Adrenalin Forest Achieves New Heights in Safety for Adventure Parks
Adrenalin Forest’s adventure parks challenge visitors by providing an aerial experience that’s exciting, adrenalin filled and, at times scary. However, the company’s founder Jean Caillabet says the core of his business isn’t about providing thrills, but focused on keeping visitors and staff safe.
Adrenalin Forest is proud of its safety record; the company won the ACC Safety Award category of the Wellington Gold Awards earlier this year and undergoes regular audits to maintain its OutdoorsMark accreditation.
A year ago, in order to enhance safety, Caillabet adopted an innovative French safety system, Clic-It which removes the possibility of participants being able to unintentionally take both safety devices off the safety cable while they are on the aerial course.
“The safety of our clients and staff is paramount and really the core of our business. Our business is essentially about making safety fun because if we were to slip up, and believe me when you’re 31 metres up a tree it’s going to hurt if you fall, then we wouldn’t have a business,” Jean Caillabet says.
“While it cost $200,000 to adopt across the three parks, it’s been worth it. “The Clic-It safety system has transformed our business: our people are now able to spend more time encouraging, helping and assisting people with the challenges as opposed to ‘supervising’ them, in the knowledge that safety is largely taken care of. This makes for a much more enjoyable and rewarding experience than before for all parties.
Almost 2 years ago a man died in an accident at an Auckland adventure park, which had significant consequences for the adventure park industry and Adrenalin Forest.
After that accident, we experienced a 40% fall in business – no one wanted to come to an adventure park after that and it took the best part of a year to regain our momentum. Last year over 70,000 people visited Adrenalin Forest’s three adventure parks with the Bay of Plenty Park receiving some 20,000 visitors and Christchurch and Wellington 25,000 visitors each.
Caillabet was so impressed with the Clic-It system that in September he became the New Zealand agent for the company. While it is early days, the system has been adopted by YMCA Wellington who use it on their rope course and outdoors programme and Black Water Rafting at Waitomo Caves. Canyon Swing who operate over the Shotover River near Queenstown, are currently trialling the system.
Caillabet says that New Zealand’s adventure parks are committed to best safe practice and he was instrumental in establishing NZAPES (New Zealand Adventure Parks Embrace Safety) which shares safety information and aligns current industry practice with best practices for safety last year.
“There’s no way we’d ever go back to the previous carabiners system, Clic-It has not only improved the safety aspect but the overall experience for our clients is now much better due to this new technology,” Jean Caillabet says.
About Adrenalin Forest
The first Adrenalin Forest adventure park opened in Christchurch in 2006. It was established by Jean Caillabet, a French citizen who emigrated to New Zealand earlier that year. Caillabet, a former mountain guide, rock climbing instructor and kayaking coach, then expanded the concept opening a second park in Wellington in 2010 and a third in Bay of Plenty the following year.
Planning for a fourth park is underway and is expected to open next year.
Each venue provides an aerial obstacle course set amongst trees, with more than 100 challenges across six or seven levels.
Every level is progressively harder, starting at 1.5 metres above the ground and progressing over 30 metres amongst the tree tops at the sixth level. It takes around three hours to complete the entire course.
The courses range from a variety of bridges, wires, swings and flying foxes. Visitors can also hire a GoPro HD camera to record their adventure.
Adrenalin Forest is suitable for active people of all ages (from 1.3 metres in height) and attracts over 70,000 participants a year.
Affordable, fun and challenging, Adrenalin Forest is fast becoming the number one adventure tourism experience in New Zealand.
1 CliC-iT® is a patented safety hooking system which synchronizes the open/locked positions of the two carabiners At least one of the carabiners is always locked which means the accidental release of both carabiners at the same time is impossible*.
09:59AM Tuesday, 06 January, 2015