You wish you’d be able to fly with super speed, just like Superman. More than that, you love the thrill of heights and adrenaline rushing through your body. Then, my friend, THIS is definiftely for you! The Nevis Catapult is the biggest human catapult in the world and it will surely offer you an unforgettable flight above the dramatic landscapes of the Nevis Valley.

Where and how to get there?

Nevis Valley is located in New Zealand’s South Island, near Queenstown. It is part of the Remarkables Conservation Area, in the beautiful Otago region. For connoisseurs, yes, it is the place where the world’s first commercial bungee jump was built.

You can get a ride along the narrow gravel track to the location of the catapult on an AJ Hackett bus. There is a bus leaving daily every 40 minutes, starting from 9.20 a.m. to 2.40 p.m, from Queenstown Bungy Centre. However, you should make a reservation at least 30 minutes prior to departure.

How does it actually work?

Unlike a bungee, which involves a freefall and rebound, the catapult pushes you straight forward before the drop and the rebound. You are propelled 150m and you reach 62 miles an hour (100 kph) in only 1.5 sec. Bonus, you are thrown from a Superman position, facing the valley. Don’t worry, you will be strapped with a secure harness to your torso and feet.
 
The whole experience lasts only three or four minutes (depending on velocity), but your senses will be in maximum alert. You’ll have the sensation that it actually takes way longer.

image: James Morgan

Important details

To hop into the world’s biggest human catapult, there are a few conditions that you need to meet. First, you must weigh at least 60 pounds (27 kg) and be at least 13 years old.  You’ll also need to fill out a questionnaire about any eventual medical conditions.
 
And prepare your wallet, it will cost you $255 NZ ($172 USD) to take the leap (bus ride included), or $195 NZ if you are a student.

What else?

Queenstown already gained its reputation among adventure seekers around the world. Other thrilling experiences you could try in the area are bungee jumping, jet boating, canyoning, a wire climb across a waterfall and zipline, to name but a few. Not to mention that the world’s biggest swing (984 ft / 300 m ride) is also found here. 

When you fed your adventurous spirit well enough, go for a peaceful and calming hike in nature. You will be struck by the beauty of The Remarkables mountain chain or the Lake Wakatipu.  In the Nevis Valley, you’ll also be able to see lots of gold mining relics.

Image: Shelly Evans

Final note: The surrounding valley is well known for its select wines, especially Pinot Noir. How else to better finish a full day of adventures other than with a glass of fine wine?