Jumping out of a plane at 15,000 feet isn’t traditionally a normal way to have “fun.” Falling through the sky with nothing but a backpack with some rolled-up fabric may seem mind-numbingly dangerous to most people. However, for the few that are unwilling to live without experiencing such thrills, you may find yourself booking a skydiving trip while in Sydney.
Australia features some of the best skydiving in the world, due in part to its natural coastal beauty, high safety ratings, and an expert staff. There are world-class locations to skydive here, from Sydney to Byron Bay and all the way up to Cairns. But no matter where you dive from, it’ll be the experience of a lifetime.
In this guide, I share with you my experience skydiving in Sydney and how you can have the same epic experience.
Skydiving Companies in Sydney
In the Sydney area there are two excellent companies to choose from. Both have their pros and cons, but what matters is that they both have extremely high safety ratings and a fantastic, knowledgeable staff.
Sydney Skydivers is who I used and I couldn’t have had a better experience.
The staff were extremely friendly and highly qualified, and I never once questioned my safety with them. They were also very quick and efficient with the check-in and gear-up processes.
Sydney Skydivers are located off in the countryside, about a 75 minute drive south of Sydney’s city center. You won’t get stunning coastal views, but their rates are cheaper than the competition. You can also book a bus transit to and from Sydney. Learn more about them here.
Skydive Australia may be the largest, most well-run skydiving company in Australia. They boast over 15 dive locations across Australia and New Zealand, along with some pretty impressive stats and reviews to back it up.
Having over 20 years of experience, we heard from their guides that, before taking someone up for a tandem dive, they needed to complete at least 1,000 jumps! Talk about dive ready!
Skydive Australia has locations on the coast at both Newcastle and Wollongong, a 2 hour drive north or south, respectively. Although more expensive than Sydney Skydivers, you do get some fantastic coastal views. Learn more about them here.
About Our Experience at Skydive Australia
Julie here (hi everyone!). While visiting Tyler in Sydney, Tim and I booked a spot to go skydiving with Tyler at the Skydive Australia location in Wollongong. We had this planned on a brilliantly sunny day. Once at the office, we were suited up, met our instructors, filmed our intro videos for the video and photography package, and boarded the bus for a short ride to the airport. Right at that moment, our skydive was cancelled for the day due to windy conditions. It was a disappointment and very stressful (going through all of the preliminary build up without doing the jump is very stressful, especially for first time jumpers (me and Tim…not Tyler by this point)). However, we can’t fault Skydive Australia. The decision was made to keep us safe and we were extremely impressed with their safety record, professionalism, and experience. We would have tried again but couldn’t fit it into our schedule at that point. But don’t let that discourage you. Book a slot early in the day because these are less likely to get cancelled (ours was at 1 pm).
My Experience with Sydney Skydivers
Arriving at Sydney Skydivers
Off a total whim on another basic Tuesday night, I asked one of my roommates, “would you want to go skydiving tomorrow?”
I had been living with him in Sydney for over 2 months at this point, and we had briefly mentioned desires to go skydiving but never acted on them. Until now.
Unsurprisingly my roommate said yes, and we both frantically researched the top skydive companies in the area. We settled on Sydney Skydivers, as they were close-by, had excellent safety ratings, and were also the cheapest option in Sydney. Better yet, they still had an opening for 2 people the next day, at 10:00am. Perfect!
After taking two different trains and a fairly expensive Uber, we arrived at the compound. Do note that there is a bus that provides transfer to & from Sydney, but we skipped out on this since we thought we could save money. Boy, were we wrong!
Off a dirt road, we pulled into an unsuspecting lot with a few sheds and a giant field. To our right was a singular plane and a sign that said, “Sydney Skydivers.” We knew we were in the right spot.
Getting Geared Up
Check-in was a breeze. Due to transit complications, we ended up arriving a few minutes late, yet the staff were super accommodating and friendly. They let us know that the dive before us just took off, so we had about 20 minutes before our shot in the air. In the meantime, we used the bathroom to get a few jitters out and watch the previous group land. Boy, do they come in with some heat!
We geared up in our jumpsuits and harness, took some photos with our newfound style, met our instructors, and boarded our plane! I wasn’t nearly as nervous for this as I was bungee jumping, but nerves were definitely starting to kick in after boarding the plane.
Boarding the Plane
Fifteen of us crammed into a tiny plane, and it was definitely a tight fit. We were the only two that were going tandem out of the group. Everyone else was flying solo. As we rose through the air our instructors began connecting our harnesses to theirs, and completed multiple safety checks to ensure we were safe to jump.
We slowly rose into the air, and looking out the window I could see the ground rapidly grow further and further away. Fifteen minutes in a plane usually doesn’t make me nervous, but today the nerves were rising the higher up in altitude we got. Still, the nerves didn’t compare to my experience bungee jumping, which I found surprising at the moment. You’d think that free falling at 15,000 ft up in the air would be scarier than jumping from a ledge!
