Bungy bridge site’s new ride under way

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Bungy company AJ Hackett has started building a new seated flying fox at its Kawarau Bridge site near Queenstown. 

Contractor Naylor Love began work last week on the three-lane Kawarau ZipRide that will descend 130 metres from the bungy-viewing deck. 

Clients will ride the zip lines – either solo or in tandems – at speeds of up to 60km per hour alongside the Kawarau River’s southern bank. 

They’ll then be automatically rotated 180 degrees for a slower ride back up to the launch station. 

The ride – still to be priced – should be open by Christmas. 

“We’re looking forward to getting a lot of those people who just watch bungy into doing something that is a little more adventurous,” AJ Hackett co-founder/chairman Henry van Asch (above) says. 

“It will give a group of people a chance to do something that’s a bit beyond what they’re used to.” 

The ride back up will offer a more scenic component and a unique view of the company’s original 42-metre bungy jump, Van Asch adds. 

The ZipRide will target families, groups and Asian visitors who generally prefer less-racy thrills. 

As part of a $2.2 million investment, the company is also expanding its bungy centre cafe, refreshing its photo and video retail area and adding a ‘bungy bar’ on the viewing deck. 

A bungy trampoline, installed on the viewing deck two years ago, has been removed as part of the ZipRide consent approval. 

Van Asch expects the new attracton will work in well with the expanding cycling/walking Queenstown Trail.