LEARN­ING Fly TO

Brid­get Th can't fly, but she finds para­sail­ing in the Bay of Is­lands is the next best thing.

Go Travel New Zealand - - Bay Of Islands -

A sk me what su­per­hero su­per strength I would like to have given the chance and I would tell you it would be the abil­ity to fly. I spent many child­hood hol­i­days jumping off rocks into blue lakes and seas. I have been launched off cliff tops in a hang-glider and thrown my­self out of a plane sky­div­ing, but the thought of do­ing a bungee­jump has strangely al­ways ter­ri­fied me - so I went on a mission to find what could pos­si­bly be the next fix for this ad­ven­ture seeker. I live in the beau­ti­ful Bay of Is­lands, which is a scenic three hour drive or 40 minute flight north of Auck­land. The Bay of Is­lands has 144 is­lands be­tween Cape Brett and the Pure­rua Penin­sula. The Bay of Is­lands is sim­ply beau­ti­ful. It is well known as a mar­itime ad­ven­ture play­ground with an abun­dance of ma­rine wildlife, in­clud­ing pen­guins, dol­phins, mar­lin, whales and much more. There are many land-based tours and boat trips out to the is­lands but I re­ally wanted to see it from the air. I had heard many good re­views about para­sail­ing pro­vid­ing a high-fly­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time, so I gave the guys at Bay of Is­lands Para­sail a call. They are a 100 per cent fam­ily and Kiwi-owned busi­ness, of­fer­ing the chance to para­sail at 1300 feet high from the boat. They are the only com­pany that of­fers para­sail out among the is­lands and of­fer solo, tan­dem or triple para­sail flights which are suit­able for most ages. You could even be lucky enough to see dol­phins be­low you. First up, when you ar­rive at their dock on the Pai­hia Wharf, you are given a boat safety brief­ing once on board the para­sail boat. As you mo­tor out into the bay, the crew will kit you out in hel­mets, life jack­ets and para­sail­ing har­nesses and ex­plain how they work and fit best for com­fort. Once at the flight zone, you'll get a fi­nal brief­ing about the para­sail­ing pro­ce­dures and safety, then the first fly­ers are ready to go. As the boat ac­cel­er­ates, the para­sail lifts you off the launch­ing deck and into the air. Once air­borne, the tow­line is slowly re­leased by winch and you'll soar into the air, high above the wa­ter. Af­ter a few min­utes you'll be at max­i­mum al­ti­tude, so you can take in the amaz­ing views over the Bay of Is­lands. When it's time to de­scend

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