Christchurch Adventure Park progressing

Construction is progressing well on the new Christchurch Adventure Park, which is expected to bring international attention as well as numerous social and economic benefits to
the Canterbury region.

When she turned the first sod, to mark the start of construction at the park back in March Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel said the park would attract young people to the area, increase visitor nights, and create an “amazing” destination for tourists and New
Zealanders alike.

“The concept of a beautiful bike park just 17 minutes’ cycle from the Central City is the sort that inspires plenty of international visitors and thrill-seekers. This development will draw a lot of the tourist market who all-too-often skip straight from Auckland to Queenstown for their adventuring.”

The unique and innovative public-private funded initiative sits on 358 hectares of forested land known as the Cashmere Forest.

Once complete the Christchurch Adventure Park will include the largest mountain bike park in the Southern Hemisphere, and will be the world’s first bike park to operate 365 days a year.

Stage One of the development will house multiple internationally designed mountain bike routes to cater for beginners to the advanced, 2km of zip lines through the forest, sightseeing, rock climbing, a café bar seating up to 130 people as well as a four-seater high speed chair lift that will be able to transport hundreds of adventure seekers per hour and their bikes, to the top of the mountain.

An access road into the park has been levelled and the village site has been cleared, with construction about to get underway on the café, ticketing office, bike warehouse, bike wash and hire facilities.

Work has also begun on the foundations for the chairlift towers, which are currently being manufactured in Austria. Local company Doppelmayr NZ has already presented a prototype of the chairs for the chairlift to the project team.

The first tower is expected to go up on schedule, in September.

Fiona Sutton, chair of the project's 'masterminds' Select Evolution, talks over the exciting project with Prime Minister John Key.

Fiona Sutton, chair of the project’s ‘masterminds’ Select Evolution, talks over the exciting project with Prime Minister John Key.

Diggers are also onsite developing the park’s extensive high-speed mountain bike trails, which have been created by an international design team.

Canadian firm Select Evolution is the mastermind behind the project, which was first mooted well before the Christchurch earthquakes.

“It has taken us a lot longer than we anticipated to get to this point. But we are here now and it is great seeing the park start to take shape,” says Fiona Sutton, Select Evolution Chair.

She has high praise for the local team involved with the project, such as AW Architects, Amalgamated Builders Ltd (ABL), structural engineers Structex, geotechnical engineers Engeo, civil contractors HEB, services consultant TM Consultants, plus a host of other contractors who are engaged in the park’s development.

The initiative has had financial support from the Government, Christchurch City Council, and a group of private New Zealand and international investors.

“We have also worked closely with the newly formed Development Christchurch Ltd, which on behalf of Christchurch City Council has played a crucial role in completing detailed financial due diligence and commercial aspects of the project,” says Fiona Sutton.

The project team has also worked closely with the local community, including park rangers, residential associations and the NZ Fire Service.

“We have been able to reassure people that the project is about enhancing the natural environment, not chopping a lot of trees down and spoiling it. We are incredibly focused on maintaining the natural beauty of the forest, and building facilities that are sympathetic to it.”

Crusaders coach and mountain bike enthusiast Todd Blackadder is already a staunch advocate of the project.

“Getting out in the great outdoors is what we kiwi’s do. The Park is going to be an amazing place that will cater for families, recreational riders right through to the serious mountain biker. It’s going to be a destination that will enable locals and tourists alike to play all day. And it’s all right here on our back doorstep.”

The first stage of Christchurch Adventure Park is expected to open on December 16.

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