Adventure seekers, brace yourself – it’s less than 24 hours until the Christchurch Adventure Park officially opens the gates.
The Park(external link), nestled among 300 hectares of forested land in the Port Hills, opens to the public on Wednesday morning – bringing with it kilometres of mountain bike routes, two kilometres of zip lines through the forest, rock-climbing, sight-seeing, a café/bar, and high speed chairlift whipping bikers and sightseers up the hill for panoramic views of Christchurch.
A sneak peak for media yesterday revealed a playground paradise for adventure seekers, with some distinctly Christchurch touches.
Select Evolution, the mastermind behind the Adventure Park, said the Cashmere Forest site stood out as a truly special place.
Chair Fiona Sutton said the park, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, would operate 365 days a year.
“I can’t wait to see the look on people’s faces when they ride the chair, take their first ride down the trail or experience the zipline or just to come and have a drink in the café nestled in the forest. That’s what building an adventure park is all about, the people.”
Walking around the retail and café complex, Christchurch is front and centre – a former gym floor rescued from the earthquakes serves as the café floor, café booths are from restaurants in the city, and much of the wood used in the construction of the buildings is from trees felled to make way for tracks and facilities in the park.
The chairlift, which the public can take a round trip on without breaking out cycling lycra, offers spectacular views across Christchurch to the Southern Alps, and a great view of the four individual ziplines that run across the park.
The high-speed chair lift for carrying bikes and people is the longest in New Zealand at 1.8 kilometres long. While the four legged, dual zip line tour will see adventure seekers flying 180 metres above the forest floor across an expansive valley.
Opened by Mayor Lianne Dalziel in a ceremony for staff and officials on Friday, the park, chairlift and café buildings have been built in just nine months, in time for the busy summer season.
“This park takes our city to another level as this is the only purpose-built park of its kind in the world,” Ms Dalziel said. “It’s going to be open 365 days a year and is the largest mountain bike park in the Southern Hemisphere - right here in this beautiful forest, only 17 minutes bike ride from the city or a 15 minute drive to the airport.”
The $24 million development is a unique and innovative public-private funded initiative. It sees a partnership between the New Zealand Government, Christchurch City Council’s Development Christchurch Ltd, private investors from New Zealand and overseas coming together to support this initiative.
“This vindicates the decision of Council to set up a development company, so that we can do things in a new and innovative way,” Ms Dalziel said