Among best of Queenstown adventures


It’s my second-last day at Mountain Scene and I think the team is deliberately trying to sacrifice me by throwing me off Coronet Peak. 

They were certainly psyching me out before my paragliding adventure. 

Georges Millet, the SkyTrek guide who gets stuck with me – a sweaty-palmed girl from the city – looks straight down to my shoes. 

“What are they?” 

Moccasins, you’d call them. Not the most appropriate footwear to trek up Coronet Peak or fly over Queenstown in. 

Here we go again, I think – oblivious urban girl alert. 

Millet scrabbles through his van and pulls out men’s size-10 hiking boots. 

“Maybe if you wear your shoes and put these on over top they’ll fit,” he says. 

I guess layering is all the rage at the moment and halleluiah, it works. 

The chairlift escorts us up to the top of the mountain. In single file we trek up a narrow path which leads us to the back country with the most incredible view. 

Sure glad I’m not wearing my dismal moccasins. 

Millet straps me into my harness and clips us together. 

We take a couple of steps; I stumble nervously before we are wrenched up into the air. 

We glide higher and higher until it feels we are gently sitting in the air over-hanging the mountains. 

“You can breathe now,” Millet says. 

“I don’t think I can,” I gasp amongst the serenity. 

The snow-dipped mountains beckon before us. We glide over Coronet Peak and it all feels pretty special. 

I become too complacent smiling smugly at the ice-riddled skiers and riders below. Millet senses this and without warning and we lurch to the right. 

My stomach sinks, we spin and pressure plants me firmly into my harness seat. Too. Much. Pressure. 

We flip right over, the ropes lax and it feels as if we free-fall. This is it, this is when I die. 

We fall into a glide and I try to breathe. 

I even get the chance to take the reins – for a second until I offload them. 

We spin, flip, dip and dive all the way down to our landing pad. 

This has to be one of the best adventures I’ve been on. 

All you need to know 

What Sky Trek tandem hang-gliding & paragliding 

Where Coronet Peak 

Cost Coronet Peak Rocky Gully (1250 metres) $210 

Thrill-o-meter 8/10