Inside the plane, a light signaled inside that we had two minutes to drop. A big mix of fear, and more importantly, excitement washed over me. My straps were tightened and my divemaster gave me the “all-clear.” No turning back now!
The plane took one final steep ascent, leveled out, and the dive light turned green. The door burst open and a massive gust of wind rushed through the cabin. Without any hesitation, the solo divers up front began jumping. Some belly-dived out, others did flips or spins to add some flare to their jump. I fist-bumped a random dude on his way out, looked around, and realized that we were the last two on the plane.
Without hesitation, I asked my divemaster if I could go first. Maybe as a way to show I was more fearless than Spencer, my roommate, or really a way to cover up the growing fear, I still don’t know.
We shuffled over to the edge of the doorframe. I remember looking down and thinking, “Holy Shit!” My brain couldn’t process how far up we were, but it didn’t matter. It was high.
My guide was seated on the edge of the entrance into plane, so my legs were just freely hanging off in empty space.
There was no countdown. My guide, with a GoPro on his wrist to capture video, motioned for me to look up and give one last wave to the camera. As I did, we began to fall. It didn’t even dawn on me that we were falling until a full second after we left the safety of the plane.
The sensation is absolutely unreal, almost like leaving your stomach up on the plane as you hurtle through the sky at over 200 km/hr. Even though you are in free-fall, the feeling fades almost instantly. It was the weirdest thing ever. In a strange way, it became almost relaxing and surprisingly easy to get used to the feeling of falling.
After leaping from the plane, all I could do was cheer. I don’t even remember what the view looked like since I was so engrossed in the moment.
Since you do hit some pretty high speeds, the resulting air flow hitting you can be uncomfortable for people. I had no issue with this, but another one of my buddies stated that it felt a tiny bit painful on his face. I only noticed that, due to the large amounts of cheering I was doing, the air rapidly dried out my mouth.
As we fell, I also realized I had the tendency to pull my arms in towards my chest as an act of comfort, which was a habit that took a few seconds to break. My body was in survival mode, so I had absolutely no thoughts running through my head on that 60 second freefall. I don’t even remember what the views were like, I only remember emotion. More importantly, I remember mass amounts of joy and adrenaline.
During free fall, my instructor would motion for me to perform basic aerial tricks, which may have been the most fun part. We would both point an arm down towards the ground to start spinning at what felt like a pretty nasty speed. I got dizzy within seconds, but since my nervous system was filled to the brim with adrenaline, all I could do was laugh.
Before I knew it, my guide pulled the cord as I felt an incredible force pull me upward. What was only 60 seconds of free fall felt like minutes of pure survival mode mixed with a twisted sense of fun!
As we glided through the air my instructor let me take the reins for a bit. As fun as it was to be in control and navigate through the air, I frankly didn’t trust myself with this level of power!
This was the segment where we were really able to just take in the view. Unfortunately, we were too low to the ground to clearly see the coast, but you could make out a sliver of ocean in the distance. I tried my best not to look down still since, as fun as it was gliding through the air, there was still a HUGE drop between us and the earth. My brain started playing weird tricks on me where I thought I’d simply fall through the harness, so I found it best just to look ahead.
It was a 6-minute glide back down to solid ground. We had to pull some special maneuvers to land safely since it was a crowded entry, but nothing too fancy. We took some steep turns but unfortunately no flips today. As we came in for entry, I was instructed to pull my legs up before sliding in the grass on my bum into a nice, smooth landing. We were back on the ground!
The entire experience of skydiving was legendary. The simple act of jumping from a plane so high up in the air was a bucket-list adventure I can finally cross off my list. All I could think about was signing up to do it again, but this time solo! Now that I’ve done it once, I want the added thrill of having my life entirely in my own hands.
You also get the added benefit of walking around for the rest of the day with some added confidence. Hold your head up high and know that you jumped out of a plane today!
Tyler’s Skydiving Video
Watch Tyler’s skydiving experience from start to finish in this short video.
If you have any questions about skydiving in Sydney, or if you want to share your experience, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Australia
SYDNEY: Get started with our Sydney Bucket List, which contains 40 of the best things to do in Sydney. We also have a guide to 20 great restaurants and bars in Sydney, the best beaches in Sydney, the Sydney Bridge Climb, the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk, and the best viewpoints and photography locations in Sydney.
BLUE MOUNTAINS: Get started with our article Best Things to Do in the Blue Mountains. We also have a guide on how to visit Scenic World, how to hike the Wentworth Falls Track Loop, and a detailed trail guide for the Grand Canyon Track.
THINGS TO DO IN AUSTRALIA: Visit the cities of Melbourne and Sydney, hike Kings Canyon, visit Tasmania, go on a road trip on the Great Ocean Road, and explore the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale wine regions.
ADVENTURE TRAVEL: Here are 50 adventures to turn your next trip into an epic travel experience.
Read all of our articles about Australia in our Australia Travel Guide.
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