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Ziptrek Ecotours adds new adventure - its Kea Tour

Alexa Forbes - 01/04/2011

Ziptrek Ecotours is a spectacular and exhilarating flying fox eco-adventure through the forest canopy situated atop Skyline Gondola hill, high above Queenstown. 'Zippers' either ride the Skyline Gondola or walk up the "Tiki Trail" to check in at the Ziptrek Guest Services Treehouse. From the moment guests check in and harness up they experience an unforgettable adventure as they "Zziippp" through the forest canopy on flying foxes, soaking up stunning panoramic lake and mountain views of Queenstown and its surroundings.

Thrill seekers can choose from two Ziptrek Ecotours courses; the classic 4-line 'Moa' Tour - designed as a great starter for beginners and young zippers - returning to the top of the Skyline Gondola hill, or the new and advanced 6-line 'Kea' Tour which includes a guided 'Tiki Trail' forest trek and finishes with the world's steepest flying fox landing at the base of the Skyline Gondola.

Between flying foxes, zippers step on and off a series of architecturally designed, beautifully constructed aerial launch platforms where Ziptrek guides deliver an interpretive talk with a strong ecological focus, before "Zzipping" to the next tree platform. Zippers can enhance their thrill factor by zipping in different positions frontwards, backwards, sideways, upside down and 'Spiderman-style'!. Ziptrek Ecotours is an all-weather, all-abilities activity operating all year round, and is perfect for families (Moa min age 7, Kea min age 10), individuals and groups.

Upside down high above Queenstown
Upside down high above Queenstown
Photo source: Ziptrek Ecotours scenic shots
Click here to view a larger version
Ziptrek girl on Zipline
Ziptrek girl on Zipline
Photo source: Ziptrek Ecotours scenic shots
Click here to view a larger version

Queenstown's Ziptrek Ecotours opened the world's steepest tree-to tree flying fox adventure in November 2010 as part of its new Kea 6-Line Tour.

The 6-line, high velocity tour guarantees an eco-adventure like no other, taking thrill-seekers to speeds of up to 70 km ph on a extended 'zip into town' experience that builds on the company's original Moa 4-Line Tour.

The 3-hour Kea Tour begins in the Ziptrek Guest Services Tree-house where guests are harnessed up for the Moa 4-line Tour. Following 2 hours high in the forest canopy, feet next touch the ground for a stunning 20 minute trek through ancient native beech forest along the Tiki Trail extension, a track created by Ziptrek and gifted to the community.

Guests then embark on the final "hair-raising" line of the Kea 6-Line Tour before being unclipped from their harnesses just a short stroll from the resort's town centre.

Company General Manager Trent Yeo said he was 'just delighted' to open the new flying fox after years of careful planning.

"It was always our intention to finish the tour at the base of the hill and we are so excited to finally reach that goal. Ziptrek Ecotours now offers two great choices for people including a massively exciting adventure and a more accessible tour, all in the forest canopy high above Queenstown. The Kea 6-Line Tour takes zipping to the next level."

Mr Yeo says the company now welcomes all Queenstown adrenaline seekers to come and test the 'fear factor' of the Kea 6-Line Tour.

"Zippers on the Kea Tour fly down the hill for about a kilometre, the equivalent length of 10 rugby pitches," said Mr Yeo. "The lines are simply breathtaking and take zipping to a seriously new level. It makes sense to us that you get up the hill by gondola and travel down just using gravity."

Ziptrek Ecotours launched in December 2009 with the original Moa 4-lineTour. The new 6-line doubles the actual zipping distance and has offered the opportunity for the company to expand on its strong ecological ethos.

"The Kea 6-Line Tour brings many aspects of eco-adventure together. Throughout most of the tour, people's feet never touch the ground; they're literally hanging out in the high forest canopy. When not in the trees, guests are meandering through some amazing forest which is rarely accessed by the public, and throughout, guests can learn about environmental responsibility and The Natural Step decision making framework."

The aerial-tree platforms linking the two new lines were built by a specialist team from Ziptrek Ecotour's sister company in Whistler, Canada. The highest platform is approximately eight storeys high.

The original classic Moa 4-Line Tour continues to offer family friendly zipping, while the Kea 6-Line Tour is considerably steeper and reserved for those over the age of 10 with a reasonably high adventure capacity.

Prices for Ziptrek Ecotours:

Kea 6-Line Tour $179.

Moa 4-Line Tour $119 for adults $69 children and seniors.

Ziptrek Ecotours winner of Queenstown sustainable business award

One year after opening its flying fox eco-adventure high in the tree tops above Queenstown, in November 2010 Ziptrek Ecotours won highly-acclaimed recognition in the adventure capital for its outstanding efforts towards sustainability.

The Westpac Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Business Awards celebrate the resort town's business excellence, passion and success with just six awards given every alternate year to those who have contributed significantly to the region.

Ziptrek Ecotours was selected for the Sustainable Business Award after proving its dedication towards long-term profitability, creating no waste/being carbon neutral, meeting people's needs, showing sustainable business practice, using clean energy and being industry specific.

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