without a doubt. Next time though I made myself the promise to go higher.