21 Dec 2015

Christchurch Adventure Park a first for southern hemisphere

The park will showcase picturesque bike trails, accessed via a chairlift that, at 1.8 kilometres long and climbing 430 vertical metres, will be the longest in the southern hemisphere. It will also include outdoor rock-climbing and a zip-line, with scope for a Mountain Coaster – a type of gravity-powered rollercoaster that follows the contours of the hills – in a second stage of development.

The Council's $2 million contribution is being matched by NewUrban Group, which is investing in the project through its partnership with Jianping Wang of Beijing-based development and construction company Huadu International Group.

"This idea has been generating excitement from Australia to the USA to China," says Mayor Lianne Dalziel.

"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, and this development will draw a lot of the tourist market who all-too-often skip straight from Auckland to Queenstown for their adventuring," Mayor Dalziel says.

The park will be located on land between Dyers Pass, Worsleys and Summit roads. Leisure development company Select Evolution estimates the park will see year-round tourist activity with an economic benefit to Canterbury of more than $150 million a year.

Spreydon–Heathcote Councillor Tim Scandrett says that although strong support for the project among local Spreydon–Heathcote ward residents became evident during the resource consent process, the park will mean benefits for all of Christchurch, not just the local area.

"The project ticks a lot of the boxes with regards to the Council’s community outcomes – economic, recreational, etc. – and this is a great example of local and central government working together with the private sector to deliver those outcomes,” Cr Scandrett says.

"Christchurch Adventure Park will be the biggest and best of its kind in the southern hemisphere, and will help anchor and re-establish Christchurch as a destination."

Development Christchurch Limited (DCL) will act as an investment partner on behalf of the Council, with $2 million transferred from Christchurch City Holdings Limited (CCHL) to DCL for investment in the project. CCHL's extra $2 million of borrowing will reduce CCHL's dividends only marginally. An additional $2 million will come from the development partnership with NewUrban Group. The park will be developed by Select Evolution.

Mr Jianping Wang says NewUrban Group is delighted to work with the Council to achieve such a positive community outcome.

"We are long-term investors in Christchurch and want to be actively engaged in the fabric of the city's development," he says.

Cr Scandrett says, "This is a very generous matching of the Council's contribution by NewUrban Group that means the park is fully-funded straight out of the gate, and that construction can begin almost immediately in February 2016."

It is hoped for the first stage of the Christchurch Adventure Park to be completed by the end of 2016.