Queenstown bungy pioneer planning huge 25th birthday

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Queenstown’s pioneering bungy firm will celebrate 25 years in business during the coming months.

Adventure tourism leader AJ Hackett Bungy will mark a quarter of a century of adrenalin-fuelled fun with a 25-day programme of events.

The celebrations, which begin October 18, will culminate in a huge party on November 12.

AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch were granted a temporary consent from the Department of Conservation to set up the world’s first commercial bungy jumping operation at the Queenstown’s historic Kawarau Bridge in 1988.

Over the 25 years more than three million people have jumped at AJ Hackett Bungy sites around the world – including celebrities Jack Black, Tiger Woods, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and comedian Billy Connelly –  who famously jumped naked.

Co-founder and director Henry van Asch says: “It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since AJ and I dreamt up the idea to jump off structures around the world attached to a bungy and then start a commercial operation.

“It’s been a fun, interesting and incredible ride, during which time we’ve become not only one of the best-known brands in New Zealand, but also the world.”

The ‘#25yearsofbungy’ promotion will start on October 18 with an advent calendar-style promotional campaign featuring quirky and unique themes, discounts, prizes and challenges every day.

On November 12, students from local primary and high schools will be joined by teachers and spectators to kick start celebrations at the Kawarau Bungy Centre.

Pupils aged from 10 to 13, whose names will be picked out of a hat, will jump from the bridge.