New Zip Line Attraction is Underway at World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls.
Construction on the Big Island starts this week on Zip Isle, a new zip line adventure ride allowing riders to fly through the rainforest canopy on long cables. The zip line features five zip lines and one suspension bridge, and is being put up on a small portion of the 275 acres at the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls, 16 miles north of Hilo.
“Special anchoring poles just arrived at the Gardens and a special Hawaiian blessing will take place on October 9,” said Ken Francik, chairman of the board for World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls (WBG). “We are very excited to add this eco-adventure to our beautiful other garden attractions,” he added.
Zip Isle zip line is scheduled to open in mid-November, according to Mark Robinson, Marketing Director for WBG. Engineering documents done by Engineering Partners, Inc. of Hilo were completed and building permits secured from the County of Hawaii in July.
Construction of Zip Isle is being handled by the Zip Line/Canopy Tours Division of Experience Based Learning (EBL), Rockford, IL. EBL has been pivotal in the creation of zip line industry standards with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and is the only company in the United States accredited with the Professional Ropes Course Association.
Zip Isle begins with shorter zip line rides of 150 to 450 feet and proceeds through the rainforest canopy to a final zip line over 1,500 feet, according to Robinson. The lines, platforms and suspension bridges linking the zip lines range from ground level to about 100 feet in height.
“Along with safe excitement, our top priority for Zip Isle is to be an environmental leader on the Big Island,” said Dr. Lanny Neel, Garden Director at World Botanical Gardens and Ph.D. of Botany. “Being a botanical garden and repository for endangered plant species, the environment is extremely important to all of us. We carefully chose a zip line construction – attachment method using utility poles to ensure preservation of the forest beauty.”
“Our guests will not only enjoy the adventure ride of a lifetime, they will experience a beautiful environmental classroom with all the magnificent beauty that Hawaii offers,” Dr. Neel added.
The Zip Isle attraction is located at about the 1,300 foot level, at the base of Mauna Kea, and about 1/2 mile from the World Botanical Gardens Visitor Center. The total adventure takes only a little over two hours and includes safety training and special electric transport from the Gardens to the Zip Isle start.
Admission for the Zip Isle ride is $87, with a significant discount for Kama’aina, according to Robinson and Dr. Neel.Additional information and schedules are available at www.ZipIsle.com Reservations are being taken now, and on-line reservation is encouraged. Reservations may also be made through the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls visitor center, at888-ZipIsle (947-4753), or locally (808) 963-5427. A grand opening will take place in November.
Board Chairman Ken Francik emphasized that a complete Hawaiian family experience in one location is enhanced by the Zip Isle attraction. Other attractions at the World Botanical Gardens & Waterfalls include Umauma Falls, acclaimed as Hawaii’s most beautiful waterfall; a maze second in size in Hawaii only to the Dole¨ Maze (the largest maze in the world); over 5,000 species of flowers and plants; a 10-acre arboretum; guided tours and lunch with horticultural expert Dr. Neel; and self-guided tours on easy, level walks through natural rainforest all await the visitor to the World Botanical Gardens &
Waterfalls. Cost for adults for the Gardens/Umauma Falls is $13.00, again with significantly discounted rates for Kama’aina and lower rates for teens and children. Complete information and numerous photos are on-line at www.wbgi.com
Zip Isle and the Gardens are open daily, from 9:00 – 5:30.
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