Moree Champion journalist Jem Nash takes on skydiving challenge with Skydive Oz Outback Tour

ULTIMATE THRILL: Terrified but loving life as I free-fall at 200 kilometres per hour. Photo: Skydive Oz.
ULTIMATE THRILL: Terrified but loving life as I free-fall at 200 kilometres per hour. Photo: Skydive Oz.

Just over a month ago, I had the pleasure of producing a story on Moree's Marley Nolan-Duncan who became the first Aboriginal man to be selected in the Australian skydiving team.

Speaking to him, he mentioned the Skydive Oz Outback Tour that would be visiting Moree in July.

Skydiving has been on my bucket list for quite some time, but I just hadn't had the opportunity. Well, it was either that or fear that was keeping me away, but I'll let you decide.

However, when I knew it was coming to my front door and the opportunity was right in front of me, it was time to finally tick this one off.

I booked a spot, convinced a mate Ethan to join in and then the countdown was on until I could jump out of a perfectly good plane from 14,000 feet in the air.

The day came on Saturday, we made our way to the airport with eager anticipation and were met with some strong winds that threatened to put an end to the experience before it began.

Before long though, the winds died down enough and I saw the tiny speck in the sky that was the plane with the group before us, only now starting to realise how high 14,000 feet really is.

Still excited, but the nerves had begun to kick in.

I met my instructor Richie who helped me into my harness while taking me through what would be involved in the jump.

Okay, getting very real now.

Begin the filming, a light interview before getting on the plane, where Richie asked for "any last words", where Ethan responded with "I hope those parachutes are packed up right."

Thanks Ethan, I wasn't worried about that until you brought it up.

Out to the plane we went, another demonstration about what to do on the edge before the leap.

'Tuck your legs under the plane, head back, push your hips out' we got told, which is all well and good until I completely forgot it once in the air.

Into the air we went and further into the air we rose, thinking we might be getting close until Richie tells me we're not yet halfway.

It starts to get even more real now. Did I mention that 14,000 feet is really bloody high?

The time comes. I'm strapped in, goggles on and the plane window opens.

What do I have to do while sitting on the edge again?

Too late, we're out the window and free-falling at around 200 kilometres an hour.

It's hard to put into words exactly what it felt like. The rush, the terror, but most importantly the sheer exhilaration I experienced during the 60 second plummet.

Really all I can say is you have to experience it yourself.

Out comes the parachute, catching my breath, a quick look up to see Ethan falling above me before I begin to take in the views.

While it was clear how much devastation the current drought has caused it was also hard not to admire the beauty of the countryside as we floated down.

A few twists and turns to keep the good times rolling before landing back on solid ground.

Once there, all I could think was 'take me straight back up there.'

I want to thank Richie and the rest of the Skydive Oz team that made the trip out here to provide this ultimate ride that I will never forget.

An unbelievable first time experience that certainly won't be my last.