When’s the best time to skydive in New Zealand? Anytime, of course.
Skydiving is often seen as a summer activity, but every season – yes, even the middle of winter – offers a unique experience.
Summer is the peak tourism season in the Nelson-Tasman region, so that’s generally the busiest time for Skydive Abel Tasman.
The region is known for its sunny days and what better way to put the cherry on top of a summer holiday than jumping out of a plane and getting a bird’s eye view of all of the beautiful places you’ve just visited?
But we reckon there’s a good case to be made for why skydiving in winter is just as good (and maybe even slightly better).
Skydive Abel Tasman’s open year-round and, in our experience, jumping during the winter months offers the most breathtaking views New Zealand has to offer.
Let’s take a look at why you should add skydiving in winter to your bucket list or New Zealand travel itinerary.
1.Stunning views of snow-capped mountains
Imagine jumping out of a plane and being greeted with the vast whiteness of snow-capped mountains. Winter is the only time when you get to experience this in all its glory.
When you jump with Skydive Abel Tasman you are treated to views over Kahurangi National Park and its many mountains, as well as Nelson Lakes National Park and the Southern Alps.
You still get to see everything you would during the summer, such as the golden beaches and turquoise water of Abel Tasman National Park and the various towns and villages dotted around the region.
On a clear day, it’s still the only place in New Zealand where you’re treated to views of both the north and south islands and from coast to coast.
Everything that makes Skydive Abel Tasman the best place to skydive in New Zealand is still there in winter.
You just get that extra special sprinkle of white stuff. Like the dusting of icing sugar on chocolate brownie, it adds another layer of sweetness to something that’s already amazing.
2. Crisp, bluebird New Zealand winter days
You might think winter is renowned for wind, rain and overcast weather and, for the most part, you’d be right. But a little known secret about New Zealand is that you can’t beat a clear winter’s day.
Skiers and snowboarders refer to these phenomena as “bluebird” days and flock to the ski fields, such as Rainbow Ski Area between Nelson and Blenheim.
These bluebird days are possibly the best times to skydive all year. The sky is bright blue, the sun’s out, and you have uninterrupted views as far as the eye can see.
3. Beat the summer crowds
If you’ve ever been to the Nelson-Tasman region during the summer, you’ll know that it gets busy.
The region attracts tens of thousands of visitors over the summer and while the crowds make it an exciting place to be for some, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to avoid large mobs of people, then heading to the Nelson-Tasman region and skydiving with Skydive Abel Tasman during winter might be a better idea.
That’s not to say you can’t find pockets of peace and tranquility during other seasons – there are lots of places to escape to.
We just find that some customers prefer to skydive when it’s a bit quieter. It makes the experience a bit more personal and a bit less like a tourist attraction.
This leads into our next point…
4. Flexible booking times
During the summer, life gets quite busy at Skydive Abel Tasman. And while we do our best to fit everyone in at the time they want, it’s not always possible.
During the winter, however, you have a much higher chance of booking your preferred date and time.
There are generally fewer people wanting to jump in winter which makes it more convenient for those who do.
Also, a lot of people can only jump on weekends because of work commitments. You’re much more likely to book in at 11am on Saturday during the winter than you are during other seasons.
At least until the word gets out about how awesome it is to skydive in winter.
5. Smoother airplane and parachute rides
Winter might be associated with wind and rain, but winter weather is actually more conducive to smooth flying and parachuting.
The reasons why are a little bit technical, but basically winter days (at least the ones that are suitable for skydiving) are particularly still with little wind.
Therefore, there’s no mechanical turbulence on the plane ride up to 16,500 feet from wind passing over the hills below.
Also, because the air is cooler in winter, you don’t get hot air rising from the ground creating thermal turbulence.
This means you’re more likely to have a smooth parachute ride during winter months.
It’s worth noting that Skydive Abel Tasman doesn’t operate in high winds in any season.
It just so happens that good winter weather is that little bit better for skydiving than good summer weather.
But what about the cold?..
A lot of people probably assume that it’s too cold to skydive in winter, but that’s simply not the case.
Sure, when you’re at 16,500 feet it’s a little bit chilly (I mean, New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook, is a little more than 12,000 feet), but with a few layers of warm clothing and a skydive suit you’ll be fine.
If you’re thinking of putting off your skydive until summer, why wait? You’re possibly missing out on all of the amazing things that winter skydiving has to offer.