Hanmer Springs Conical Thrill water slide and pools officially open
There was some very excited squealing at Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa as a class from Leithfield School lined up to take the first plunge down New Zealand's biggest water slide.
Conical Thrill, a 13.5-metre high aquatic thrill ride, and five new thermal pools called The Cascades were officially opened by Hurunui mayor Marie Black on Friday morning.
Thirty-eight pupils from Aniwaniwa class, who are in years 3 and 4, got to ride down the slide first after a winning a competition with their video submission.
Nine-year-old Isaac Pond said it was amazing.
"It was scarier than I expected but lots of fun. You go down the drop and then get a little bit of air. This is the best day off school ever."
The consensus was much the same for Tahlia Bresson, 8.
"It's so much fun. You go down and you think it's scary at first but then you get to the drop and it's really scary."
General manager Graeme Abbot said he was delighted to have the $4.5 million new development open.
"This is the end of more than three years of planning and construction. We're very proud of Conical Thrill and The Cascades and know they'll become popular features."
Abbot said the additions would be a drawcard for the complex, which now had 22 pools and four hydroslides.
"It's amazing to think that all this has grown from a single thermal pool and a tin changing shed."
The Cascades are five pools connected by a series of waterfalls. The pools were designed to be water efficient with no holding tanks, and were built on timber frames, above ground, to protect the giant Redwood tree roots below.
Half of the energy required to run the new pools and slide comes from a heat transfer unit using energy that is a bi-product of the electricity generator.
Previously wasted methane gas from an old gas bore and a thermal deep water bore, discovered during a redevelopment of the complex in 2006, is converted into electricity for the generator.
Source : Stuff.co.nz