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           Home >  Travel N Leisure  > Walks  :

Live life on the edge

Haley McCrystal -- 20/06/2007

SKYCITY launches new SkyWalk 360 adventure attraction

Picture this: You are stepping out into space. Your only support is a narrow pergola ring, six metres away from the Sky Tower. Don't look down! You are more than 50 storeys high, and the streets below are far, far away. There are no balconies, no railing, nothing to hang on to. Just the wind, the sky, the breathtaking landscape and the sound of your heart beating as you step onto the pergola ring stretching before you. And all that is holding you there is a harness and safety rope...

SKYCITY is launching a heart-stopping challenge to all thrill seekers: to walk the external circumference of the Sky Tower suspended nearly 200 metres above ground - with only a harness to keep you on track.

SkyWalk 360 is SKYCITY Auckland's latest urban adventure. Those willing to take the challenge can walk the breadth of the tower on a ledge that is 6 metres away from the Sky Tower itself and only 1.2 metres wide. The platform is suspended over a sheer 192-metre drop on each side.

SKYCITY Auckland General Manager, David Christian, says the experience will be 100% exhilarating - but also 100% safe.

"Safety is an absolutely priority. SkyWalk 360 customers will be dressed in protective clothing and harnessed to an overhead railing. This will operate on a pendulum system, which means walkers will not be able to swing off the edge, be blown by the wind or put in danger if they trip. The priority is to allow walkers to move freely and experience the adrenalin rush in absolute security," he says.

The attraction will be managed by the Sky Jump team who run the controlled base jump experience from the Sky Tower and have a 100% safety record.

David says SKYCITY has prided itself on being a pioneer in urban adventure experiences. It was the first tower in the world to use glass floors, host a controlled bungy jump and to launch a controlled base jump 'Sky Jump'.

"What excites us with SkyWalk 360 is it creates a new type of experience for customers. Walkers will literally be living life on the edge, actually experiencing being part of the Auckland landscape. While towers elsewhere in the world offer an external walking experience, this is the first in the Southern Hemisphere to do so without rails or balcony, just the safety harness. This really elevates it from a sightseeing experience to an exhilarating adventure."

The Sky Tower is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere at 328 metres or just over a thousand feet high. It offers visitors breathtaking views of Auckland's spectacular skyline, taking in the waterfront and Rangitoto Island.

On a clear day, visitors taking part in the SkyWalk 360 will see 80kms across Auckland in all directions, while the accompanying guide points out famous landmarks that make Auckland special.

David Christian says the Sky Tower is an icon in Auckland, with more than 17,000 visitors daily enjoying the breadth of entertainment offered - including the Sky Jump. He expects that SkyWalk 360 will be equally as popular.

"Our vision is to create a fantastic fun experience that offers something for everybody, whether it is five-star fine dining and Grand Hotel accommodation, the glamour of a night at the casino or a family night out at the movies. Urban adventure tourism is a core part of this - with SkyWalk 360 we are challenging adventure seekers to redefine their limits with an exhilarating, heart-stopping adventure that is 100% safe."

SkyWalk 360 first timer, television personality Dominic Bowden, said the experience was amazing.

"SkyWalk 360 was one of the most daunting challenges I have faced to date! It's a pretty nerve-wracking experience, stepping out onto a narrow causeway, suspended high above ground, with no rails, nothing to hang on to, just a safety harness. But the views are spectacular and the sheer sense of exhilaration and liberty is definitely worth the pacing and sweaty palms beforehand."

SkyWalk 360 will officially open to walkers in summer 2007. The experience is expected to cost $115.00.

To whet your appetite for adventure look at the images of Dominic Bowden on the Sky Walk 360 pergola.

Click here to view a larger version

Click here to view a larger version

Photo source:SKYCITY Entertainment Group
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