You won’t regret choosing Skydive Wanaka for your New Zealand tandem skydive… with us it’s all about YOUR skydiving experience.
Innovative and progressive, we’re dedicated to delivering a unique tandem skydive experience, with high standards of safety, comfort and personal service.
Our highly qualified and friendly tandem skydive team just love to skydive in one of the most spectacular locations in New Zealand. They live to share the freefall experience with people like you. And have fun doing it.
A little Tandem Skydive History
Skydive Lake Wanaka was started up by Dave & Jools Hall in 1995 when all they had was a van, a patch of grass with a couple of deck chairs on it, and a borrowed plane.
Together they built the company up to a multi award-winning operation that has seen more than 90,000 people take the plunge and feel the rush of a 200kph freefall, safe in the knowledge that we have one of the best safety records in the country.
Now officially Skydive Wanaka Ltd, the company remains a small, family-run business in the hands of the Fergusons, pictured, who took over the reins in August 2013.
Lloyd & Julie Ferguson, who moved to Wanaka with their family in 1999, entrust the daily running of the company to Managing Director Blake Mason, who also happens to be married to their daughter Alice, now in charge of marketing.
With a strong background in adventure tourism and great passion for aviation, Lloyd, Julie, Blake and Alice are proud to be part of such a fun, exciting, world-class operation and love sharing such a uniquely thrilling experience with people from all over the world.
We take dropping out of the sky seriously. But we’re also serious about people having fun while they challenge themselves to a tandem skydive. Laughter is a big part of a Skydive Wanaka experience – how big is your smile?
Skydive Wanaka is certified under Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand Part 115.
Our Beautiful Strangers!
Blake – Managing Director
A builder by trade, Blake is a commercial helicopter pilot with an appetite for adventure and all things adrenalin fueled. Blake is extremely passionate about the skydiving and aviation industries and loves nothing more than watching the reactions of customers as they return from their freefall adventure. A hands-on manager, you may see Blake floating round the dropzone harnessing, driving the van or showing off his new son Riley, who has a smile to rival any ecstatic customer.
Wendy – CEO / Operations Manager (20,000 + skydives!!)
Emmy award winner, World and Guinness record holder Wendy Smith from New Zealand was one of the first three skydivers to jump from a record height of 9000m opening the skies above Mount Everest and the Himalaya’s. Wendy made her first jump in 1985 in NZ and has 20,000+ jumps today.
Wendy has competed at International Skydiving level since 1989 and has been a Freelance Commercial Cameraman during the last 18 years and has won multi awards and medals in different disciplines. Wendy has her AFF Instructor rating, CSO Chief Safety officer rating for sport parachuting and has a life time experience in commercial operations, events, remote location logistics and media delivery. She also holds both airplane and Helicopter Pilot licenses. www.wendysmithaerial.com
Eugen ‘Eugenius’ – Chief Instructor and Wacuum Cleaner Driver !! Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam / Packing Technician (21,000+ skydives)
Our Mr Fix it comes from Hungary and has worked at Skydive Wanaka for over 9 years. He is the fastest vacuum cleaner driver in the South – legends are made from this man! On his days off he is known as “The Captain” of Wanaka Parasailing .. check them out at www.wanakaparasailing.co.nz
Andrea – Mission Control – 28,000+ hrs of manifesting!!
Unflappable, organized, multi-tasks in her sleep and handles more phone calls than the New York Stock Exchange! Can answer 3 phones at the same time as well as running the dropzone for 11+ years!!! Smiles all day long! She “feels the need, the need for speed!.” See Andrea in Stars in Your Eyes Wanaka on You Tube
Kirsty – Dropzone Operations Co-ordinator / Frontline Sales / Manifest / Blogger / Social Media
The baby of our skydive family, our bubbly English Rose loves all things sweet and social. A sun worshipper who loooovvvess traveling and exploring new places, listening to music and going to the beach (or lake, as is the case in Wanaka!) Give her chocolate, sushi or lollies & she’ll love you forever!!
Lisa – Sales Manager (850+ skydives)
Lisa, the all-round sales superstar, joined the Skydive team is October 2013 and is LOVING spreading the orange love in Wanaka and beyond She is loud, bubbly and loves skydiving, hiking and the outdoors. She’s also great at buying everyone coffee, and we love her for it!!
Bella – Frontline Sales / Manifest
Bella is the latest superstar to join the manifest team. Bright, bubbly and rarely seen without a smile on her face, she loves diamonds, hiking and spending time with her friends. She also loves going to the skydiving tunnel!!
Alex Pereira – Tandem Master/ Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (9,000 + skydives)
Mhaya’s father. Loves Freefly, Swooping, Jiu-Jitsu, Pink Floyd, Mac Computers, Parachute Rigging and and of corse Brazilian BBQ. When doing camera jumps no Tandem fly too fast for him. Always keen for a fun jump. Bit loud, but only because he always have his ear plugs on. Passionate for everything he does. His favorite expression: “Bring it on!
Alencar – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (4,000+ skydives)
Alencar is Skydive Wanaka’s very own Action Man! He heard how amazing Wanaka was, sold up all his companies and shifted here for the good life! Our paratrooper loves all things sporty, and coming from Brazil he has been showing all our Tandem Masters how football is supposed to be played!!!
Barni – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (3,000+ skydives)
Barni (just like Fred’s mate from the Flintstones!) comes to us as our 2nd addition to team Hungary! He is originally from Transylvania & may be a direct descendant of Dracula…. Loves Skydiving & he’s sure he has the best job in the world.
