Nevis Thriller to raise bar in extreme challenge

What AJ Hackett’s new Nevis Swing bungy will look like. Image supplied.
What AJ Hackett’s new Nevis Swing bungy will look like. Image supplied.

A Queenstown tourism pioneer remained tight-lipped yesterday after it was revealed a "world first'' extreme activity is to be launched in the resort - with the aid of government funding.

Co-founder and managing director of AJ Hackett Bungy Henry van Asch said it promised to push people to their limits but he was not prepared to share details of the Nevis Thriller.

"I can't. We are still in the top secret zone.''

He confirmed the design stage was complete and it was reasonably "well down the track''.

What he could say was it was about height, speed and flight.

The news was announced by Prime Minister John Key at the Trenz tourism conference in Rotorua, revealing $500,000 in government support for the project in conjunction with almost $1.5million of industry money.

The estimated economic value to New Zealand was $30million to $40million.

The Queenstown project was one of three announced yesterday, which included $2.5million for the Te Puia Maori arts and crafts institute in Rotorua, and $1.2million for Timber Trail Adventures in the Waikato.

Mr Key said an independent group had determined where the money was spent under the Government's Tourism Growth Partnership.

"But each one of them stands up in its own right as being a very important initiative.''

He said the challenge with tourism was to attract people to New Zealand, make money from them here, and give them things to do.

A Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment release said the project would be located at the Nevis bungy site and would raise the bar in "safe personal challenge'' activities in New Zealand.

The MBIE said although New Zealand led the way in bungy, jet-boating and skydiving, those activities were now available in other countries.

"Visitors are now looking for new personal challenges that they cannot do elsewhere.''

The new product would meet that need. It would be located 140m above the Nevis Valley floor and operate alongside the Nevis swing.

It was "a new bungy launch system'' combining height, speed and flight.

The government funding would be provided over two years. Commercial partners were Holmes Solutions and Mountain Project Management.

The Nevis Thriller is set to open to the public in early 2017.

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