Water as wild or mild as you like
New Hydro Attack tourist attraction is the first of its kind
Is it a shark? Is it a plane? Is it a submarine? Those are the questions people could be asking about the Hydro Attack, Queenstown’s latest tourist attraction, which is the first of its kind in the world. Hydro Attack is a Wave Breaker X watercraft which is a submersible watercraft powered by a 260 horse power engine that can reach 80 kilometres per hour in under four seconds. When the Hydro Attack breaches the lake surface it can launch the entire 18 ft length of the craft out of the water, travelling at 80kmh. While submersed it can travel at 40kmh. The Wave Breaker X was previously the domain of superrich super yacht owning class, who favour it as a way of impressing guests, but getting one to Lake Wakatipu for tourist thrills was the idea of Queenstowners David Lynott, Ollie O’Neill and Lee Excell. ‘‘We saw one on the net, were blown away by what it could do and thought the tourists would lap up the chance to ride in one if there was one in the lake,’’ Mr Lynott said. The Hydro Attack operation was officially launched on Friday morning. First to try out the attraction was Jacqui McLean. ‘‘It’s like Formula One racing on water. ‘‘What’s really amazing is when the amazingly clear blue water passes over you as you submerge, and the feeling you get as you launch out of the lake, which is kind of like waterskiing. There were a few screams, because you pick up some quite amazing g-force, but they were good screams.’’
Hydro Attack co-owner Lee Excell with the company’s first passenger Jacqui McLean on Friday morning. The Hydro Attack team has another Wave Breaker arriving in the new year, and are happy to cater to thrills of all levels. ‘‘Our motto is ‘we’ll go as wild or mild as you like’ – so we’re happy to push the craft or let the customer just enjoy the view,’’ Mr Lynott said. Painted with a shark motif, and launching out of the water, the Hydro Attack looks like something a James Bond villain would use, and should be hard to miss. Half hour trips on the Hydro Attack cost $159. For further details see hydroat tack.co.nz or drop in to the kiosk on Queenstown’s waterfront near Earnslaw Park.
F1 on water: Lake Wakatipu’s latest tourist attraction the Hydro Attack – likened to experiencing Formula One racing on water – on its first official trip on Friday. Hydro Attack co-owners David Lynott, left, and Ollie O’Neill are ‘‘stoked’’ with the operation’s launch.
Along for the ride: