Answering the prayers of local adrenaline junkies, the slick new Christchurch Adventure Park, the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, is much more than just a downhill mountain bike bonanza.
While mountain biking will be one of the main attractions – the 358-hectare park (aka Cashmere Forest), which is tucked between the Port Hills’ Dyers Pass, Worsleys and Summit Roads, will open with 50 kilometres of bodacious downhill trails. These will range from options for beginners through to technical and trick/jumps, with a pump track for kids designed by local school children. An additional 50 kilometres of tracks will be built in later. The park also features the country’s longest chairlift, at 1.8 kilometres long, which can haul 1,200 riders and their bikes up the 435 vertical metres in 60 minutes – guests will be able to connect to the Crater Rim walking tracks and a world class custom-built zip line, with a series of four dual zip lines ranging from 400 metres to 1.1 kilometres in length set to race guests through and above the forest, peaking at 150 metres above the forest floor. There’s also rock-climbing facilities and a café and bar seating more than 200 people.
With the park deliberately designed as sympathetic to the surrounding environment, all the buildings are located at the base of the $25 million facility, preserving the skyline. The land will also be latticed with walkways and running tracks with free entry, promoting use of the park to the greater community. Phase two will see the construction of a mountain coaster, a self-controlled luge-style ride, followed by accommodation for 284 people, with options including a hotel, chalets and dorms.