Already boasting zip rides, bridge climbs, tower walks and bungy experiences, there's an endless number of reasons why Queenstown is dubbed the 'adventure capital of New Zealand'. Now there's one more, with the introduction of a human catapult that reaches speeds of almost 100 kilometres per hour in 1.5 seconds.
Launched by the leaders of adventure tourism in New Zealand, AJ Hackett Bungy, the world-first Nevis Catapult is found in the Nevis Valley. The attraction, which has been called the "biggest and most extreme catapult in the world", sees thrill seekers shoot 150 metres out across a ravine before dropping towards the valley floor and experiencing a series of vertical bounces. From release to recovery the experience takes between three to four minutes.
Only accessible by 4WD bus and housed in a pod alongside the Nevis Swing, the catapult is a combination of height, flight and speed using a winch system developed over years of research. The technology for the multi-million-dollar catapult was developed with the company's research team before being built in a testing facility in Christchurch. Testing has been conducted over the past nine months — beginning with weighted barrels, before moving on to a test dummy phase and finally human testing.
Co-founder Henry van Asch says he first came up with the idea when travelling around France during the 1980s with Bungy co-founder, AJ Hackett. "I played around with the idea by riding my mountain bike with a Bungy cord attached, off bridges." he says.
Adult tickets for the Nevis Catapult ring up at NZD$255. For more information, visit bungy.co.nz.