Prime Minister John Key has officially launched the re-developed Kawarau Bungy Centre at Queenstown’s iconic Kawarau Bridge.
The centre’s upgrades and enhancements include the new Café ’88, the Liquid Courage Bungy Bar, an innovative digital photo and High Definition video system, and the soon-to-open Kawarau Zipride.
The PM, speaking in his role as Tourism Minister, acknowledged the role of AJ Hackett Bungy as a tourism leader and innovator in the 24 years since the iconic New Zealand attraction first opened. He praised the Centre’s advancements which will help ensure New Zealand retains its standing as a premium tourism destination.
He said adventure tourism was one reason that New Zealand was “on the world stage” and complimented AJ Hackett Bungy for its “world class safety standards”.
“It’s good to have an amazing experience but we know it’s safe,” he said.
AJ Hackett Bungy has recognised an increase in people seeking ‘soft adventure’ over the last few years, particularly from the rapidly growing Asian markets. In an effort to increase its market share, the company has re-developed the centre, expanding its offering to appeal to a wider demographic, from thrill-seekers, to Zipriders, to coffee drinkers.
The new café space caters to visitors of the Bungy Centre with the addition of made-to-order lunch offerings, while the outdoor bar on the main deck, aptly named ‘Liquid Courage,’ has great views of bungy jumping and those zipriding, improving the overall visitor experience.
Among all the changes, a critical element of the customer experience has remained – the ability to take away and share ‘the proof’ of their jump. A leading edge digital solution has been designed and developed internally by AJ Hackett Bungy to produce high-definition photo and videos.
The innovative system allows jumpers to choose traditional mediums, such as printed photos and DVD, and/or new popular alternatives such as USB and online choices (www.ididit.co.nz) so they can easily download and share their ‘proof’ via email and social networking platforms.
In acknowledgement of New Zealand’s increasing conference and incentive market, the new-look Bungy Centre has also been architecturally designed with the ability to transform into a state-of-the-art events venue by night, which can cater for up to 800 people for a cocktail or ‘standing’ function and 220 for a seated dinner.
Bungy co-founder and Tourism NZ Board Member, Henry van Asch, said “We have recognized that the market is changing and we are proud that the Bungy Centre can now cater to a wider demographic than ever before.
“A lot of planning, thought and design has gone into the project, which has been in development for nearly three years and under construction for the past 12 months.
“It really is cutting edge and very different to the space we had a few years ago. We have placed a lot of focus on the visitor experience to ensure that every person who walks through our front doors has a lasting and memorable experience.
Mr van Asch said the new Kawarau Zipride was in the “final stages” of testing before launching soon.
The ride is comprised of three 130m-long zip lines that can be ridden solo or tandem. Riders start on the main viewing deck and cruise down at speeds of up to 60kph, parallel to the Kawarau River. They will reach a point on the southern bank where they will be rotated 180 degrees to face uphill for the return ride to the launch point.
This new activity is designed to appeal to people of all ages and is perfect for larger conference and incentive or team building groups.
March 2, 2013