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Zipping with Ziptrek- Kea Style

Zipping with Ziptrek- Kea Style

Posted by Kate Fahey: 20th Mar 2014 @ 22:22:26

Stepping into the Skyline Queenstown Gondola, the excitement starts to build and I can't help but smile knowing that my journey down Bob's Peak will be a completely different experience.

We are about to do the Ziptrek Kea Tour which will take us on 6 ziplines and a forest walk all the way back down the 450 vertical metres we have just ascended on the southern hemisphere's steepest cable car.

Before we hit Ziptrek, we decide to take some time to check out the sights and get that iconic photo from the Skyline viewing deck overlooking Queenstown and the Remarkables - everyone loves a selfie! A quick post #wishyouwerehere on Facebook to the family back home and it's time to check in for our zipline tour on the edge of the Ben Lomond Forest.

At this point we meet our guides, Arjun and Tara, and step onto the first Ziptrek treehouse - our feet have left the forest floor and it's time to play in the canopy. Harnessed up and don stylish helmets we are on our way.

One by one we zip across the first line and as expected the group is ready for more. The second line Arjun is straight into teaching us a few different zip tricks and styles. Backwards take off and upside down we go, feet flying through the air and the blur of Douglas Fir trees rushing by before landing at the next platform.

At each treehouse the guides share eco-stories of the local area and how Ziptrek strive to operate sustainably within it. Information boards showcase facts & history along with great humour. Look closely at the Ziptrek Wildcards and you'll find the Tuamata Paihikara (Mountain Biker); Species - Homomontiscyclos, found extensively on Bob's Peaks, grows up to 2.2metres tall and lives up to 90 years. Classic!

But there's more zipping to be had. Get ready for the WOW factor on the 4th zipline as the most incredible view across Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables unfolds. Line 5, The Big Dipper, is up next and a challenge is laid down by the guides. We are told that if you scream “Canon Ball” it makes you go 2.1 times faster…yeah right! But hey, why not keep up the good humour and give it a go! You'll need a good set of lungs to make it to the end, but Tara will show you how it's done.

Then the pièce de résistance, the finale, the 6th zipline. After a 20 minute forest walk you reach the big kahuna. The steepest zipline in the world - at 30 storeys high, 300 metres long and travelling at speeds of up to 70km/h, they have saved the best until last. You feel like you are walking off “the plank” as you step down the stairs and zip away from the platform. The sound of the zipline is more intense as you speed down the line towards a big cargo net. The 6th line has a unique braking system and back-up safety systems, which of course makes you want to test them straight away. But you safely come to a stop, the net drops and you coast into the end.

What an awesome experience - great for all ages, families, couples and groups of friends. It's a soft adventure with an eco-twist, shall we say, and a great one at that.

Check out our VIDEO edit of the day!

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