Queenstown launches extreme new Catapult attraction

It's 30 years since a couple of Kiwis launched the extreme activity called bungy-jumping, from a bridge near Queenstown.

On Wednesday, one of the pioneers launched a new extreme thrill on the world, from AJ Hackett's base in the Nevis Valley. 

New attraction The Catapult is a unique experience of speed and adrenaline, and it's been under wraps for years. On Wednesday morning thrill-seekers were able to jump in head-first.

"Everything just runs through your body - the adrenaline, the excitement, the nerves, it all comes," says Chantelle Polley, the Australian competition winner.

The human slingshot barely gives you time to scream, with adventurers experiencing three Gs of force in just 1.5 seconds.

Once you're in the harness, there's no turning back, with thrill-seekers thrown out into the Nevis Valley at 10km/h.

The human slingshot barely gives you time to scream, with adventurers experiencing three Gs of force in just 1.5 seconds.
The human slingshot barely gives you time to scream, with adventurers experiencing three Gs of force in just 1.5 seconds. Photo credit: Newshub

The thrill ride sits right beside the Nevis swing and bungy attractions, with all three able to operate simultaneously.

For creator Henry van Asch, it's a refinement of an idea he had three decades ago.

"Queenstown, with bungy starting 30 years ago, was the adventure capital of the world, and it still is that. I think this will help reinforce that."

The tourism project got a $500,000 development boost under John Key's Government.

Local MP Hamish Walker was back on Wednesday to test out the finished product, despite his intense fear of heights.

"That was more than a tourism experience; for me, that's a life experience. I hate heights - number one fear. So anyone that doesn't like heights, you've got to come and experience this. Words can't describe it."

Experienced adrenaline junkies are relishing the new challenge.

"I've been waiting for something like this to come along," says New Zealand competition winner Katie Mitchell. "I've done all the other bungys and skydives and everything, so [it is] just something more adrenaline-rushing."

It's a unique blend of height, flight and speed that's set to keep Queenstown's tourism heart-pumping.

Newshub.

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