Queenstown – offering an adrenaline fix for all abilities
Queenstown is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and adrenaline-pumping activities, and it’s also taken a giant leap towards inclusivity in all abilities, adventure tourism. At iFLY (and for many local tourism operators), we’ve taken strides to offer exciting opportunities to visitors who face physical or mental challenges in their everyday lives. By offering adaptive and accommodating experiences, we’re removing barriers and welcoming everybody to feel the magic of Queenstown.
From skiing to bungy jumping and indoor skydiving, together we’re reshaping the inclusive tourism landscape and redefining the meaning of #nolimits.
In Aotearoa, the Making Trax Foundation is a true pioneer of inclusive tourism. The not-for-profit organisation was founded in 2012 with the goal of connecting travellers with disabilities with memorable holiday experiences.
The foundation collaborates closely with local communities, tourism operators, and disability organisations to identify and address accessibility challenges in our activities and destinations.
Here at iFLY we are proud to be a Making Trax partner – and working with their team has allowed us to turn anyone into a superhero in our wind tunnel, regardless of age or abilities. Take Jack, our All Abilities Ambassador, for example. Jack broke his back in a snowboarding accident in 2017 and came to us in 2021 through Making Trax. His love for adventure, despite all the odds, was evident from day one. Together, we thought outside the box, innovated, and pulled out all the stops to help Jack take flight, despite his spinal cord injury.
Jack never ceases to impress us with his can-do, make-it-happen attitude. His pro-flying tunnel skills are simply incredible – and now, he’s now well on his way to earning his AFF Skydiving License.
Two years on, and we are as committed as ever to providing an awesome experience for every person that comes through our doors. We’re stoked that adventure tourism is pivoting towards greater inclusivity – here’s a few other activities that have embraced the movement:
Shotover Canyon Swing have also partnered up with Making Trax. Not only is their site wheelchair-accessible, but their staff are trained on ensuring that visitors with access needs have the best experience taking part in the world’s highest cliff jump.
Up the road from iFLY Queenstown, Skyline Gondola and Luge have considered accessibility throughout their experience. Guests of all abilities can enjoy the stunning Queenstown views as they travel up the mountain on the Gondola, and the team will everything possible to help visitors enjoy the thrill of luging down the hill too. The new 10-seat Gondolas are fully wheelchair-accessible, with level-loading so you can roll straight into the cabin, and the speeds are slowed down to make the process smooth and hassle-free.
It wouldn’t be a Queenstown Winter without hitting the slopes. Three skifields offer an adaptive snow sports program – Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Cardrona. With specialised equipment like sit-skis, outriggers and modified snowboards; snow lovers with a physical, cognitive, or sensory disabilities can easily access the snow. Take some lessons with a specially-trained instructor, and meet a group of local volunteers known as Snow Buddies, who are dedicated to enhancing your adaptive ski experience.
If you’re planning your planning your trip to Queenstown in Winter, time your visit with the Adaptive Snow Sports Festival, held every year in early August. The festival is designed for newcomers to try adaptive snow sports in a safe and supportive environment, and for the experienced to ride alongside Paralympic athletes.
Queenstown has emerged as a hub of inclusive tourism, breaking down walls to offer unforgettable holidays to individuals of all abilities. Through thoughtful initiatives and a dedication to accessibility, New Zealand’s adrenaline capital has proven that adventure knows no bounds.
From bespoke equipment to trained guides, Queenstown’s commitment to inclusivity is empowering individuals to immerse themselves in thrills without compromise. Read more about Queenstown’s inclusive activities, then come along and experience your very own superhero moment at iFLY.