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Photo story from AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand

Photo story from AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand
14 November 2008

First Nevis Arc customer takes the plunge

A new high velocity thriller activity swung into action in Queenstown today (14 November), launched by its first paying customer.

26-year-old Paul Officer from Peterhead, Scotland, was the first of many paying customers from around the world to do AJ Hackett Bungy’s Nevis Arc, pronouncing it “so exhilarating – it was unreal!!”

First paying customer Paul Officer ready to go, watched by Henry Van Asch and AJ Hackett CEO Michelle Trapski.

In fact, it was so good he did it again.

Within the hour, he’d also bungy jumped from the adjacent Nevis Highwire and over the course of two days has also jumped from AJ Hackett Bungy’s Kawarau Bridge and The Ledge sites.

“It’s the perfect day,” he said, beaming from ear to ear.

Paul Officer takes the plunge.

He said doing the Nevis Arc compared to a bungy jump was “completely different.”

“On the Arc you feel weightless and get a chance to look around, and the bungy is all about the dive. They’re both scary but so awesome.”

The Nevis Arc is AJ Hackett Bungy’s latest adventure tourism innovation and is the highest swing in the world.

A happy Paul Officer at the finish of the Nevis Arc.

Located alongside the world-famous 134m Nevis Highwire Bungy, the Nevis Arc stands at 120m. The 125kmh ‘flying trapeze’ is accessed from a 70m-long walkway and launch pad suspended over the Doolan’s Creek Gorge spanning the Horn and Carrick mountain ranges.

People can choose their own fear factor (80m or 120m) and can go forwards, backwards, alone or with a friend. They are swung out over the valley in a massive arc with a six and a half second acceleration towards rock faces, reaching speeds of 125kmh or more.

For the ultimate thrill, there’s also a Nevis Bungy and Nevis Arc combination package.

From left to right: Henry Van Asch, Paul Officer and CEO of AJ Hackett Bungy Michelle Trapski toast their success.

AJ Hackett Bungy co-founder Henry van Asch was there for the launch of the $3.5 million project and was over the moon.

“We’ve had the vision for the Nevis Arc for years, and our customers have told us they wanted another activity in this stunning area, so it’s absolutely fantastic to see it finally open.

He described the difference between a bungy and the Arc as “a different motion and experience but a great complement to each other.

“The Arc is a great smooth ride and you have more time to enjoy the acceleration and range of sensations – you feel like you’re flying. Really, bungy’s about gravitation and this is all about sensation. It certainly got my adrenalin pumping. It’s the biggest buzz!”

The Nevis Arc crew celebrated the historic moment with its first customers, who came from Scotland, England, Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Denmark and Germany, by popping the cork on Henry’s first vintage Freefall bubbly.

The Nevis Arc costs $170 for adults, $110 for children, and $300 for a tandem arc. Those keen to do the ‘ultimate combo’ of both Nevis Arc and Nevis Highwire Bungy can do so for just $350.

First paying customers (from left to right): Andrew Quigley (England), Caroline Silverwood (England), Henry Van Asch, Lee Shrimpton (England), Karen Kelly (Ireland), Paul Officer (Scotland), Mona Jacobsen (Denmark), Fedor Titov (Germany), Mark Bridges (England), Owen Scott (Australia), Jan Widman (Germany)

Photos: John McGill


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