Prime Minister John Key officially launched the redeveloped Kawarau Bungy Centre at AJ Hacket Bungy’s iconic Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown last Friday.

Prime Minister Key acknowledged the role of AJ Hackett Bungy as a tourism leader and innovator over its 24 year history as an iconic New Zealand attraction. With New Zealand being on the world stage for adventure tourism, Prime Minister Key said AJ Hackett Bungy had contributed to this position through its “world class safety standards”.

“It’s good to have an amazing experience but we know it’s safe,” he said.

The centre’s upgrades and enhancements have taken the growing Asian market into consideration which has a particular interest in soft adventure, now making the venue inclusive of everyone from thrill seekers to coffee drinkers.

The soon-to-open Kawarau Zipride will cater to this sector. The ride is comprised of three 130 metre-long zip lines that can be ridden solo or tandem at speeds of up to 60kph, gliding parallel to the Kawarau River. At the southern bank, riders are rotated 180 degrees to face uphill for the return trip.

Co-founder and Tourism NZ board member, Henry van Asch, said after recognising the changes in the market, the project was under development for three years and construction for 12 months.

“Not only do we now have a centre that works much better for our visitors by day, and our ever-changing visitor market, but we have a function centre that is one of the largest in the Queenstown region,” Mr van Asch said.

In acknowledgement of New Zealand’s increasing conference and incentive market, the new look centre has also been architecturally designed to transform into a state-of-the-art events venue that caters up to 800 people for a cocktail or 220 for a seated dinner.

Other new additions include Café ’88, the Liquid Courage Bungy Bar that looks out to people bungee jumping and zip riding, and a new photo and high definition video system.

“It really is cutting edge and very different to the space we had a few years ago. We have placed a lot of focus on the visitor experience to ensure that every person who walks through our front doors has a lasting and memorable experience,” Mr van Asch said.