Great-grandmother oldest Queenstown Ziptreker


A 90-year-old great-grandmother has become the oldest person to ride a flying fox in Queenstown.

Aucklander Val Brown rode Ziptrek Ecotours’ lines on Bob’s Peak with her family and friends on Friday.

The nonagenarian visited Queenstown as part of a week-long pub crawl around the South Island with 35 of her closest friends and family.

They had asked Val on her 80th birthday what she wanted to do for her 90th – and she replied “a pub crawl down the West Coast of the South Island”.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the Ziptrek and whilst I didn’t manage to turn myself upside down, I did let go and that was enough of a thrill for me,” Val says.

Grandson Matthew Parker, based in Queenstown, suggested his grandmother try the flying fox as part of her birthday celebrations.

“We have had a great trip doing lots of things, from jet boating to eating and drinking in lots of pubs on the way. We’re now off paragliding,” Parker says.

Ziptrek Ecotours director Trent Yeo says it’s hugely inspiring to see Val experience the activity.

“She looked like she was thoroughly enjoying herself and it is an inspiration to see a lady of her age embracing life and experiencing new things,” Yeo says.