Tween idol Justin Bieber jumps NZ harbour
28 Apr 2010
Tween idol Justin Bieber’s whirlwind New Zealand visit got off to a flying leap when he bungy-jumped off the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning (28.04.2010).
The 16-year-old Canadian pop star and "Twitter Prince", who has 2.1 million fans on Twitter - was greeted by 500 screaming young Kiwi fans when he arrived at Auckland Airport late last night.
Bieber spent the night at a central Auckland hotel before waking up early for his once-in-a-lifetime experience with AJ Hackett Bungy - the global pioneers of the adventure sport.
After making his way out to the bungy "pod", perched underneath the iconic Auckland Harbour Bridge, Bieber screamed all the way down as he plunged 40m towards the blue waters of the Waitemata Harbour on nothing but a slim bungy cord.
I love New Zealand!!
The adventurous teen was then hauled up and almost immediately tweeted "BUNGY!!! I love New Zealand!!"
In fact, Bieber loved his bungy jump so much that he did it twice, the second time backwards. He would have done it a third time but had to leave for a pre-arranged school visit at ACG Strathallan in Karaka, south of Auckland.
Bieber said he was also keen to try out the 134m Nevis bungy in Queenstown - the highest in New Zealand.
"I’ll definitely come back and do it again someday. I love New Zealand."
Bieber's mother, Pattie, also bungy-jumped after her son - although she wasn't game enough to try it twice. She said the experience was "amazing".
Bieber jump goes viral
The Twitter video of Justin Bieber’s daredevil plunge has taken the online world by storm - with nearly 100,000 views in a few hours. The video has also been retweeted hundreds of times.
Bieber, who is a huge rugby fan, expressed his love for New Zealand even before his arrival, tweeting "… shoutout to my New Zealand fans … I’m coming to see you guys next week. I’m trying to play rugby with the All Blacks".
Upon arriving in the country, he tweeted "I’m in New Zealand! They got no predators in the whole country! I am the most dangerous creature here!!"
Bieber touched down in New Zealand late last night and was whisked away from Auckland Airport via a private exit, along with his entourage which includes his mother Pattie Mallette (also known as "studiomama" on Twitter) and manager Scott "Scooter" Braun - the man who first discovered him on YouTube.
Bieber's Facebook fan page is also running red-hot with comments from his 3.1 million Facebook fans - thousands of whom have remarked on his bravery and sense of adventure:
- "Wow Justin that's amazing"
- "I love New Zealand! I love Justin Bieber!"
- "Omg awesome"
Harbour Bridge jump
AJ Hackett Bungy created the Auckland Harbour Bridge Bungy in 2003.
Jumpers walk to the top of the iconic bridge to a specially-built bungy pod, ready to leap over the sparkling Waitemata Harbour.
AJ Hackett - the bungy inventor - first dived off the Eiffel Tower 20 years ago. That "leap of faith" launched a pioneering business that would grab the attention of thrill-seekers all over the world.
Hackett and his friend Henry van Asch opened the world’s first commercial bungy - a 43m jump over the Kawarau River in the South Island - in 1998. Van Asch now runs the New Zealand arm of the hugely-successful bungy business, while Hackett has extended the business off-shore.
There are 30 different international patents for AJ Hackett Bungy - including jumps in Cairns (Australia), Bali, Normandy (France), Germany, Kuala Lumpur and the world’s highest jump off the Macau Tower (233m).
Background: Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber came to fame in late 2007 when he and his mother started posting home videos of Bieber performing covers of songs by Usher, Chris Brown, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake and Ne-Yo on YouTube.
Bieber signed up with Usher’s record label in late 2008 - Usher is largely known as the "King of R’n’B" music.
His first hit single One Time went platinum in Canada and the US and gold in Australia and New Zealand.
Background - Auckland Harbour Bridge
- Opened in 1959, Auckland Harbour Bridge spans the gap across the Waitemata Harbour between St Mary's Bay in the city and Northcote Point on the northern side of the harbour.
- It is part of State Highway One - New Zealand’s main North Island arterial - which travels from the Far North to Wellington in the south.
- It took 1000 men four years to build the original four-lane truss bridge. The 1.2km lattice girder construction was the last of its type to be built in the world.
- The bridge’s completion replaced a 40km trip through West Auckland or a car ferry journey with a short drive.
- Original plans for the bridge included a pedestrian walkway and a fifth lane that were removed from the final plans to keep costs down. However, by the 1960s the bridge could no longer cope with daily traffic.
- A three-year project added another four lanes that were opened in 1969. Built by a Japanese company, the new spans are referred to locally as the ‘Nippon clip-ons’.
- The daily average for vehicle crossings is 165,000, although some days more than 200,000 vehicles cross the bridge.
- The bridge has been blocked by protesters, taken over by marathon runners and is currently the subject of lively debate around a cycle / walking lane proposal.
Bungy - a Kiwi adventure
These topics may also be of interest to you