Nevis Catapult: NZ’s latest thrill ride launches into action

The Nevis Catapult propels thrill seekers 150m out across a ravine before dropping them towards the valley floor (photo credit: @barekiwi)

Behold the Nevis Catapult, a world-first experience for thrillseekers launched by bungy pioneer AJ Hackett Bungy.

The Catapult exposes adrenaline junkies to 3G of force and speeds of almost 100km per hour in 1.5s, propelling them 150m out across a ravine before their sudden drop towards the valley floor, ending with a series of jaw-dropping bounces.

The Nevis Catapult propels thrill seekers 150m out across a ravine before dropping them towards the valley floor (photo credit: @barekiwi)

Housed in a pod and between a series of cables, alongside the Nevis Swing, the Catapult is a combination of height, flight and speed using a high-speed winch system.

The launch brings to fruition “three decades of planning and development” by AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand co-founder Henry van Asch and the New Zealand team.

Van Asch said he first came up with the idea when travelling around France during the 1980s with friend turned Bungy co-founder, AJ Hackett.

He remarked that the new product is an apt celebration of the company’s 30th anniversary. “In 1988 we took Bungy to the world, and put New Zealand on the world adventure tourism map. Thirty years on it’s wonderful to still be pushing the boundaries globally.”

According to a statement, technology for the multi-million-dollar Catapult was developed with the company’s research team before being built in an accredited testing facility in Christchurch and then brought to site for full scale installation, testing and commissioning.

Testing has been conducted out-of-sight over the past nine months – beginning with weighted barrels, before moving on to a test dummy phase and finally human testing.

The Catapult is developed to internationally recognised global safety standards and regulated under New Zealand adventure tourism and amusement device standards, the same statement highlighted.

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