Alden Boon

Bucket List: Conquer Acrophobia at Auckland’s Sky Tower


Feet planted on a glass floor. The elevator’s homed. Dark, very dark. A whirring sound grew in strength, soon drowning out any laboured breath or cry for help. Suddenly, white light filtered through and the glass beneath gave way to nothingness. Vertigo. Sheer vertigo as the elevator climbed higher and higher the pentagon-shaped architecture of steel. All that shielded me from a vertiginous fall to my death now was a see-through glass. Glass cracks, no?

The altitude increased, and my legs quaked like jelly as the immutable laws of gravity forsook me. As the elevator hoisted me to 192 metres above ground, the last vestige of earth blurred.

A male guide probed, “One last question: Did you pass the sanity test?” “I think I missed by one point, which explains why I’m here,” I said, engaging him in a repartee. I was given the green light to proceed. Finally, the hour had come. I lumbered down the bridge that juts out of the tower. Now the promised panoramic view of Auckland’s skyline greeted me.

Gracing the vista were lush greenery and high-rise buildings. Gale-force wind swept over the vast sea yonder, and dishevelled my once-Justin-Bieber-inspired hair. My friendly guide tethered me to the last safety harness, and very soon I was teetering over the edge, my hands tightly clutching the railings.

Bungee jumps or sky jumps test your courage. It’s different from skydiving, because in the latter the instructor pushes you over. Both of you die, if death comes. It’s oddly comforting. With base jumps, you have to be the one who lets go; the one who takes that leap of faith; and the one who wills your mind to do what your now-throbbing heart refuses to.

All right, on three… two… ”  I dithered, my body now swaying back and forth and my heart racing like a jackhammer. My once-unbridled enthusiasm receded, my mind now inundated with “what have I done?” rhetorical questions.

Onnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…….” You have to jump on cue, at the very last count, or you won’t ever jump.

After heaving a long, deep breath, I did so. And I was weightless, and free.

Jettisoning my NASA outfit and changing into bright prison-orange overalls, I readied myself for the next daredevil act: SkyWalk. I got a quick compliment about how the overalls matched my sport shoes. Ringing the man-made structure is a 1.2-metre-wide ledge, 53 stories off the ground. Meandering belts of roads teeming with vehicles came into the aerial view. Towering buildings became LEGO-sized play pieces.

My group and I did more than just perambulate the walkway.  We were asked to tip our bodies forward, walk backwards and even sit into a full squat with our feet dangling precariously off the ledge.

SkyJump / SkyWalk Mission Control

Address: Auckland Sky Tower
Corner Federal and Victoria Street
Auckland City, New Zealand

Freephone: 0800 759586 (SkyJump) or 0800 759925 (SkyWalk)

Phone from outside New Zealand: +64 9 368 1835

Email: [email protected]


If going for the combo of SkyJump and SkyWalk, opt for the former first. Once you have leapt off that deck and stared down death, you’re invincible. The SkyWalk becomes a walk in the park! I was dancing and doing the jig. I did every stunt with alacrity and was able to imbibe the stunning view and live in the moment uninhibited by fear.

Only thing I regret was not changing my name to Luke. I could have been Luke SkyWalker. Get it?


Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.