Housed in a pod and between a series of cables, alongside the infamous Nevis Swing, the Catapult is a unique combination of height, flight and speed using a bespoke high-speed winch system developed over years of research.
AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand co-founder Henry van Aschsays he first came up with the idea when travelling around France during the 1980s with friend and (later) Bungy co-founder, AJ Hackett. “I played around with the idea by riding my mountain bike with a Bungy cord attached, off bridges. It may have been legal,” he says. Mr van Asch says it’s significant to be unveiling the new experience in the company’s 30th year. “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.”
Specialist new 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.
“AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand is the epitome of the Kiwi entrepreneurial spirit and their investment in cutting edge technology and new thrills is an example of how New Zealand continues to be at the forefront of adventure tourism,” says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Stephen England-Hall.
“Something like this could never have been accomplished without a combination of creativity, daring, sheer Kiwi craziness and of course investment in years of design engineering and testing.”
The Catapult is developed to internationally recognised global safety standards and regulated under New Zealand adventure tourism and amusement device standards.’
Mr England-Hall believes “the Nevis Catapult will inspire thrill seekers from all over the world to come to Queenstown to push their limits further than they have ever been able to.”
“The combination of speed, height and flight is something the world has never seen,” he says.