Choosing Your Adventure: The difference between a Nevis Bungy, Swing, and Catapult

The ridges and valleys of Queenstown and the surrounding areas are packed full of trails to hike, rivers to jet down, and mountain cabins to discover. However, nestled in the plunging cliffs of the Nevis Valley, a certain adrenaline playground makes their fun out of thin air, or more specifically: the gravity that governs that thin air. 

AJ Hackett Bungy, the bungy originals, bring you not only the highest bungy in New Zealand, but also the world famous Nevis canyon swing, and the world’s first commercial human catapult, all on the same site at the Nevis Playground. The original concept of a bungy jump now hangs in tandem with our revolutionary activities perfect for any adrenaline junkie. 

If you’re planning to go big or go home with a visit to the Nevis playground but unsure which of the three different activities you should strap into, let us help! There are some things they all have in common; the bungy bus transport from central Queenstown, max adrenaline pay off, and an epic crew to help you along the way. There’s also a few differences between the Nevis Bungy, Nevis Swing, and Nevis Catapult to consider to choose the right activity for you – let’s get into the main considerations. 

  • Direction of gravity

We can never truly defy gravity, but how much do you want to play around with its hold on you? Each activity at the Nevis Playground propels or drops you in a slightly different way. The Nevis Bungy is a pure freefall straight down to the valley below with some sweeping rebound bounces at the bottom. On the Nevis Swing, you can give in to gravity only slightly and swing in a 300m arc or defy it for as long as possible by catapulting horizontally in a superman positon.


  • Style  

If you’re keen to take control and choose your style of gravity-propelled terror, the Nevis Swing has varied options to choose from; standard seated, backwards, even upside-down. For safety and logistics reasons, the Nevis Bungy and Catapult have a set position and jump style that is tried and true with no variations possible. Want freedom of style? Choose the Nevis Swing. 

  • The upside down 

The Nevis Bungy is the only activity at the playground where you feel the thrill of a complete head-first freefall as well as rebounding while dangling by your feet. The Nevis Bungy also has the bonus of a foot release system; the crew will show you how to release your feet bindings (NOT the important safety connections) after a rebound or two, so you’re able to sit upright in your harness and experience the best of both worlds. The Nevis Swing and Catapult will have you skipping the inverted position and landing in a sitting position for your rebounds. 

  • Adventuring in tandem  

 If you’re wanting to share the experience with a friend or loved one, the Nevis Swing allows you to swing with one other person for double the screams. A tandem swing won’t restrict you from the different swing styles either; with friends able to try different styles at once, you can one-up your buddy’s bravado in the same swing. A tandem swing is also the best way to bond during a special occasion; party it up in the pod for a date day, friendaversary, or family holiday. If you’re absolutely desperate for a tandem bungy jump experience, visit the Kawarau Bungy where this is possible. 

  • The numbers 

Because each activity moves and shakes in different ways, the numbers also shake out a little differently. 

The Nevis Bungy is the highest in New Zealand with the platform suspended 134m above the ground. What goes up, must come down; you’ll rack up a lengthy 8.5 seconds of freefall on this bungy jump. 

Once dropped from the Nevis Swing platform, your harness and rope will pull you into a giant 300m arc out into the valley beyond. A few bonus swings come after that while our crew gently retrieve you back to the platform. 

The Nevis Catapult is built for speed, sending you from a stationery position into flight at 100 kilometres per hour in 1.5 seconds. You’ll cover 150 metres of air before surrendering to a scenic period of dangling during retrieval. 

If choosing between these three big hitters is weighing too heavily on your mind, disregard the differences and experience these three completely unique activities in a combo activity package. The combos are curated by our team and fellow adrenaline-lovers that want you to get the most out of your time in the adventure capital of New Zealand.

Regardless of the style, the stats, or the route, any visit to the Nevis Playground will be a once-in-a-lifetime challenge that shows you what it means to defy gravity, if only for a few seconds, and ultimately how to live more and fear less.