Zip­ping AWAY

The Press - Escape - - ESCAPE -

AJ Hack­ett Bungy has opened a new thrill ride, Kawa­rau Zipride, at its fa­mous Kawa­rau Bridge Bungy site. The Kawa­rau Zipride features three zip lines which each cater for sin­gles or tandems, mean­ing up to six peo­ple can ride at once, cruis­ing at speeds of up to 60kmh on a 260-me­tre ‘‘re­turn trip’’ along­side the stun­ning Kawa­rau River.

Bungy co-founder Henry van Asch says the new ride is de­signed to com­ple­ment ex­ist­ing prod­uct of­fer­ings across the four A J Hack­ett Bungy sites in New Zealand. Cur­rent ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude four bungy jumps, two swings, a bridge climb, and now the Zipride will open at the World Home of Bungy – the place where the ad­ven­ture tourism phe­nom­e­non be­gan 24 years ago – adding one more level of ex­cite­ment into the mix.

‘‘We’ve recog­nised for some time that what is con­sid­ered ‘an ad­ven­ture’ is dif­fer­ent for all peo­ple, so there was an op­por­tu­nity to of­fer some­thing new and dif­fer­ent to the thou­sands of vis­i­tors who come to the Kawa­rau Bridge to ‘look, but not jump’.

‘‘It’s less daunt­ing than bungy jump­ing, but still a great per­sonal chal­lenge for many. I’d hap­pily get my oc­to­ge­nar­ian mother and 6-year-old daugh­ter to do it.

‘‘With the new Zipride we’re broad­en­ing the de­mo­graphic of those we might ap­peal to, in line with Tourism New Zealand’s recog­ni­tion of the ‘sig­nif­i­cant’ change in the mar­ket mix, see­ing ar­rivals from Asia, in par­tic­u­lar China, con­tin­u­ing to in­crease.

‘‘For the past 24 years we’ve in­vited peo­ple to step out­side their com­fort zone, balancing per­ceived risk with the most strin­gent of safety mea­sures.’’

A unique fea­ture of the Kawa­rau Zipride is its abil­ity to ro­tate peo­ple 180 de­grees at the end of the 130m-long line. This gives them plenty of time to take in panoramic views of the Kawa­rau River Gorge, as well as watch peo­ple jump­ing from the his­toric bungy bridge, as they are gen­tly brought back to the launch deck.

Kawa­rau Zipride prices start from $60 for one adult ride and $40 for a child, and there is a full range of mul­ti­ride and Zipride/Bungy combo pack­ages on of­fer.

A J Hack­ett Bungy’s newly ren­o­vated Kawa­rau Bridge Bungy Cen­tre was re­cently re­launched by Prime Min­is­ter John Key. The cen­tre’s up­grades and en­hance­ments in­clude the new Cafe ’88, the Liq­uid Courage Bungy Bar, an in­no­va­tive dig­i­tal photo and high-def­i­ni­tion video sys­tem, and the Kawa­rau Zipride. The cen­tre has been ar­chi­tec­turally de­signed with the abil­ity to trans­form into a state-of-the-art events venue by night, ca­ter­ing for up to 800 peo­ple for a cock­tail or ‘‘stand­ing’’ func­tion and 220 for a seated din­ner.

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