Super-fast zip-line on Bluff Hill proposed

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2014
gavin martin
JOHN HAWKINS/ Fairfax NZ

ZIP-LINE AMBITION: Gavin Martin wants to run a 1300 metre long zipline Flying Fox down the north side of Bluff Hill.

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Gavin Martin has an ambitious plan that will have you flying down Bluff Hill at speeds of up to 160kmh.

Martin has been planning to build a zip-line down the hill for the past four years. It would start at the top of the hill on Department of Conservation land and cascade down to Invercargill City Council reserve land near Lagan St.

Martin told the Bluff Community Board members this week that he wanted their support for the project and believed it could boost tourism in the area.

The adrenalin pursuit would be 1300 metres long and the riders would travel to speeds up to 160kmh (100mph), taking less than a minute to reach the bottom of the hill.

"It would be a unique experience not only because it had sea views but also because it is new Zealand's southernmost zip-line."

Martin told the board he would design and build the zip-line himself, despite not being a registered engineer. He said he would get his work peer-reviewed and checked by the council.

The businessman had experience in the tourism sector, having constructed the Buller Swing Bridge, he said.

He received a positive reception from first-term board member Patricia Young who said it would be great for Bluff. "Had I been younger, I would have one of the first ones to line up."

But it seems she may have competition for that spot: fellow member Graham Laidlaw nominated board chairman Raymond Fife to be the first up if the project eventuated.

Fife said the board would support the project and send the proposal to the council for consideration.

Anything that attracted people to Bluff was a positive for the town and needed to be supported, he said.

Speaking before the meeting, Martin said he hoped to have the project built and finished by next year.

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- The Southland Times

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