What is a Zipline?
A typical zipline involves a cable which spans between two points of different heights. A person wearing a harness is then attached to the cable by means of a lanyard (connector) and trolley (roller on the cable) which allows them to traverse the span from high to low using only gravity to propel them.
Why a zipline?
The next generation of travellers want, immersive ecotourism experiences that enhance their understanding and appreciation of the places they visit.
In the words of the Lord Mayor, Graham Quirk: “A world-class ecotourism zipline experience will help to solidify Brisbane’s global reputation as Australia’s New World City.”
In this context, during 2017, Zipline Australia successfully participated in a 3 stage tender process run by the Brisbane City Council for a private company to design, build, own and operate a world-class, environmentally sensitive, ecotourism zipline experience at Mt Coot-tha.
Zipline Australia has designed three nationally iconic activities:
A Scenic Zipline, with six lines spanning over 1.4km, which will be established beside the Lookout. In a single continuous run, the longest in Australia, the Scenic Zipline will traverse down to the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens and the experience will be worthy of national iconic status. The Scenic Zipline provides participants with a view of the exciting New World city of Brisbane, Moreton Bay and the Scenic Rim. The start platform will include an elevated viewing area that is free to the public to access and which will provide a new stunning panorama for all to enjoy.
A Treetop Canopy Tour which will be the longest in Australia (and among the longest in the world) with a total tour length of approximately 1.5km. The Treetop Canopy tour uses zipline technology that permits guests to experience the exhilaration of traversing through the forest canopy. As guests pause on tree-attached platforms (called CloudStations), guides will share stories of life in the Mt Coot-tha Forest including our unique Australian Bush flora and fauna.
A Skywalk Tour which will be a great cultural addition to Brisbane, delivering an Indigenous cultural heritage experience. It will include approximately 320m of boardwalks and a suspended pedestrian bridge. At 349m long and 53m above Slaughter Falls, the suspended pedestrian bridge will be the longest in the Southern Hemisphere. It will provide a key platform during the Skywalk Tour, allowing Indigenous guides to share stories of dreamtime paths, hunting activities and meeting points from an exhilarating perspective.
Will there be disabled access?
The Scenic Zipline has been designed to have the greatest possible spectrum of disabled access. Specifically, this means a disabled person or wheelchair bound person is able to utilise a chair harness and experience the full thrill and safety benefits of the Scenic Zipline including continuous belay functionality.
The Treetop Canopy and Skywalk tours will provide more limited disability access which will be supported on a case-by-case basis with appropriate notification.
What will a ticket cost?
Zipline Australia is yet to announce final ticket pricing. However we can confirm that there will be a wide ticket choice available.
The new viewing platform adjacent to the Lookout will be a free experience and at almost 20m above the ground will offer a great new perspective to enjoy panoramic views across Brisbane.
The Skywalk (cultural heritage walk including 349m Tibetan-style suspension bridge) will offer excellent value for individuals and families.
The Treetop Canopy Tour and Scenic Zipline fares will compare favourably with similar quality zipline attractions in Australia and overseas.
Discount pricing for groups, families and repeat local visitors has been built into our operating model.
Where will the Zipline operations be run from?
The orientation point for all three tours will be a purpose built Zipline Arrival Centre located at the former Legacy Way car park. The Zipline Arrival Centre will allow visitors to park, purchase tickets, sign waivers, and utilise lockers and toilets.
Guests on the Skywalk will depart from, and return to, the Arrival Centre on boardwalks to enjoy the cultural heritage and suspension bridge experiences.
Guests on the Scenic Zipline tour will receive safety briefings and harnessing at the Arrival Centre and wait in dedicated departure areas before a shuttle bus service takes them to the start point adjacent to the Summit Lookout. After traversing 1.4km to the Botanic Gardens, the shuttle bus service will return Scenic Zipline guests back to the Arrival Centre.
Guests on the Treetop Canopy tour will receive safety briefings and harnessing at the Arrival Centre and wait in dedicated departure areas before a shuttle bus service takes them to the start point on Sir Samuel Griffith Drive (approximately 500m further around from the Summit Lookout). The Treetop Canopy tour traverses through the Mt Coot-tha Forest before finishing back at the Arrival Centre.
