World first adventure innovations

World first adventure innovations


Rotorua is a place of adventurers so, naturally, there’s a raft of clever innovators here too. Rotorua has the most world first adventures of any city in New Zealand!
 

  1. Keen to go ball rolling? Welcome to the home of OGO
Downhill ball rolling in a giant inflatable sphere can be experienced all over the world thanks to two Kiwi blokes who invented the craze in 1994. The original idea for the invention came from wanting to walk on water. The double skinned inflatable sphere was created with no previous experience or knowledge using plastic and glue, starting from scratch to continually improve the ball. However, the problem was the finished sphere couldn’t be controlled on water, so the inventors started rolling people down hills instead. The balls are manufactured and operated by Andrew Akers and his brother David in Rotorua and are exported around the world. OGO is the world’s largest downhill ball rolling park and  overlooks Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island.
 

Shweeb – race in suspended pedal powered pods
Invented by cyclist Geoff Barnett, this world exclusive experience involves suspended pedal powered pods which travel up to 50km/h for three laps around 600m of track at Velocity Valley. Who is the fastest? The race is on. The Shweeb was selected by Google as the most innovative future eco-friendly form of public transportation (in 2010).
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  2. The world famous luge
The world famous Luge was invented in Rotorua by original Skyline owner Hylton Hensman and opened in 1985. Part go-cart, part toboggan, the three wheeled Luge carts are gravity fuelled. The rider has full control over speed and direction using a unique braking and steering system. Pulling back on the bars to stop and pushing forward to go, Luge riders enjoy the adventure though beautiful forest on one of three exciting trails. Skyline Rotorua continues to lead the Luge technology now with all components designed and manufactured in Rotorua and then shipped around the world to Skyline properties. The Luge is also in Queenstown, New Zealand; Mount Tremblant and Calgary, Canada; and Sentosa, Singapore.
 
  1. Railcruising revitalises the railway
A world first, the RailCruiser is a self-drive, four seat railway vehicle invented by Neil and Jane Oppatt. The 19km return Railcruising excursion operates between Mamaku and Tarukenga Railway Stations, transforming the once mothballed Rotorua railway into a functioning tourist railway. It carries with it the heritage of past generations who built and lived their lives on the commerce of the railway: tourist operators, loggers, haulers, millers and foresters of all sorts.  The railway was the heart of a native forestry mecca that thrived in Mamaku for many years from the turn of the century until the 1970s.
 
Adventure experiences you can’t do anywhere else:
  1. Ziplining through native forest
Rotorua is the only place where you can experience ziplining through ancient native New Zealand forest. The Rotorua Canopy Tours award-winning zipline adventure has been recognised for its forest restoration story with a portion of each ticket invested in conservation. Kiwi guides lead small groups of 10 on a personal and unforgettable adventure including 1200m of ziplines, swing bridges and a cliff walk. Get below the surface, above the trees, learn about the past and become part of the future.
 
  1. Tackling the highest commercially raftable waterfall in the world
Rotorua’s the best place for a white water rafting adventure – float down river between native bush clad canyons and paddle over 14 rapids and three waterfalls on the Kaituna River. The biggest thrill is rafting the world-renowned seven metre Tutea Falls - the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. See the options of companies to raft with here.