The Oamaru zipline attraction is a proposed dual-zipline experience in the town of Oamaru, New Zealand. The lines will span from the quarry cliffs and run across the inner harbour into Oamaru’s Steampunk Park.
This exciting attraction will be a world-class experience that is an ‘NZ must-do’ for locals and visitors far and wide. With an astonishing 900-meter-long dual zipline, guests will get to experience the thrill of the ride side-by-side. Participants will fly high over the Oamaru Harbour and land safely in the iconic harbourside Steampunk playground.
Waitaki District Council originally engaged with Select Contracts to undertake a tourism attraction strategy for the town. It was during this process of considering various opportunities to enhance or develop existing and new tourism assets for the town when the zipline attraction was first considered. Select Contracts is the main development manager and project management company.
A Revised Design
Earlier design concepts for the zipline raised concerns in relation to its location and proximity to existing sensitive natural assets. As a result, in the revised proposal the location of the landing has changed significantly.
While the original concept designs had the zipline landing on the harbour pier, the new design has the landing in the Steampunk playground. The new location ensures coastal life in the harbour are unaffected by the new attraction. Moving the landing point to the park takes the zipline further away from the Otago Shag colony on Sumpter Wharf. As part of our dedication to developing a sustainable attraction, our team has engaged and continues to engage with an ecologist to advise on all ecological aspects of the development.
We have listened to and acknowledged responses to the Oamaru zipline attraction and continue to welcome input. In addition, we have proposed a revised design that will add value to the existing landscape, that will be respectful to natural assets and pay homage to the town’s embraced steampunk style.
Benefits to Oamaru from the Zipline Attraction
- The addition of an exciting, 900-metre dual zipline experience. Each zipline runs parallel to the other, allowing for two people to ride side-by-side simultaneously.
- The creation of new tourism jobs;
- An attraction that will stimulate visitation to the existing park and will boost visitation to adjacent hospitality and retail offerings;
- A year-round operation that will open up opportunities for further complimentary tourism developments in the area;
- An attraction that does not have any negative impact on existing activity within the harbour;
- A steampunk-themed base attraction and ticketing office.
Our Engagement Promise
Our hope is for this attraction to be one that is embraced by the local community and visitors alike, so if you have any feedback or queries about the project please use the contact form at the bottom of this page – we’d love to hear from you!
Your Questions Answered
From June 8th, 2018 – June 25, 2018 Select Contracts conducted an open-ended public survey to better understand how the Oamaru community views this proposed project. Thank you to everyone who took part in the survey! It was fantastic to learn that 66.9 per cent of survey respondents stated that they support the zipline proposal.
Of those who responded to the questions, 79.8 per cent agreed that the project would be new and exciting for both locals and visitors to Oamaru, 74.6 per cent thought it would be good for the local economy and 67.5 per cent thought it would help boost other nearby attractions and hospitality offerings.
Respondents also used the survey to express a range of questions and concerns. We have compiled the most common questions and have provided the answers below for you.
If you have further questions about the project that are not addressed here, please contact us in the form at the bottom of this page. We value your feedback and will do our best to answer your questions.
Your Questions Answered
The proposed launch point will be located on the side of the hill (not the top), recessed back into a small valley area, within short walking distance from the Oamaru lookout car park.
On establishment the launch area will be approximately 20m², which will be planted to mitigate any visual impacts and make the attraction platform disappear into the natural landscape. The launch point can also be accessed from below via the network of existing public walking tracks.
Our team is thoughtfully working on a design that will be an enhancement to the playground. The zipline will require a landing area, of which the exact size has yet to be determined in the final design. It is not yet determined as our team is working on a unique steampunk-themed structure that will fit in with the Steampunk Playground at Friendly Bay. Rest assured, we are conscious of the fact that people want something nice to look at and something that fits in with park. We are suggesting that the base station and ticketing office also be designed in a steampunk theme in order to fit in as well as enhance the usability of the existing space.
The base station will not take anything away from the existing playground in the park, nor will it be of any danger to children playing there. There will be a minimum clearance of three metres from the zipline participants' feet to the ground, imposed by the operation. The activity operators will be active at the base station area and will proactively monitor other park users.
We are committed to working with existing users of this area, including but not limited to, the Oamaru Multisport Club and Oamaru Lions Club, to develop a solution that works for all parties.
Yes. We understand the need to protect the Otago Shag colony on Sumpter Wharf and other wildlife living in the harbour. That is why we have moved the orientation of the zipline from the original proposal, so that it no longer lands on the harbour pier, but instead spans from the quarry cliffs, across the corner of the inner harbour and into Steampunk Playground.
