Queenstown is well known as the home of adventure and thrill seeking activities in the Asia Pacific region and paragliding from Coronet Peak is one of them. I suggest spiraling down because while you get less time in the air it gives more of a rush than simply gliding down slowly.
I was in New Zealand in 2010 on a photo/video shoot expedition for Tourism New Zealand and had a spare day at the end so Destination Queenstown arranged three adventurous activities for me to review.
You can choose to glide down peacefully but going down in a spiral descent is a lot more fun, watch the video to see what I mean ?
Running off the edge of Coronet Peak to lift off was almost as much fun as the spiral descent!
Shai Lanuel and his business partners have run this business for 10 years. They fly from the highest 2 points on Coronet Peak compared to the other paragliding companies in Queenstown. Flights are for at least 10 minutes but upto 30 minutes with good winds.
Hanging around waiting for cloud to lift is “para-waiting”. The weather is unpredictable in New Zealand and more so in the mountains. Spring and autumn have more unstable weather compared to summer and winter. Paragliders are picked up from town and driven to Coronet. If you don’t fly, you don’t have to pay.
Safety is their utmost concern so the first time we drove up all we did was stand around and stare at the thick cloud cover wishing it would go away. Shai drove us all back to our accommodation and those who wanted to try again were contacted later in the day and flew when the sun had come out and burnt enough of the cloud away and provided updrafts to help the flights last longer.
Elevation Paragliding can be contacted within New Zealand by calling 1800 FLY HIGH.