Traveling around this big, diverse, beautiful world of ours is a true blessing for anyone who's able to nab the opportunity. We get to taste new foods, stroll through historic, cobblestoned streets, swim at crystal-clear beaches, and crank our necks upward to admire huge and imposing buildings from below.
Some people have been there, done that, and are fed up with the views from the ground. So, what do they do? Well, they rocket up to 14,000 or so feet and admire the wonders of the world from above while hurtling back to Earth at terminal velocity. While every skydive, no matter the location, is exhilarating and awe-inspiring unlike any other experience, there are a handful of places around the world that are truly remarkable.
10 Over St Kilda Beach in Melbourne, Australia
There are so many reasons to visit the art, sport and coffee-obsessed Australian city of Melbourne. Victoria boasts plenty of impressive beaches throughout the state, one of which, nestled on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, is St Kilda Beach. It is a popular tourist destination, sporting highlights such as Luna Park and the cake-tastic Acland St.
If strolling through St Kilda on foot just doesn’t cut it, adrenaline seekers can check it out from 14,000 feet in the sky too. A clear dividing line balance between pristine blue waters and built-up modern city from above is truly a sight to behold.
9 Over the Swiss Alps in Interlaken, Switzerland
It almost looks too picture-perfect to be real, but at the foot of the Swiss Alps, Interlaken is far from imaginary. The town has been a beacon for adventure sports enthusiasts for decades, offering fantastic hiking, snow sports, and, of course, skydiving.
When tumbling through the fresh, crisp air, thrillseekers can look down upon the Matterhorn and the snow-capped Alps, but also much further afield, to the endless fields of Italy, France, Germany, and Austria. As expected in Switzerland, everything is organized meticulously, making the experience extraordinarily simple for any novice or seasoned diver.
8 Over Mt. Everest in Nepal
It takes two months for ambitious, heavily-trained hikers to reach Everest’s peak (and even then, the majority of attempts to reach the summit fail). After all that hiking, climbing, and struggling, the ultimate adventure seekers finally experience the view from the world’s official highest peak. But here’s the thing: why go to all that effort when we can get the same views while barrelling at terminal velocity toward the earth?
With the incredible snow-covered Himalayas reaching as far as the eye can see, a skydive near Everest is not only the ultimate adrenaline rush, but an experience impossible to achieve anywhere else on the planet.
7 Over the Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, USA
From desert plains in the Midwest to lush green mountain ranges in the Carolinas, and snow-capped peaks in Colorado, there are almost too many amazing skydiving options across the United States. However, with its breathtaking red Navajo sandstone structures and complex, scenic hiking trails, Utah presents itself as one of America’s most naturally beautiful states.
So, then, if the option’s there, why not check out all of this sprawling beauty for yourself from 14,000 feet into the atmosphere? Thrillseekers who are prepared to take the plunge will witness views of untouched and natural America that can’t be seen from anywhere other than directly above.
6 Over the contoured Rio de Janeiro harbor in Brazil
The massive seaside city of Rio de Janeiro plays host to one of the most stunning natural landscapes of any major city in South America, nay, in the world. When cannoning at break-neck speeds of 120 miles per hour toward Rio’s beautiful beaches, divers will be able to witness everything from Christ the Redeemer to Sugarloaf Mountain, the infamous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, and the stacked favelas.
Experienced skydivers of the area recommend a sunset freefall, where the city lights up in an intricate twilight mix of city lights and orange-tinted sunset skies. Kill two birds with one stone and do it during the annual massive party that is Rio Carnivale.
5 Over the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, UAE
Dubai is a city that never does things by halves, and the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest building) and the artificial archipelago Palm Jumeirah are perfect examples of that. Thrillseekers who are brave enough to take the plunge from the heavens will be given uncompromised views of those two world-famous landmarks, as well as the entirety of Dubai and the vast desert plains surrounding it.
If one jump just doesn’t scratch the itch, the city also hosted one of the largest yearly international skydive championships, sponsored by Skydive Dubai and The Emirates Aerosport Federation.
4 Over one of the many shores of Hawaii, USA
For the next leg in this dizzying journey, we've headed away from the USA’s mainland and over to its non-contiguous but much-adored state of Hawaii. With uncompromising valleys lined with palm trees and intimidatingly beautiful volcanoes, the views from thousands of feet about Hawaii’s contours are like no other on the planet.
Those with an hankering for adventure have plenty to choose from in the USA’s Pacific archipelago, with Oahu, Kauai, Honolulu, and Waialua just a few of the most popular and picturesque drop zones. There’s no question about it - Hawaii offers memories that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
3 Over the Fiordland National Park in Queenstown, New Zealand
Widely known as one of the adventure capitals of the world, Queenstown has no shortage when it comes to heart-thumping, endorphin-inducing, adrenaline-pumping activities on offer for anyone with an appetite for adventure. Queenstown offers cave exploring, world-class hiking, water rafting, and, of course, skydiving.
Thrillseekers can cannon themselves out of the hovering plane at around 15,000 feet, wide-mouthed in awe at the views of Mt Aspiring and Fiordland National Park below, before propelling at terminal velocity back toward Earth. The adventure doesn’t just stop in Queenstown either, with the entirety of New Zealand renowned for its awakening thrill opportunities.
2 Over the endless desert in Swakopmund, Namibia
Nothing quite screams post-apocalyptic like hurtling towards the earth at mind-boggling speeds with nothing but vast, barren, red, sandy desert as far as the eye can see. At least there’s the contrasting blue of the ocean to remind you that you haven’t somehow been transported to Mars while you weren’t looking.
Compared to other popular skydiving destinations like Hawaii and Dubai, a freefall in Swakopmund is fairly cheap. That being said, getting there in the first place will set you back a pretty penny. Still, trust us when we say that the unique birds-eye view of the desolate desert is worth the trip.
1 Over the imposing Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa
The past decade or so has seen South Africa as a whole, but Cape Town specifically, skyrocket in the realm of tourism popularity. Situated at the cusp of the South Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town’s geography combines serene coastal features with the incredible Table Mountain.
While the view of the city is spectacular from the easily-accessible Lion’s Head (referred to as the little brother to Table Mountain), it’s turned up to eleven and then some when 14,000ft above it all in a rickety 4-seater Cessna. The feeling you get at the very first moment when you tumble out of the sky-high jet above Cape Town is a memory that will last a lifetime.