The AJ Hackett bungy jump in Kawarau Gorge is one of Queenstown’s iconic tourist destinations, being the first commercial bungy operation in the world. Naylor Love have worked on a number of projects at the Kawarau Bridge Bungy site over the years, including the restoration of Kawarau Gorge suspension bridge back in the 1980’s. In 2011-12 we redeveloped the Bungy Centre itself, removing a huge steel dome and building new offices, a new café and video lounge and a stage.
We were delighted to be involved in the installation of AJ Hackett’s newest attraction for thrill seekers, a 260m zipride which runs down the side of the gorge from the café at the top, turns riders around at the bottom, then winches them back to the top. The three lines can carry up to six riders at a time, reaching speeds of up to 60km/h.
Along with the zipride, the works included extensive extensions to the deck, a new concrete access stairway to the bridge, a new steel stairway up the mountain face from the bottom, an extended outdoor bar area and the installation of a huge steel platform at the top for the zipride, with a similar structure 130m away across a canyon.
The zipride was a complex mechanical/structural engineering project erected over steep and difficult terrain some 40m above the river, with much of the work requiring the use of helicopters and abseil harnesses. The busy tourist mecca stayed open throughout the works, which were completed to a very high standard in a tight timeframe.
Client: AJ Hackett
Completed: Easter 2013