Hopes high for flying fox in canyon

JOHN EDENS IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 22/11/2012

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The company behind one of Queenstown's highest thrill rides wants to add a flying fox to the business.

Not Your Average Backyard Variety Swing, run by Chris Duffy and Hamish Emerson, has applied to establish a flying fox across Shotover Canyon beside the company's existing 109-metre high Shotover Canyon Swing business.

Those behind the canyon swing plan to use Kiwi ingenuity, designing and building the flying fox themselves, provided consent is granted for land use in the Morning Star Recreational Reserve.

Shotover Canyon Swing general manager Matt Hollyer said the firm was keen to get going and build the ride, which would span a couple of hundred metres across the gorge. It would be a bit higher than the existing swing, he said.

"We're going to build it and test it ourselves. We'll see how it goes. We think it's going to be pretty good," he said.

The swing was opened in 2002 after Mr Emerson and climbing buddy Chris Russell had spent years climbing around the Wakatipu Basin building do-it-yourself rope swings.

The firm designed and engineered the purpose-built rope swing from scratch, and building the launch platform and installing the infrastructure was a three-year job.

Parts - more than 1.5 tonnes of concrete and 1.2 tonnes of wire cable - were wheel-barrowed and carried to the jump site.

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