Date: 13th March 2013
Queenstown adventure history has a rich and varied background with travellers and locals drawn to the thrills in the area since the 1960’s with the development of the ski industry.
The rugged alpine environment, lakes and whitewater rivers also provided the inspiration for a number of commercial activities to excite and attract visitors as well as providing employment for a highly skilled group of operators.
In the 1970’s Shotover Jet became the first commercial operators using the innovative jet propulsion system developed by Canterbury farmer Bill Hamilton. The design allowed passengers to skim over the shallow braided rivers in mere inches of water and negotiate technically difficult sections of the river.
The next addition to Queenstown adventure history was the start of commercial whitewater rafting with companies such as Challenge White-water leading the way in developing and promoting a professional approach to ensuring an exciting, safe rafting experience on the Kawerau and Shotover rivers. Much of their success is also due to the varying levels of their trips, catering to novice rafters as well as big water enthusiasts.
The portfolio of Queenstown adventure history was given a huge boost wiht the bungy phenomenon that swept the globe after AJ Hackett’s well documented leap from the Eiffel Tower.
Setting up their first commercial operation at the Kawerau Bridge in the late 1980’s the company has extended their operations to the 134 metre Nevis Bungy, the Ledge bungy above Queenstown and the Bungy Swing. Since their first year with 28 clients, more than a million people have safely completed either a bungy jump or swing with AJ Hackett Bungy.
The allure of gravity produced another award winning organisation with the establishment of NZONE Tandem Skydive in 1990.
As the first company in New Zealand to offer tandem jumps, more than 200,000 customers have “faced the fear” and jumped. With options up to 15,000 feet customers who can keep their eyes open will have stunning views of the Queenstown basin and Southern Alps.
Posted in: Queenstown Activities