We decided to dive head first into our new Adventure Newcastle series by free-falling from 14,000 ft over Newcastle’s stunning coastline.
Newcastle Live’s resident thrill-seeker, Brittany, got the adrenaline pumping and took the leap with Skydive The Beach and Beyond at their brand new Newcastle jump zone. Here’s what she had to say.
Skydiving has always been on my bucket list. However, I had one prerequisite – The dive must be over the beach. Gimme those sweet ocean views.
Fortunately, at the end of 2014, Newcastle scored its very own coastline skydive when Skydive The Beach and Beyond opened their new drop zone at the Belmont airstrip (you might remember this as the old Aeropelican site).
Professional jumpers who have dived all over the world have been raving about Newcastle’s new site as one of the most beautiful they’ve ever seen – and rightly so.
In Newcastle, we are blessed when it comes to our beaches. Now, most people will claim our coast is best experienced lying on the golden sands, feet firmly planted on solid ground… But not this gal! Solid ground is for suckers! Experience the beach from above!
Naturally, it took zero convincing to get me on board when Newcastle Live’s Adventure Newcastle series decided to go airborne. Sign. Me. Up.
After only a short drive (about 25 mins) from Newcastle CBD, I arrive at Skydive The Beach and Beyond’s Newcastle jump site.
The friendly team helps you check in and sort out your paperwork, and then you get ready to meet your master. Dive master, that is.
Today I’m tandem diving with Max, who tells me it’s his first day… Cool, we can learn together! How hard can it be?
Kidding! Max is indeed no stranger to the skydiving game. Originally from Italy where his love of the sport began, Max is Skydive The Beach and Beyond’s chief instructor, and he has been professionally jumping out of airplanes for 33 years. With over 13,000 dives under his belt, Max is the man to jump with.
I know I seem to be missing the part of the brain that says ‘jumping out of plane = scary danger’, but if the thought of free-falling from 14,000 ft in the sky makes you a little bit nervous, the Newcastle team will definitely help to ease your pre-jump jitters.
The calm energy of the staff and divers lets you know you’re in great hands, and the smooth pre-flight operations get you ready and raring to get on that plane!
Your experienced divemaster is by your side every step of the way – and so is the GoPro filming your entire adventure, so make sure you bring along your biggest, cheesiest grin!
The ride to height takes about 15 minutes, and on the way up you will not be able to tear your eyes away from the incredible view. Check it out in the video below, it certainly ignites your hometown appreciation.
You’ll be so busy admiring our beautiful coast below and having a laugh with your divemaster, that before you know it, the plane door has been opened and the cabin is filled with the fresh, whistling wind. This is it. It’s going time.
When you’re dangling your legs out of a moving plane at 14,000 ft in the air, gazing over one of Australia’s most idyllic coastlines, seconds away from casting yourself out into the atmosphere, there’s really not much that can bring you down… Besides gravity.
But honestly, skydiving is one of the most liberating and exhilarating experiences you can have as a human. For me, the 60-second freefall toward the ocean below was the absolute highlight. The moments following, once your parachute has been pulled, are where you can take a deep breath and just take it all in on the 6-7 minute glide safely back down to the landing zone.
You can check out the whole dive below – Apologies in advance for some of the hilarious facials seen in this video:
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or scared of heights, you NEED to do this at least once in your life. Even if you cry (or scream every profanity known to man) the whole way down, I promise you the scenery alone and the buzz of accomplishment for days afterwards will be so worth it!
My one regret is not doing this sooner – and I’m already planning for my next jump! So, if you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge, all I can say is DO IT!! Do it today! And with one of Australia’s most spectacular jumps now right at our doorstep, what’s stopping you?
Head over to https://www.skydive.com.au/ to make it happen, and take advantage of their limited special offer!
A huge thanks to the Skydive The Beach and Beyond team and to my awesome divemaster Max for an incredible jump! I WILL be back.
SKYDIVE THE BEACH AND BEYOND NEWCASTLE
Duration: About 1 hour from check-in to landing safe and sound on solid ground
Adventure Level: EXTREME
Adventure Scale: 11 out of 10 parachute pants (p.s. you actually do get to wear parachute pants…)
Stay tuned for the next Adventure Newcastle feature, our new series where we test-run some of the best activities and experiences on offer in Newcastle and the Hunter.