We have engaged an ecologist who has assessed the bird flight patterns in the area and none passed through the proposed zipline area. We will continue to work with the ecologist to ensure that the local flora and fauna are respected and protected should the project proceed.
Due to the low-impact design of ziplines, ecotourism businesses all around the world have chosen ziplines as a means to offer an adventure attraction while respecting the environment. Many of the zipline companies in operation today are renowned for delivering awareness, education and appreciation of the natural environment.
The zipline itself is remarkably quiet. Tests have been done on the noise levels from ziplines, and they generally sit at around 50dBa measured from 50 meters away, the equivalent of the noise you would get from a dishwasher being on in the next room. From further than 50 meters away, the sound level will decrease with the distance. See the loudness comparison chart below:
Chart image source: California Department of Transportation
Some people have expressed concerns that people riding the zipline will cause noise pollution, but that is not our experience in other similar projects we have managed. While it may be natural for some people to shout or cheer as they descend on such a thrilling ride, that type of noise will be no different to the existing sounds of children enjoying the Steampunk Playground in which the zipline base station is located.
There are ziplines in some of the most beautiful and peaceful nature spots in the world, that are examples of how such an attraction can work within and enhance the natural surrounds without spoiling the tranquillity.
Our intention is to protect and enhance the unique historic precinct and harbour area, not to cause any damage to it.
We believe that the unique steampunk heritage is a real asset for Oamaru and we intend designing the zipline in such a way that it fits tastefully within its surrounds, while also helping to draw more attention to this distinctive culture so that more tourists see it as a reason to visit Oamaru. Much the same way as the art deco heritage in Napier is a major tourism drawcard for that region.
There are examples around the world of ziplines in historically or environmentally significant locations. Done well, the zipline can add to the appeal or accessibility of the destination without taking anything away from whatever its primary attraction may be.
Select Contracts has 40 years of experience in developing adventure, entertainment and leisure attractions all over the world. Safety is absolutely at the forefront of every attraction we design, build and operate and we are proud of our impeccable safety record. We work with world-class zipline companies with the highest standards in product development through to installation and operation. As with any project we are involved in, this zipline will be designed and built with the highest safety standards in mind.
While it is too soon to set a ticket price, we plan to offer a special price for locals to make the attraction as accessible for the Oamaru community as possible.
Waitaki District Council has not been asked to contribute any capital funds for the zipline attraction.
The zipline experience would begin at the base station, where people would be fitted with their safety equipment and undergo a briefing. The zip operators would then move people up to the top site, either by way of a walking track, an appropriate 4-wheel drive vehicle (utilising existing 4x4 access roads, if approvals are given) or a combination of both.
There is the possibility for the walk from the base station to the top station to be a scenic ecotour that will take in many interesting talking points along the route, such a the Blue Penguin colony, WWII history at the gun barracks, and geology of the pillow lava and endemic coastal flora unique to the area.
Part of the briefing at the base station will include zipline users removing all loose items and leaving them in a designated area, for safety reasons. This means there will be no chance of zip users carrying rubbish, water bottles etc, with them to the top station.
The lookout itself, while a short walk from the proposed departure point, should be relatively unaffected by the zipline because this is not where people will access the zip from. However, we would consider alongside the Waitaki District Council whether additional rubbish receptacles are required in any areas due to increased foot traffic.
The purpose of the zipline is to showcase the beauty of this area in a new and exciting way. It is therefore paramount to our operation that this area is shown in it’s best light, so our staff would be actively monitoring for litter and ensuring that the areas surrounding both the base and top station are tidy at all times that we are operating.
We are currently seeking public feedback to ascertain whether this is an attraction that would be welcomed and successful in Oamaru.
If the decision is made to proceed, we would then seek expert advice such as engineering reports and ecologist recommendations, and undertake community consultation with those groups who may have an interest in the location and design of the proposed zipline (eg. Existing users of the Steampunk playground and Cape Wanbrow tracks).
The information gathered would be used to proceed to the detailed design phase. At this point, we will be able to present a comprehensive concept to the community, and use that design to apply for resource consent. Our expectation is that this would be a publicly notified consent, which means that people will have the opportunity to have their say to the independent commissioner hearing the application.
Contact the Oamaru Zip Attraction Team
Use the form below to get in touch, we’ll do our best to get a response to you as soon as possible.
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