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Sloggs' Travel Blog A journal of my travels in 2008 & beyond...

Rotorua Skyline Rides

NEW ZEALAND | Saturday, 10 May 2008 | Views [2196]

The SkySwing in Rotorua... 150km/h in 2 seconds, out over the mountain edge... Weeeeee!

The SkySwing in Rotorua... 150km/h in 2 seconds, out over the mountain edge... Weeeeee!

Today I drove across to Rotorua in the pouring rain. It did not stop ALL day and night, so I camped, updated my blog from the week I spent with Ringo and chilled watching the second Lord of the Rings film with a nice drop of local red purchased earlier today.

In the morning I went along to the Zorbing center here in Rotorua as I wanted to do a dry run. I've done Aqua Zorbing in England with Vin before, which was excellent fun, but the dry run looks like more of a ride as you are strapped inside the zorb instead of being loose inside with a load of water for company. Unfotunately they won't run the dry Zorb when the wind is up, so it was a no go today. I watched a few of the wet runs, and was impressed to see that they had cameras inside the zorbs which took pics and even recorded videos of your run if you wanted, a very cool addition to the zorb (but then, they are the Zorbs daddy over here, so it should be the best!).

I went back along the road to another attraction I had singled out for Rotorua, the Skline Skyrides. I paid $50 which got me the Gondola ride (cable car) up Mt Ngongotaha, the SkySwing at the top, and two luge rides down the mountain side. The ride up in the gondola was interesting as the wind was high and the cars swung around quite a lot. At the top I got straight onto the SkySwing ride. I'd done something similar on the end of Blackpool pier on a rugby tour once before, with Vin and Neil Thresher, but this one was a bigger metal cage, with seats which you were strapped into (and so tipped facing the floor on the way up). Basically it is a swing between two large posts, with a third post behind it which you get hauled up to on a wire, and when it clunks into position at the top, you have to pull a cord to release the swing into its drop! This one went out over the mountain side, and accelerated up to 150km/h in 2 seconds according to the signs... all I know was it was good fun for a few seconds, and then just a bloody good view of the lake and city for a minute or so after the first rush, lol! They record a video of you which was quite funny to watch, I was surprisingly relaxed throughout. After this I went to go on the luge, where they have 3 concrete tracks down the mountain side, which you zoom down on a wheeled 'luge' which you can steer and control speed (unless your legs are as long as mine which stop you from actually stopping!!). This was a riot of fun, and I ended up buying 3 more goes. The 'advanced' track was fucking nuts, with a few sections (if you get the line and approach right) where the luge is full on in the air going down parts of it... brill! This is about as close to racing as I've come on this trip so far, so took full advantage of it. There was a open chair lift back up to the top, which was bloody cold as it took 8 minutes to get there whilst dangling you over the mountain all the way back up... brrr.

After this I went to visit a place called Rainbow Springs, which is touted as a nature park. It was a waste of money really, as there was nothing there that I wouldn't later see for free.
#Next I went to Te Puia, which is a Thermal park with Geysers and mudpools and also a 'cultural show'. The show was ok, but I think it is a little 'commercial'. They sung traditional songs and performed some dance, which included the Haka. After this there was a guided tour, but I couldn't be bothered hanging around with the Japanese ensemble and so went off with my map to look around myself... It was an interesting place, with one large geyser spouting hot water and steam over the area and plenty of smelly mud pools and hot pools to see. Most interestingly there was what looked like a giant poo from the carpark in the hills beyond, but the area was closed for maintenance, so I couldn't verify this in person... but whatever laid that bad boy, must be fooking huge!! King Kong might be real after all?? This was a nice walk here at least and a good chance to stretch the legs, and the cooking pool was very impressive and I might not see anything like that again my tour.

Once back at camp I heated a heart soup and settled in with the heater on to watch the third Lord of the Rings film...

My pics are over on facebook for you to check out...

Tags: adrenaline, mountains, the great outdoors

 

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Me with the kids at Cawaro Village School during the Vitika Trek

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