As Christchurch New Zealand warms up to host international rugby league this weekend (Rugby League World Cup: NZ vs Scotland, 4 November), The Kiwis have been lending a hand on a pump track at the Christchurch Adventure Park.
Excitement is building at Christchurch’s newest adventure attraction – the Christchurch Adventure Park – which is due to reopen soon, almost a year on from its first opening.
The reopening is scheduled for 5 December and this week there were some local sporting heroes on site to help with preparations – New Zealand’s national rugby league team, The Kiwis – who are in town ahead of their 4 November Rugby League World Cup (RLWC2017) match against Scotland.
The Kiwis lent a hand to work on a pump track – an off-road circuit of banked turns and features, designed to be ridden completely by riders "pumping" or creating momentum by up and down body movements. Designed for children, the pump track is a hugely popular feature at the park.
The Christchurch Adventure Park, which is home to New Zealand’s longest chairlift at 1.8 kilometres and New Zealand’s longest and highest zip line, had only been open a few weeks when February’s Port Hills fire devastated forests and infrastructure, forcing an untimely closure.
The 365-hectare park in Christchurch’s Port Hills officially opened on 16 December 2016 but by the time it closed, eight weeks later, more than 50,000 visitors had already passed through the gates.
The stage one development includes the chairlift, the largest collection of gravity assisted down-hill mountain bike trails in the southern hemisphere, four dual-ziplines and a café bar with a large deck for post adventure food and drinks.
The park – in pine forests on the Port Hills above Christchurch – offers stunning views from the chairlift, zip-lines, walking tracks and bike trails. The café, chairlift, sightseeing, zip line tours and a coaching mountain bike trail will be open from 12pm to 7pm daily.
Christchurch Adventure Park spokesperson Anne Newman said it was great to have the Kiwis on board to help meet the target for re-opening its doors. The fire saw the park close for 10 months while logging of approximately 600 acres of forest took place.
“Our re-opening is fast approaching and we are preparing for a big summer season. It’s fantastic to have the support of the New Zealand league team as they strive to be at the top of their sport. That’s our aspiration too,” Anne Newman said.
“In the eight weeks we were open before the fires there were 50,000 visitors who experienced the exhilaration of our slopes. We have had significant local and international interest in the Adventure Park and we know it will become a well-loved attraction for all.”
The fire saw the park close for 10 months while logging of approximately 600 acres of forest took place. The 26-tonne haul rope for the chairlift has been replaced along with the zip lines while park staff continues to rebuild existing mountain bike trails.
“When we re-open, we will have the coaching/green trail available and we’ll reopen other trails over summer as they are finished. We’ve also planned some spectacular new trails for the public to ride. But it will take time," she said.
A significant section of the park has been replanted and the village containing the café, bike rental and guest services was fortunate to have escaped the fire. Trails would be rebuilt and reopened gradually, Newman said.
Background: Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017)
- RLWC2017 will see 14 teams play 28 games over five weeks, from 27 October until 2 December 2017, across New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
- Christchurch Stadium will play host to two matches of the Rugby League World Cup 2017: New Zealand versus Scotland (4 November), and a quarter final (18 November).
- It will be the first time in 11 years that the home side has played in Christchurch.
- The Rugby League World Cup is the sport’s pinnacle international event and won’t return to New Zealand for at least another 12 years. The tournament will be broadcast in over 110 countries.
- Tournament organisers forecast over 6,000 international visitors will travel to New Zealand for the tournament, and contribute around $4.8 million to the economy.