Four pairs of ziplines could soon zigzag over the upper section of the Southern Landfill site near Brooklyn in Wellington, New Zealand.
The new adventure tourism project is seeking a lease from Wellington City Council. The City Strategy Committee has unanimously approved that the proposal go to public consultation. Only then will they make a final decision on any new tourism venture on the site.
Wellington Zipline Adventures (WZA) hope to use land on the upper section of the 900 hectare landfill site. Their proposal outlines wooden take-off and landing decks on each side of the valley. Four pairs of ziplines would stretch between the two. It is thought that the longest zipline would stretch 575 metres.
The proposed area acts as a buffer zone for the landfill operation. It is administered as a reserve under the Outer Green Belt Management Plan (OGBMP).
According to Myfanwy Emeny, the council’s open space and parks manager, the project would increase Wellington’s popularity as a tourist destination. She believes it would also attract locals. In addition, the project would be eco-friendly and have a conservation element. Visitors would be transported by shuttle from a central Wellington location.
“The site proposed for this new venture is ideal for its combination of access to the city, environmental aspects, and the stunning views that would be available to the users,” says Emeny. “Part of the customer fee will go towards lease of the land, and another percentage will go towards a conservation programme. WZA are committed to running a sustainable business and improving the native plant and bird life in the area.”
WZA has over 20 years’ experience in the zipline and ropes course industry. “We’re proud to call Wellington our hometown,” says Mark O’Connor, co-director of WZA. “But there is a gap in the adventure tourism sector. We believe this zipline proposal will fill that void.”
The zipline is intended to be a year-round activity. However Wellington is famous for its windy weather and ziplines are unlikely to be able to operate at wind speeds over 70km/hour. Rain and cold have also been taken into account and conservative estimates predict the attraction will be open around 210 out of 365 days.
“Weather in Wellington is always a factor to be taken into consideration for outdoor activities,” says O’Connor. “But we looked at all the data and came up with a conservative estimate which will still ensure the business is sustainable.”
It is hoped that construction will begin late next year with the attraction becoming operational in 2019.
Image: Wellington City Council