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In one month, Kaikōura’s newest eco-adventure experience is set to open its doors. The team, who first founded an award-winning zipline and eco-tourism venture on Waiheke Island, are counting down to the mid-November launch of EcoZip Adventures Kaikōura.
Nearly a decade in the making, EcoZip Kaikōura came from the enterprising idea of Managing Director and co-founder Gavin Oliver who believes tourists flocking to Kaikōura for marine tourism, bird watching, mountain biking, hiking, and embracing Aotearoa’s wilderness will enjoy an adrenaline tourism experience through breathtaking landscapes with an eco-conscious ethos.
“Back in 2014, like a movie director, we went scouting for a location for our second zipline,” Gavin says. “The first site we came across was spectacular, but in our commitment to preserving the environment and particularly protecting the endangered sea bird the Kaikōura Tītī, or Hutton's shearwater, we withdrew from the project. Just a few weeks later, Kaikōura was shaken by the devastating earthquake, making any plans infeasible until the town was fully reconnected in 2018.
“It was during this time of rejuvenation that Kaikōura’s former mayor, Winston Gray, approached me and inquired if my interest in establishing EcoZip Adventures in Kaikōura still held. Naturally, I responded “yes,” but we were faced with the challenge of securing a suitable site. Winston, with his trademark twinkle in his eye, said, “Leave that with me.”
EcoZip Adventures Managing Director and co-founder Gavin Oliver and EcoZip’s GM South Island Heidi Gillingham on site at the new Kaikōura build
Enter Rakanui Station, the site introduced to us in 2018. Describing it as “spectacular” is an understatement. This 3,000-acre working hill farm boasts awe-inspiring views in every direction. From the starting point of the first zipline, visitors will be treated to a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of Kaikōura’s South Bay and the Seaward Kaikōura ranges. Yet, it’s not just the natural beauty that makes Kaikōura special. This unique location allows you to go from ankle-deep snow at 11 a.m. to zipping down the mountain ranges in the afternoon followed by indulging in crayfish an hour or two later.
EcoZip Kaikōura’s five side-by-side ziplines span from 250 to 620 meters in length, collectively offering a zipline journey of 2.2 kilometers. Each zipline promises an experience that could grace a postcard or a travel show, with stunning backdrops.
EcoZip Adventures Kaikōura is under construction and will open before Christmas 2023.
“These ziplines amongst native bush offer adrenaline-infused adventure. Oh, and have I already mentioned the views?” Gavin jokes. “The great thing is our ziplines are designed to be accessible to a wide range of people, making it suitable for thrill seekers and families alike. A testament to this inclusivity is a recent visit by four generations of one family on our Waiheke Island zipline where their 88-year-old great-grandmother did a zipline experience and loved it!”
Conservation will sit at the heart of EcoZip Kaikōura with native tree planting and pest eradication programmes set to return the site to its beautiful, untouched state. For more information visit: www.ecozipadventures.co.nz/kaikoura/
The views from EcoZip Adventures Kaikōura are breathtaking