22nd nov – 11th dec 08
AUCKLAND – ROTORUA – TAUPO – ROTORUA - AUCKLAND
I should continue writing on the things I did in New Zealand from my last visit last November.
For transportation, the cheapest at that time for 5 of us was to rent a car at Hertz, go online to see cheap bargains and be careful of the hidden cost you have to know that as well.
We Pre booked our accommodation online at ‘x base’ Rotorua for NZ26pp a night. The rooms were great since they just made a major renovation so everything there is somewhat new. We checked in a room with 3 double Decker beds complete with a toilet and a shower in the room.
Enough cooking utensils in the kitchen, fridge and oven is provided. Of course you have to clean your own plates and cooking pots after you have used it with the provided liquid detergent.
Below is our tasty backpacker meal made in this spacious kitchen
Once in Rotorua our first stop was the I-center (Information Centre), The Information center provides adventure packages that you could purchase and we bought all our activity packages from there.
1) Our discounted ‘Zorb’ activity costs us NZD 44 (5 dollar discount)
2) 2 ‘luge rides’, ‘return gondola ride’ and ‘sky swing ride’ for NZD45 for all three
3) ‘Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland’ and ‘Waimangu’ package for NZD55 for both
4) Sky Dive and Bungee package for NZD423 ( This is in Taupo)
5) Huka falls (Free)
1) Zorb ride
My Zorb experience was great which left me wanting for more. The NZD44 is for one ride which is one roll down the hill inside a giant inflatable ball. There are 2 options for you to choose from:-
a) The Zorbit is a dry roll down the hill in a zig-zag manner where you will be securely strapped to the ball which provides a slightly longer route than Zydro. But because you are strapped you will end up having a mild headache at the end of the ride because of the ongoing tumble down the hill. ( based on a friend’s experience)
b) Unlike Zorbit, Zydro just by its name gives you the idea of water and so it is. I find this more exciting as around 10 liters of water will be added in your ball, you won’t be strapped so you have the luxury of slipping and doing somersaults down the hill and above all that you can choose have 2 of your friends to join in the experience with you.
My brother and I tried our best to keep on standing but as you can see it was a complete failure : ).
Zorb Location: - located next to the Agrodome, western road, rotorua
Phone: - 07 357 5100
Freecall:- 0800 22 74 74
Min age :- 6 years old
Website:- This website is so cute and sure has all your questions answered
2) Gondola + 2 Luge rides + sky swing
For our second adventure package, we arrived at the gondola ride about 30minutes after it has opened, Rode on the gondolo which was the only way to get on the top and from there we choose to go on the luge first. Because we there were 2 tracks to choose from and we were allowed 2 rides so we tried each one.
The scenic track has a longer route and from its name it is obvious that it provides attractive view as you go down the hill on your luge, a few pit stops along the way for you to get down and take pictures. We went very early and we could stop on the track to take pictures. Of course we wouldn’t have done it if there were others on the track as that would spell chaos.
The adventure track on the other hand,was shorter in distance and the track are bumpier as compared to the first. Nevertheless it was a great ride for all of us as we tried to race one another down the track. after each luge ride, this hanging swing will take use back up
after the awesome luge adventure we proceeded to tryout the sky swing. You will be seated in a ball like seat with two others, they will first pull you up and with the count to three, they will give you a signal to pull a string and with that you get to swing and swing. It was a scary ride for me and i kept holding the hand rail through out the ride.
3) Wai-O-Tapu + Waimangu
a) Our first visit was to Wai-O-Tapu because we had to see the eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser which erupts once a day at 10.15am. If you are late, say good bye and come another day. After listening to an introduction and watching the eruption we went inside wai-o-tapu
Here you will have the chance to see a colorful volcanic environment which is absolutely amazing. the color formation, the different volcanic environment is just something you dont see everyday. Bring your own drinking water for your own convenience as you will walk around the area at your own pace . Read more or what Wai-O-Taou can offer from the website.
Opening Hours: 8:30 am – 5:00pm Daily (last admission 3:45 pm)
b) Next on the same day as our wai-o-tapu visit, we visited Waimangu Volcanic Valley. which is another beautiful tourist destination that new Zealand has to offer. To experience this you can walk on the tracks provided which can take 45 minutes on the walkway and if you get exhausted along the way you can catch the bus which will bring you to lake Rotomahana., Here you have an option to get on the boat cruise which wasn't my option because we were so tired after all that walking, and the weather didn't help.
So i would suggest visit those places during winter NOT summer because the intense heat from the sun and the additional heat from the formations was dreadful. We tried walking at first and ended up hailing the bus and back to the counter. I DO think it’s a good idea to visit both Wai-O-Tapu and Waimangu during winter.
Waimangu Location:- 587 Waimangu Road
We had a daily visit to taupo to perform our 4th activity – Sky dive and bungee. We arrived 30 minutes earlier than our supposedly arrival tome the reason being so we get the feel and be prepared to perform this 15000 feet dive. It actually was a good idea because upon arrival we had to fill in forms, get into our uniform and had some extra time to take some photos while gearing up.
The dive was incredible and the view of the earth as you head down was astonishingly stunning. The package comes with a free exit photo and a video of you getting ready and going on the plane and safely landed. Anyone who wish to have a personal video and pictures taken of themselves as they are gliding in the sky will incure additional costs.
After the dive, took our free video ( came together with our package), we got a little dizzy so we went to get something to munch, had some rest, calm ourselves and went for our next activity – The bungee jump. Taupo is a great place to do bungee simply because it has this beautiful view that you can see once you are up there waiting to jump and the beautiful sparkling water down under. I would not do bungee if it was concrete , im just worried the rope might extend too much : )...
Bungee jump was scarier than sky dive to me because you are on your own. Sky dive you are attached to instructor and you have a parachute, bungee on the other hand is you doing it yourselves jumping from a certain height with a rope tied to your ankle. We got a free video which came with our bungee package and we had our friend to snap some photos.
Sky dive location-
Anzac Memorial Drive
5) after all the adventure in a day, we eased our mind listening to the water falls and have a great look at the crystal clear water of the falls.