Thrillseekers with a head for heights will be waiting with baited breath for the opening of Ireland's longest over-water zipline next month.
The latest addition to the adventure land that is the Castlecomer Discovery Park is 300 metres long and is 35 metres over ground at its highest point. It will officially open in late April.
Two new high-ropes courses, the Octagonal High Ropes Challenge, will also be unveiled. Based on a unique octagonal frame, it presents obstacles in the form of poles, platforms, ropes, nets, bridges and walkways and games include ‘parrot trunk’ and ‘trapezium’.
The new attractions will see the creation of 15 new positions at the Discovery Park. The core team will increase from four full time employees to five, while a total of 33 seasonal staff will now be employed this season.
“This is a very exciting time for us,” said Liz Nolan, manager of Castlecomer Discovery Park.
“The Zip Line and Octagonal High-Ropes challenges have been in development for three years now and to see these ideas become a reality has been fantastic. Besides the spectacular views at the top of the Zip Line, at 300 metres long the experience is exhilarating and one we can’t wait to share with our visitors.”
Capital funding for the new activities was sourced from the Dormant Accounts Fund under the Social Enterprise Pillar, the Rural Economic Development Zone, Kilkenny County Council and the park’s own funds.
The Zip Line platforms and Octagonal High-Ropes Challenge have been built by world renowned high ropes and adventure park experts, Skywalker Adventure Builders, from Holland. They are constructed in Douglas Fir wood, chosen for its strength, resilience and sympathetic blending into the surrounding woodlands.
Since its opening, the Discovery Park has gone from strength to strength. Last year, a record 117,000 visitors came to the park – a number expected to increase by 20% this year with the introduction of the new attractions.
Both will be open to people over 12 years of age, and the Discovery Park is now taking bookings.