Zipping down a 30-story, remedy 45 mile per hour drop from an aerial tree top platform, we were as close to flying as we were going to get.
Jim and I had the opportunity to take a Ziptreck Ecotour while visiting Queenstown on our amazing 19-day, whirlwind tour of New Zealand with Magic Bus. Not only did we have a lot of fun gliding through treetops on a series of six different ziplines through pristine mountain air and ancient native beech forest, but we also learned a whole lot from a company that puts an emphasis on eco-awareness.
Sustainability is #1
Ziptrek Ecotours is a member of the Sustainable Business Network and they meet Qualmark Enviro Award Gold standards, having won the coveted Sustainable Business Award from the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce in November, 2010. In his acceptance speech, Director, Trent Yeo, said it best, “This is a company that lives and breathes sustainability”
We got to experience the company’s motto first hand.
Ziptrek carries out several eco-initiatives and sustainable business measures within the local and greater community.
This is a company that lives and breathes sustainability.
Ziptrek also supports Kiva, a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, allowing individuals to lend as little as $25 to help create economic opportunity for people around the world.
Our Ziptrek guides, Hailey and Tomas, educated us on the local flora, and how Ziptrek uses the surrounding non-native Douglas Furs to attach their platforms to (it doesn’t hurt the trees!). The platforms are made with sustainable and untreated Western Red Cedar, which require less maintenance, and because they are untreated, there is no danger of toxic run-off to the forest floor.
The company operates off the grid, using energy created by the zip lines to power its operations, as well as energy from solar panels to supplement its energy needs.
We also got to hike part of the Tiki Trail, guiding us through native forest on Bob’s Peak. Ziptrek developed and gifted the trail to the community, and because of Ziptrek’s efforts, people can now hike up to the peak with much more ease. Jim and I hiked the entire trail—it was 60 minutes of pure incline, and we got a very good workout out of it. Thanks Ziptrek!
Adventure and Fun
The actual tour included six different lines, ranging from slowest to fastest. After getting a feel for the first line, we were encouraged to go upside-down, backwards, and even with our eyes closed. There is a lot of room for style points! Jim is a speed seeker, and found that if you tuck your knees into a little ball, you gain extra momentum.
The third line was the most picturesque with views of the incredible Remarkables mountain range, Lake Wakatipu, and native forest vegetation.
The last line on the Kea tour went so fast that we were thankful for Ziptrek’s patented braking system, designed specifically with safety in mind.
We arrived at the base of the gondola not only feeling exhilarated, but also with an appreciation for the native land and for Ziptrek’s sustainability efforts.