The Nevis Catapult: New Zealand’s human slingshot

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(CNN) — New Zealand, the world’s capital of adventure tourism, just got even more adventurous.

The land of hobbits and skydiving is upping the ante with a human slingshot.

Yep, you read that right. The Nevis Valley on New Zealand’s South Island near Queenstown — home of the world’s first commercial bungee jump — is now home to a new thrill-seeker’s dream called The Nevis Catapult.

If you’re the kind of person who thinks bungee jumping is just not exciting enough, the catapult is the perfect way to get your heart beating in your throat.

Unlike a bungee, which involves a freefall and rebound (basically, you go down and then back up), the catapult pushes you straight out in one direction before dropping you — 492 feet up and out, to be exact.

According to AJ Hackett Bungy, the company who created The Nevis Catapult, the brave people who try it out will reach speeds of nearly 62 miles an hour in just 1.5 seconds in the air. Overall, the catapult experience lasts three or four minutes, depending on velocity.

Travelers who want to partake in the catapult experience will need to get in a AJ Hackett-owned four-wheel-drive vehicle to access the remote region of the Nevis Valley, before strapping in with a harness and helmet and embarking on the thrilling journey.

A few things to keep in mind: In order to participate, you must be at least 13 years old and weigh at least 60 pounds (27 kg). It costs $255 NZ ($172 USD) to take the leap, and you’ll also need to fill out a questionnaire and share any medical conditions in advance.

Although Queenstown has become known as one of the world’s best destinations for adventure travelers, the gorgeous region has plenty more to offer besides skydiving and human catapulting.

The Remarkables mountain chain and Lake Wakatipu are both breathtaking natural features, and the surrounding valley is noted for its wine, especially Pinot Noir.



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