Bungee Jumping in New Zealand
The Ledge, Queenstown, New Zealand
Modern-day bungee jumping traces its origins to 1988, when two New Zealanders, A.J. Hackett and Henry van Asch set up the first commercial jump on a bridge over the Kawarau River near Queenstown, on New Zealand's southern island. They drew inspiration from the "land divers" of Vanuatu, where men and women have jumped from tall towers using woven vines to break their fall for centuries. In order to draw attention to their venture, they decided to purposely misspell the name of their company Bungy, with a y, as in: "Why would you do it?"