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.