Our Story

Ziptrek Ecotours engages the young and young at heart through a unique and fun zipline experience in Queenstown. 

Ziptrek is a must-do, multi award-winning adventure ecotourism business renowned for delivering awareness and appreciation of the natural environment along with a good dose of  ziplining adventure.

 

Ziptrek was founded in 2001 in Whistler, Canada by Charles Steele and David Udow. Our goal was to provide a unique experience combining nature-based learning with a rush of adrenaline. In December 2009 Trent Yeo, a former Ziptrek Whistler employee committed to a partnership to open the first global Ziptrek operation in Queenstown, New Zealand. His background in sustainable architecture with outdoor education was a perfect fit for the business. Due to our success and growth we appointed Stu Cordelle 15 months later as General Manager to assist with the day to day running of the operation. 

 

When our business was first established on Bobs Peak, we launched the Moa 4 line Tour. This tour incorporated four ziplines through the forest canopy connecting aerial treetop platforms (treehouses) that descended one third of the way down the mountain. In November 2010, we launched the Kea 6 line Tour which saw guests travelling all the way to the bottom of the mountain, including a beautiful walk through native beech forest. This tour now claims the world's steepest tree to tree zipline ride! 


Our eco-credentials are rapidly developing momentum and within 18 months of opening we won the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Business Award and received the Qualmark Enviro Gold award.  Then came the Fairfax Media Sustainable 60 Award for Marketplace and in November 2012 the Chamber of Commerce Award for best Tourism, Activities or Events as well as the Best Outdoor Adventure Tourism award at the 2013 Outdoors New Zealand award ceremony in Rotorua.  Most recently we won the  Environmental Tourism Award at last years Tourism Industry Award ceremony.  Ziptrek also works closely with the local community and are a patron of the Queenstown Trails Trust, Sponsor of the Tuatara enclosure at Kiwi Birdlife Park and, in the past, were in  partnership with the Queenstown Lakes Biodiesel Consortium and worked with Otago Polytechnic on their Sustainable 360 business program.

 

Since launching, Ziptrek Ecotours has caught the attention of global television and print media putting them in front of millions of people across countries such as Australia, UK, Germany, Brazil, China, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.  

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How we built it

 

It took approximately 4 months to build the Ziptrek course.  All the timber used in the construction is locally sourced Macrocarpa, which is naturally durable and was all zipped into place by hand.  The supporting beams of the 12 Treehouses on the course are the trunks of invasive wilding pine that was already on the course.   With the Douglas Firs in New Zealand growing at 3 times the pace of their equivalent in North America, they clearly love our climate.

 

Ziptrek requires limited power on course for our safety gates, our Eftpos facility and our in-house photo system and this is all provided year round by fitted solar panels.  Whilst most of our guests choose to either walk or use the pre-existing transportation hub of the gondola to access our tour area we do have one vehicle we use on course to transport our staff and equipment, this is fuelled by Biodiesel and allows for us to be as eco-friendly as possible.    

 

In addition to being environmentally conscious in our chosen materials on course, we also have a few programs in place to ensure we are being environmentally conscious at all times.  These include the eradication of wilding pines on the course and around Bob's Peak, a native tree and shrub planting program and stoat and possum traps around the course to name a few.

 

Lastly our purchasing decisions are also centred around being environmentally aware by ensuring our staff uniform and merchandise we sell in our shop is organic cotton or NZ made where possible and all marketing material and collateral is printed on recycled paper using vegetable based inks.

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Whilst on Tour

 

Ziptrek delivers an eco-adventure that combines a personal guided zipline journey offering sustainable education in a receptive and engaging environment creating lasting memories. 

 

This represents our approach to our operation, it shows that we are educating our guests in environmental matters as well as giving them a great experience. These elements go hand in hand and support each other; the engaging environment of the ziplines within the forest support the idea of sustainability and create an environment where guests want to support sustainable thinking to ensure these environments are protected and sustained.

 

Ziptrek Ecotours model was based on a fundamental education theory. We teach a systems thinking model of sustainability based on peer reviewed science called ‘The Natural Step’.  Whilst our guests are challenging themselves and enjoying the spectacular view of the Lake Wakatipu whilst zipping through the trees, we think there is opportunity to learn and be inspired by the natural systems exemplified around them.

 

Through a considered delivery, we have interpretation boards and guides that support a story of place that brings meaning to the world around them. We show what happens in nature (natural system), what Ziptrek do within this context and what we can all do towards within a condition.

 

In fact we encourage you to see what is said about us, our interpretative story and our levels of service through the social site Tripadvisor

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© 2017 Ziptrek Ecotours Ltd | Made by Fluid