Jerry – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (4,500+ skydives)
Jerry is possibly the only vegan skydiver in New Zealand and can jump all day long, running mostly on bananas. Skydiving since 2002 and still loving it, Jerry actually holds two degrees, but prefers this job where he can make people smile – every day!
Rory – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (5,000+ skydives)
Rory was born down south, and grew up in Cromwell. He is your typical kiwi lad – he loves watching cricket, having a few beers with his mates and going out wearing socks and jandals…! Before joining Skydive Wanaka, he worked over in Australia, where he met his partner Soph.
Chris – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (3,000+ skydives)
Chris has been hooked on skydiving and NZ right from his very first exit! Holidaying from the UK he tried his first skydive here in NZ – and his life has never been so much fun since !! Becoming an instructor and shifting to NZ he really is living the dream that many of our customers contemplate after their first incredible skydive !! Loves Italian food, mixed martial arts, football and all things NZ.
Robbie – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (9,000+ skydives)
Originally from Serbia, Robbie is a family man who loves spending time with his three children and has been skydiving here in NZ for over 13 years. He also loves getting out on the lake and going windsurfing, making things out of carbon fibre and in a past life he worked as a tattoo artist !!
Anthony – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (8,000+ skydives)
Coming to us from Namibia, Anthony became a skydiver totally by chance back in May 1995 when his friend booked him in for a static line jump without him knowing – and he hasn’t stopped smiling, or jumping, since !! With a love of sun, good company, live music, and good red wine – Wanaka is shaping up to be one of his favourite places !!
Andy – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (7,500+ skydives)
Lovemore is rumoured to be decended from the illegitimate son of King George the 3rd. A UK medialist/competitor for Freefly, Freestyle and Skysurf camera he has 7000+ jumps under his belt. Along with flying the worlds biggest flag (8000sq ft) weighing 125kg Lovemore has lots of good tales to tell.
Boris – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (5,000+ skydives)
Boris left us after nearly two years, but missed us SO much, he decided to come back and jump with us again YAY!! He likes relaxing (when he gets a chance to) and has a strange, but quite endearing, obsession with sniffing people’s hair..! Apparently he is also a semi-professional bodybuilder??
Marius – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (10,000+ skydives)
Marius, from South Africa, is your typical skydiver – he loves all extreme sports and anything that gets his pulse racing!! Skydiving, base jumping, working out – you name it, he does it!! And he will do ANYTHING for liquorice
Pip – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (3,000+ skydives)
Pip is a bit of a quirky character, but then again, aren’t most skydivers?! Before moving to New Zealand a few months ago, Pip travelled extensively in Australia, South East Asia, America and Canada. He also once spent three months sailing across the Atlantic from Cape Town to West Mexico.
Malachi – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (7,000+ skydives)
When we heard Malachi was coming back from Norway to re-join our team of beautiful strangers, we were so excited. Always smiling & never one to complain, he is definitely the tandem master with the best hair – check out his ‘fro!! He loves surfing & flying, and is also one of our few token Kiwi skydivers
JR – Tandem Master / Camera Flyer / Tandem Handi Cam (5,000+ skydives)
JR is another of our awesome Kiwi instructors, and is a model & a lumberjack in his spare time. He worked for us once upon a time as a packer, and has returned this summer to jump the parachutes rather than pack them We love him because he brings us the most delicious cherries, apricots and plums from his family orchard. NOM NOM!!
Si – Camera Flyer (1,300+ skydives)
Si, born and bred in Dunedin, learnt to jump at the skydive school in Methven. He loves yoga, skiing, base jumping & mountain biking. He previously worked over in Oz at Mission Beach, but has returned to his roots & is hoping to get his tandem rating so he can work for us forever & ever in wonderful Wanaka!!!
Hamish – Pilot (8,000+ Flying hours)
“I have the BEST office in the world – 12 years at Skydive Wanaka, 15,000+ trips to altitude and I have still not had enough of those views!”
Ivan – Pilot (3,700+ Flying hours – 2,000 of which have been upside down!!!)
Ivan was practically born in as plane, and hasn’t stopped flying since! He gained his private pilot licence aged 19, and started flying aerobatics in his Midget Mustang when he was 20 years old. He is now a commercial aerobatic pilot (and 2x national aerobatic champion) with his own flight school, also based at Wanaka airport. He’s promised us he will fly ROK the right way up, every time!!!!
Jeremy – Chief Parachute Packer and Compliance Encyclopedia (32,000+ pack jobs)
Jeremy has OFFICIALLY done TWICE as many parachute packs than he has had hot dinners !! – so that has to be a good sign. Probably the MOST experienced parachute packer in New Zealand he has NEVER had a bad day ( phewf ) even though he spends a lot of time wearing out his knees!
Elisa – Editor / Manifest
When Elisa walked into the DZ asking for a job, we knew she’d be a keeper! Our Austrian superstar speaks 4 languages (English, Spanish, German & French), loves creating delicious homemade food, doing yoga, exploring the great outdoors & playing games with friends.
Minnie – Harnesser / Driver
Minnie is our token Aussie, all the way from north Queensland. When she isn’t throwing a shrimp on the barbie (sorry, we couldn’t resist!) she can be found enjoying the amazing outdoors – mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, you name it, she nails it! She’s with us for summer & we think she’s absolutely fabulous
New Zealand Parachute Industry Association
Skydive Lake Wanaka is affiliated to the New Zealand Parachute Industry Association and uses state-of-the-art skydiving systems. We operate from Wanaka Airport, with a purpose-built hangar, a New Zealand built X-Stol aircraft and inbuilt sense of fun and adventure. Come join the fun!