Fire-ravaged Christchurch Adventure Park 'not going to be a quick fix' (Video)
Christchurch Adventure Park's 18 trails now wind through a black forest, interspersed by newly-cleared fire breaks.
A first look at the multimillion-dollar facility since it was ravaged by February's Port Hills fire shows many of the pine trees are blackened sticks, some shrivelled with orange-brown needles.
The forest gives off a sweet, earthy smell of burnt pine, and in the fields green blades of fresh grass make a contrast against the black ground they grew out of.
Burnt logs rest precariously on the hill above the base of the chairlift, causing a hazard for anyone trying to access the building.
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Communication manager Anne Newman concedes it's "not going to be a quick fix".
Adventure park staff were allowed in to certain areas last Friday, under strict safety conditions.
They cannot go in the forests, or anywhere near a hill where rocks or trees might fall.
Cars have to be parked facing down the road out of the park, in case a quick exit is required.
"There's significant damage in the park, and in fact it's actually a lot worse than we originally thought," Newman said.
There was no way to know yet how extensive the damage was to the chairlift, ziplines, and the mountain bike trails themselves, she said.
The coming weeks would be about making the park safe so staff and insurance companies could access and inspect the infrastructure.
"We know that there is significant damage to the chair," Newman said.
The company expects to have to replace the 36-tonne haul rope, which has to be shipped in from Austria.
It will likely have to replace two of the ziplines that hung over some of the fire's most intense spots.
"We're not going to take shortcuts just to get the park open."
Newman said there is no estimated date for reopening the park.
Christchurch Adventure Park is in discussions about removing rockfall hazards, but dangerous trees will most likely be removed by the landowner's insurance company.
Newman said it took eight months to build the park the first time, and this time they were not starting from scratch.
Once the company knew how long the park would be closed for, it would "come up with some options" for the 1500 season pass-holders.
The company laid off 30 staff after the fire, many of whom were on fixed-term seasonal contracts.
Newman said the company tried to keep as many staff as possible because they would be needed to help reopen the park.