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While I was in Sydney for a couple of days I happened to come across iFly in Penrith, located in Sydney’s Western suburbs (40min train ride from Central Station). iFly is an indoor skydiving experience tailored towards those who want to try elements of sky diving, but may be a little too nervous about the idea of jumping from a moving plane. iFly creates a happy medium.
I’m definitely too scared to learn skydiving at the moment or ever, the simple thought of jumping from a plane is a little nerve-racking to say the least. For myself the thing that makes me a little hesitant to try sky diving is thought of prolonged weightlessness/free fall, that feeling you get when your stomach moves up towards your mouth like on a roller coaster or when you drop very suddenly. The thought is sweat inducing in itself.
Not to mention if you have a strong fear of things going wrong and are a control freak, then maybe skydiving may not be for you. But if you want to experience some of the thrills in a controlled, safe, and fun environment than perhaps iFly is for you.
iFly has expansion plans to spread to other parts of Australia over the next couple of years for those of you who aren’t in New South Wales and would like to experience indoor skydiving on an upcoming vacation.
iFly Indoor Skydiving Sydney
The flying is performed inside a large glass cylinder with a steel meshed floor, and under the steel floor there is a giant fan which is strong enough to propel and balance you in mid air. This was one of the best parts of flying, simply hovering around, and sort of levitating in the middle of the air. It’s very easy to allow your imagination to run a little wild at this point, to be thinking you look as cool as Superman or Goku flying around and commanding the sky.
The entire flight is filmed, and available for purchase along with pictures, so afterwards you can see that you weren’t nearly as cool as you initially thought. This is especially funny when people accidentally open their mouth as there is a strong wind blowing from below, so if you happened to open your mouth even in the slightest, it kind of flaps around and creates some funny faces.
Before flying you are shown a demonstrative video on flying, along with several signs to help you adjust your body when flying by your instructor who will accompany you during your flight. The training before is short, roughly 10 mins. But there really isn’t too much more they can say during the video which will be useful.
iFly’s indoor skydiving experience is one of those activities in which you have to experience it yourself, as talking about can only help you so much. The only other thing I can relate flying at iFly Penrith is that it is similar to is scuba diving in the sense that once you’re inside the chamber with the air flowing, the best thing you can do is relax, stay calm, and try to move as little as possible.
As each movement seems to be magnified whist your inside the chamber, so much like scuba diving you want to do as little as possible movement wise.
The overall experience is challenging, but fun.
The length of the flight is 1 or 2 minutes per flight which doesn’t feel that long due to it being that fun. I guess you could say… time flies when you’re having fun.
However having said that, the average length of a free fall dive in sky diving is only 15-20 seconds for a 8,000 feet jump.
It is possible to experience the feeling of weightlessness here, but if it’s your first time which I would imagine it may be, you will be restricted in what you’re allowed to do. You will be given an opportunity to float and move around, but it is actually a little difficult and requires a bit of practice.
Due to this you probably won’t be doing crazy flips and dives like you see on the promotional video simply because you won’t be trained. Much like scuba diving, before you can begin to perform more complex dives, you’ll need to be able to understand and perform the basics.
Having said that if you do pay for the slightly more expensive option of Highfly (which you can see in my video above), then towards the end of your fly, an instructor will help lift you towards the ceiling of the chamber so that you can experience free falling and spinning which is worth the extra money in my opinion.
Learn to Skydive Sydney
The iFly Sydney centre is also a great place to learn to skydive in a safe environment. Because you are essentially skydiving indoors there is little risk or danger and this can help build up your confidence if you would like to try skydiving later on.
iFly Indoor Skydiving Sydney: My Verdict
Ultimately iFly indoor skydiving is a great experience in which you can have a bit of fun with a few friends, and is a good opportunity to act like a kid again. What is a cool little touch on the experience is that the company provide you with a certificate of your fly with the tasks that you have completed during your fly. If you decide to fly again in the future on the certificate which you are given there are other tasks in which you can aim to achieve later on.
While the flight does feel short, it’s relatively equal or longer to a sky dive in terms of free fall. But all in all, I would definitely do it again.
You can visit and book your flight here at the iFly Website.