The idea of bungy jumping originated in the 1950's, when footage was obtained by the BBC and David Attenborough, during a trip to the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Here they witnessed the ancient ritual of 'land-diving', whereby men and boys dive from a tall wooden tower (some up to 30metres high), with vines attached to their ankles in an attempt to break their fall. This practice continues today as both a land fertility custom and as a test of manhood.
In 1979, a group known as the Oxford University Dangerous Sports Club, executed the first modern bungy jump, from a 250 foot bridge in Bristol, England. Even though they were arrested following this experiment, they went on to bungy from the Golden Gate and Royal Gorge bridges in the USA. Commercial bungy jumping began with New Zealander, AJ Hackett in the 1980's.
Taupo Bungy commenced operation in 1991, and since then more than 350,000 people from all over the world have taken the plunge. Taupo Cliffhanger has been a concept in the making for many years. Finally, in 2009, the site obtained consent from all the parties involved to begin construction for an extreme swing. The platform was constructed off-site, brought in and attached to the underneath of the existing, bungy platform. Enormous logs were erected in A-frame fashion on either side of the cliff, and cables connected, which established the path of the swing. With a tonne of ropes and equipment attached, rigorous testing began. The first commercial Cliffhanger swing took place on December 13th, 2009, and has swung over 15,000 customers to date.