Christchurch Adventure Park under threat in Port Hills fire, weeks before hosting international event

Christchurch Adventure Park is caught up in the Port Hills fire, a month before it's due to host Crankworx, an international mountain bike event.

The park has now been dealt a triple whammy of blows - the 2017 fire, then COVID-19, and also multi-million-dollar court action from neighbours.

It was an ominous sight amongst the smoke and flames, with Christchurch Adventure Park right in the middle of a firestorm.

It's the sight thousands of locals feared - an out-of-control inferno licking at the park's attractions.

"The fire has breached into the Adventure Park. It's still uncertain how far it has gone down into the park but we are working closely with management in there to ensure that the infrastructure is safe, and at this stage there is no damage to any infrastructure," said Brad Mosby of Fire & Emergency.

They're the developments no one wanted to hear, because on Thursday morning Newshub was told the flames were at bay.

"It's on the boundary of the Adventure Park at the moment, you'd have to speak to FENZ in terms of the impact of that, but at the moment it is contained," said Mark Mitchell, Emergency Management Minister.

But clearly, it wasn't.

Now attention turns to saving the park's facilities.

"We're working with the park management throughout this event, and ensuring that we work together to maintain a good cordon around those infrastructure assets," said Mosby.

It's an insult to injury, after being devastated in 2017.

The park, majority owned by Christchurch City Council's development arm, paid out $14m to homeowners after its running chairlift spread the flames.

Thick smoke blankets the hillsides, with the adventure park's chairlift barely visible.
Thick smoke blankets the hillsides, with the adventure park's chairlift barely visible. Photo credit: Newshub.

Mayor Phil Mauger confirmed those debts have just been paid.

"We've been committed to it this far, from the last fire, we've just got out of our insurance stuff from last time," he said.

"And we'll just have to see what happens going forward, so we'll stand behind it."

Attention will now turn to keeping the facility financially viable after COVID-19, a payout, and now, two large fires.

"We will have to wait and see how far - I'm sure there is some damage, there's damage at the top of the hill - how far down it's gone," Mauger said.

The heat's on to save one of Christchurch's most loved attractions.