Upon returning back to the Zipline Arrival Centre, guests will be able to purchase tour photos and merchandise, enjoy drinks and food, collect belongings and then walk away, drive away or take the Zipline Australia shuttle bus service to a nominated stop in the Mt. Coot-tha precinct.
How fast will the ziplines be?
Our ziplines will operates at a maximum speed of 50 to 60km/h through the use of speed regulating trolleys.
How long will the tours take?
The Treetop Canopy tour will take around 90 minutes, with around 60 minutes on tour at height.
The Skywalk experience is a self-paced tour which is expected to take 45 to 60 minutes allowing guests to enjoy views and interpretation delivered by Indigenous guides.
The Scenic Zipline will take approximately 45 minutes, with around 4 to 5 minutes on tour.
What will the operating hours be?
The operating hours are expected to be:
Mount Coot-tha Scenic Zipline: 7am – 10pm
Skywalk Suspension Bridge: 7am – 10pm
Treetop Canopy Tour: 7am – sunset
Arrival Centre: 6:30am – 10:30pm
These hours of operation have been informed by the Ecological and Acoustic Assessments and have been determined to minimise impact on nearby residents and sensitive fauna environments.
How has the environment been considered during design?
A key principle of the zipline project is to minimise impact on the environment while being an appropriate 'fit' for Mt Coot-tha. The three tours will increase awareness of the environmental, indigenous and cultural values of the precinct through sensitive, informed guided experiences.
A flight corridor will be established around the zipline cable spans of the Scenic and Treetop Canopy tours. The flight corridor will maintain at least 2m lateral clearance either side of guests, and 3m vertical clearance beneath guests to ensure guest safety and clearance from tree branches.
A similar clearance around the Skywalk suspension bridge will also be maintained.
While some trees and shrubs have been identified that will need to be removed or trimmed to facilitate the project, a program of planting native vegetation will occur to ensure a net gain in vegetation as well as programs to increase productive habitat for fauna.
The social and environmental conditions impressed upon the project by Zipline Australia, public expectation, Ecologists, engaged consultants, and Brisbane City Council require that wide swathes of vegetation do not get cleared.
What are the benefits of the project?
The project will deliver a wide range of environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits to the Mt Coot-tha precinct and more broadly for the city of Brisbane and SEQ region. Some of the project benefits are:
Increase the awareness of the environmental and cultural values of the precinct through sensitive, informed guided experiences.
Provide new viewing opportunities and public space improvements.
Provide more than $232 million worth of economic benefits to South East Queensland over 30 years, by encouraging international and domestic tourism, and contributing to the range of local recreation experiences.
Provide opportunities to reinvest in precinct-wide improvements and programs.
Provide local employment opportunities with 112 new full-time- equivalent jobs in South East Queensland and an Indigenous partner plan.
Provide safety and accessibility improvements across the mountain.
Integrate existing activities across the precinct.
How will traffic be managed?
The Zipline Arrival Centre will include 102 off-street car parks and 33 on- street car parks for zipline customers. Customers will park here to access the experiences.
Zipline Australia will run a shuttle bus service that will reduce traffic on the mountain.
The routes and frequency are still to be determined, however the shuttle bus is anticipated to service stops every 15-20 minutes in peak times.
Why is the Scenic Zipline landing in Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot- tha?
This was chosen for a number of reasons, including increasing visitation to a lesser-known area of the Gardens, as well as design, land and environmental considerations. This included choosing an alignment with minimal impacts to flora and fauna, as well as considering existing facilities such as car parks and roads for access.
The zipline aligns with the Mt Coot-tha Master Plan by:
supporting an outdoor activity node – event and tourism space
generating greater education and visitation in this area and showcasing the native flora
creating experiences for which visitors will return
improving accessibility and way finding
promoting wider precinct connections from the Gardens to other Mt Coot-tha destinations such as the Lookout and picnic areas.