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In the flying fox
In the flying fox

Nelson Skywire

Thursday, April 21, 2005

New Zealand's Nelson region is surrounded by mountain ranges, giving it a Mediterranean climate. It enjoys year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, parks, wineries, breweries and a good sized community of working artists. It has an abundance of locally grown produce, fresh seafood, historical streetscapes and waterfront restaurants, all enjoyed by locals who love their relaxed lifestyle.

If you are looking for something not quite so relaxed, Happy Valley Adventures is just the place for you.

Jill Peterson and Keith Anderson have all sorts of activities — eight-wheel drive amphibious Argos, bush walks and animal feeding. Their place is 650 hectares of rural land, including 405 hectares of native forest valley. Experts say it has the most extensive collection of ferns in the region and a surprisingly diverse range of plants and trees.

Tui and bellbird songs accompany you in the forest, and from the Delaware Bay lookout you can see Mount Taranaki in the north island, Farewell Spit beyond the Abel Tasman National Park and the Mount Arthur ranges.

Jill and Keith are particularly proud of their 40 metre 'old girl' — 2000 years old, it is one of the largest Matai trees ever recorded.

Not everything, though, is gentle and serene at the property! A new adventure has been added — The Skywire: the world's longest flying fox.

It travels up to 100kph carrying up to four people at a time. The wire is 1.65km across and is suspended over beautiful, native forest. It is controlled by state-of-the-art computer and electronic equipment.

Views of mountain ranges, rural scenes and 1000 shades of green native forest are the rewards you receive for your ride in the Skywire.

One minute you are suspended 150 metres above the forest and then you drop so your feet almost touch the tree ferns. A fast gravity fall at almost 100kph is followed by soaring, as silently as a bird, to the south tower before returning backwards.

Once you've recovered, their Tree Tops Café is a good place to enjoy a coffee, meal and the view.

Location

The tip of New Zealand's south island

Cost

Happy Valley Adventures operate every day except December 25. Safari ride and Skywire adventure costs around $80 for adults and $50 for children

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

More information

Happy Valley Adventures
194 Cable Bay Road
Nelson, New Zealand
Ph: 64 3 545 0304
Fax: 64 3 545 0347
Adventure@HappyValleyAdventures.co.nz

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