New Zealand Debuts More Extreme Adventures – the Nevis Catapult
Nevis Catapult Turns Riders Into Human Slingshots! How would you like to catapult 500 feet in just seconds? That’s what they’re doing at one of New Zealand’s hottest new adventure tourist attractions.
You’ve heard of bungy jumping, zip lines, canyoning and other adventures—many of which can be found or even originated in New Zealand, a hub for adventure tourism. Now there’s a new attraction being launched called the Nevis Catapult, which its co-founder Henry Van Asch is calling the biggest and most extreme catapult in the world. The catapult was developed by AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand.
Housed in the Nevis Swing pod in a remote Nevis Valley location, the catapult combines height, speed and flight in a multi-dimensional experience. Its high-tech winch system will propel riders 492 feet up and out across the Nevis Valley Floor, where they will experience up to 3Gs of force as they accelerate reaching speeds of almost 62 miles an hour in 1.5 seconds. That’s followed by a gut-wrenching drop and series of bounces. Sound like fun?
The Nevis Catapult is being described as a first, never-before-done experience as the world’s biggest and most extreme catapult offering a unique combination of height, flight and speed delivered by an innovative high-speed winch technology system. The Nevis Valley, located below the Southern Alps near Queenstown, is ordinarily closed to public and can be accessed only by a Bungy four-wheel-drive.
The catapult is housed in a pod (alongside one of the world’s biggest swings, the Nevis Swing) hanging high above the valley floor and is accessed via a swing bridge. During the launch experience riders pull up to 3Gs of force at the release reaching almost 100 kilometers per hour in 1.5 seconds. They are propelled 150 meters across the ravine before dropping vertically and recoiling upwards at speed. From release to recovery, the full experience takes between three and four minutes. And in case you are wondering, the attraction has been rated as the highest world standard safety system, or SIL3 Safety Integrity Level. For more information, click on Bungy Nevis Swing. And in case you needed a reminder of other adventure experiences in New Zealand, here are some other activities for adventure-seeking visitors:
Bungy Jumping: Queenstown is the home of the first commercial bungy site in the world and the 43-meter Kawarau Bridge jump is still going strong. The original AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand has sites in Queenstown and Auckland with heights ranging from 43 meters through to 134 meters. There are also more opportunities to go bungy jumping in New Zealand from a bridge, ledge or some other imposing structure. For more information, click on Bungy New Zealand.
Jet Boating: New Zealander Sir William Hamilton invented the jet boat in the 1950s as a way to cross shallow water. Since then adventure-seekers have embraced it for high-speed thrills up and down New Zealand’s waterways. Queenstown’s Shotover Jet takes passengers on ride through the twists and turns of the canyons in the Shotover River. For more information, click on Shot Over Jet.
Canyoning: For the ultimate mix of adventure and scenic beauty, canyoning offers visitors the chance to see some of New Zealand’s most thrilling landscapes. They can swim in clear, deep pools, leap through gushing waterfalls, zipline and abseil down canyons. For a real challenge try the Sleeping God canyon on the North Island’s Coromandel Peninsula. For more information, click on Canyon New Zealand.
Wildwire: For a true waterfall adventure, take on the highest waterfall via ferrata (iron road) in the world. Tackle the “Lord of the Rungs” experience, 450 meters above the valley floor, which includes a journey behind a six-meter waterfall and finishes with a helicopter descent. You don’t need any climbing experience—if you can climb a ladder you can do Wanaka Wildwire—and all the way you’ll be supported by trained guides and secured with the best safety equipment. For more information, click on Wildwire.
OGO: The team behind Rotorua OGO designed the original inflatable ball that people can jump into and roll about in—another example of Kiwi ingenuity. The ball was originally designed as an on-water experience, but it was soon discovered that rolling down a hill in the middle of it was the best use for this invention, a fun light-hearted take on adventure tourism. For more information, click on OGO.
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