Bungi jump in Cairns  

There is only one place to Bungy jump in Australia and that is in Cairns. Located in the rainforest, 20 mins from the CBD, AJ Hackett is the bungy originals and there can jump in many styles, swing and skywalk.

It was AJ Hackett the Kiwi who invented the modern bungy in pursuit of the ultimate adrenalin buzz. In 1987, he jumped illegally from the Eiffel Tower and that is how he launched bungy jumping to the world. Almost 30 years later and millions of jumps, AJ Hackett now operates the world's most innovative gravity related products anywhere on the planet.
Back in the 1980s, AJ Hackett was a young Auckland builder with a passion for thrill-inducing sports. Then he discovered a ritual by Pentecost Islanders by which men throw themselves off 35 metre-high wooden towers, with their ankles attacked to vines. This ancient ritual is believed to ensure a good yam harvest on the island in Vanatu.
He didn't think much of this daring activity until he met Aucklander Chris Sigglekow in the early 1980s. As a video editor, Chris had seen 1970s video footage of a British group calling themselves the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club, with young men undertaking a modern version of the Vanuatu jump. However, instead of wooden towers, the British men jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Chris had been inspired by the group's adventures and had already tried making a bungy cord with a parachute harness and jumping off the Pelorus Bridge in Marlborough, New Zealand. But the jump didn't go as planned so Chris shelved the idea till he met AJ. Together, they decided that if they could make the activity safe, then they could pursue it further.
“We decided, ok, let's suss out first of all if we can make this thing predictable. If we can't make it predictable then we stop – because I like a challenge but I don't like pain. I don't want to kill myself but I like to have some fun,” AJ says. Therefore, they approached the Department of Scientific and Industrial research and there they discovered a mathematical formula for the bungy cord rubber.
“What we discovered was that if you took a single strand of the rubber and stretched it to 6.7-times its length, it would snap. But at four-times its length, it was only using 15 per cent of its breaking strain,” AJ explains.
“All we had to know was the height of the bridge that we were jumping from, divide it by four, less a couple of metres for the length of the person and the harness webbing attachment to the bungy, and that would be the length of the cord.”
They proceeded to test their bungy cord at the Greenhithe Bridge in Auckland. First they tried with a bag full of lead and rocks and then they tested it out themselves. They both jumped off and it worked perfectly. That is where the story began. They tried it a few more times with more friends jumping off the Auckland Harbour Bridge, until the time came to fly out to France.
When they arrived in France, they approached some scientists to find out how the bungy cord rubber would handle in freezing cold situations. “I had this dream of jumping from a cable car into the snow and skiing off. It was kind of this romantic vision,” AJ says. Since it could be done, he convinced management at Tignes ski resort to let him jump head-first off a cable car. This was to be the first of many “extreme” jumps, but it was compared to his famous Eiffel Tower jump in Paris, June 26, 1987.
“When we'd first arrived in Paris we drove past the Eiffel Tower and I thought wow, that's a really beautiful structure, I'd love to jump off this building,” he recalls “So I measured the tower, figured it out how to jump from it, sorted out how the security worked, where the cameras were and all that sort of thing. One evening in Paris a big team of us went up to the tower. It was just closing, the girls were carrying bungy under their dresses, and in backpacks we had ropes and gear and camera crews and sleeping bags. Security all disappeared and so we settled in for the night and early the next morning the alarm went off too late so it was a rush job trying to get it rigged up, and finally we were ready to go. Anyway I jumped, the jump went perfectly and I was really happy to pull it off. And then the gendarmerie [French police] came from everywhere. They couldn't figure out what was going on at all. And the rest is history, really.”
AJ's stunt attracted media attention at a global scale. With the best publicity he could ask for, he returned to New Zealand and set up the world's first commercial bungy site in Ohajune in March 1988. And the rest is History.
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