You HAVE TO try zorbing while in Rotorua!
Just think there are only 2 places in the World where you can do it: Rotorua and the Smoky Mountains in the USA and it would be absolutely a shame not having a go!
Zorbing means rolling down a slope inside a plastic ball, with or without water (if the weather is hot enough, I definitely suggest the water one, it is much more amusing!). A van takes you up the slope, and all you have to do is jump into the ball and go down!
The Rotorua site offers 2 traks, a straight trank and one with bends... try both!
Unfortunately, zorbing is quite expensive (40NZ$ per ride) and we cannot spend all the day there :-(
I must admit that I did not ride in the Zorb. I was there but could not get what I wanted. And that was a dry ride. As it was a very cold day and I had just overcome a bad flu and bronchitis, I had not wanted to roll down 200 metres on a hillside near the Agrodome in one of these huge inflatable plastic balls, filled with me and 50 litres of warm water, and then get out of it, soaking wet, at just some degrees over zero. So I just watched the scene.
The dry rides can only be operated in safe wind conditions, so clearly not every day in windy New Zealand. If the wind blows from the wrong direction the ball which has a diametre of 3.40m could fly too high and the ride could become too bumpy, rough and dangerous. What a pity!
From the base the people are transported to the top of the hill where they climb into the Zorb, and boing - it rolls down the hill, and upon arrival they are allowed to call themselves Zorbonauts. They slip out of the ball like a baby through the birth channel. Then the house photographer urges them to jump sillyly into the air from the joy of having just finished the fun of their lives, and then the big dry-up begins.
If you are into the Rotorua activities, you can combine the Zorb with the Agrodome which is just some hundred metres across the road, also the wildlife park Paradise Valley Springs is in the wider area, and finally on the way back to town the gondola at Mt. Ngongotaha.
Open all year round except Christmas Day
Apr - Nov 9am-5pm
Dec - Mar 9am-7pm
Wet and dry rides $45
Wet ride also available for 2 at $35pp
Clothes and towel hire $2
Zorbing didn't seem amazing upon the first sight, however, once inside the mobile washing machine, rolling down a hill while frantically trying to stay upright and failing within seconds, it seemed like the best thing ever!
There were various types of Zorb you could do, I did the Zig-Zag HydroZorb, you have to jump in up the top and attempt to stay standing up for the full duration.
Of course this does not occur and you end up soaked and all over the shop but its a great laugh. A must if you're in Rotorua.
I met this girl in Taupo and she told me about this thing called the Zorb. Her friend had made a trip to New Zealand the year before and found it, then gave her the information and the money to do it. Needless too say that when I hear what it was I was on my way to the rental car company in Taupo. Five of us rented a car and drove up to see and take part in The Zorb! It is one of the best memories from my trip to New Zealand. I highly recommend it!
Next to Rotoruas Agrodome, is an adventure park where you can bungee, jet boat and swoop your day away. You can also go Zorbing. Now what, you may ask, is a Zorb? Good question, let me explain...
First, you exchange your regular clothes for some swim wear or similar. Not having any swimwear (or togs, as the kiwis say) is no excuse. The nice Zorb people will let you hire some. Then you are driven to the top of a steep hill in the back of a minibus, with other similarly attired people. Once at the top of the hill (it looks much steeper from the top than it does from the bottom), you climb inside a huge hollow sphere, which is suspended inside a larger sphere. This is the Zorb. A nice member of staff will slosh some water inside the Zorb with you, so you can slosh around. And then, that same nice member of staff will zip up the Zorb and push it down the steep hill with you sloshing around inside.
You have a choice of hurling straight down the hill, or going down a bendy zig-zag course. I opted for the bendy course.
I have to say, that what with the sloshing around, the bendy course sensation is compounded by the fact that you never know which direction you are headed! Brilliant fun! But apparently the straight course is faster.
Once at the bottom, you will almost certainly be compelled to pay for another go - I was. It works out cheaper if you book more than one Zorb at the start. You can also arrange for a member of staff to photograph your Zorbing experience. You can opt for the Hydrozorb, as I did, or go for Harnessed zorb - no water this time but you are strapped inside the Zorb 'starfish fashion'. You can Zorb with another 'Zorbonaut' and children can also Zorb.
Not a cheap thrill - my two Zorbs and a CD of photos cost $90+ (NZ) but a not-to-be-missed opportunity to join the growing number of VTers who can say theycanzorb!
Zorbing is yet another bizarre extreme sport creation from New Zealand. Basically, the Zorb is a giant rubber balloon with another smaller rubber balloon suspended in the center. The rider climbs through a small opening into the middle balloon. The Zorb is then rolled down a hill with the rider inside, and a cushion of air between the outer and inner balloons. The rider (who they refer to as a "Zorbonaut") can either be strapped into a harness inside the Zorb, called Harness Zorbing, or unharnessed with a bucket of water thrown inside, called Hydro-Zorbing. In Harness Zorbing the rider will tumble around and around as the Zorb rolls down the hill, and in Hydro-Zorbing you slide along with the water on the bottom as the Zorb revolves around you.
My wife and I both did two Hydro-Zorb runs at their facility in Ngongotaha, just outside Rotorua. Once alone and once together. We both had a total blast, and agreed that doing the Zorb together was more fun than apart. It was definitely pricey (I believe each run was around NZ$30 or so), but it's definitely worth experiencing at least once. Great fun!
First impressions of zorbing look rather tame. However actually doing it is quite worthwhile, and not a slow and short as it looks. You can do a dry or wet zorb. The dry one has you strapped starlike inside the zorb and you roll down the hill. They say you don't get sick as it is quite slow motion. The wet version has some water in the bottom of the inner zorb (Zorb is an inner and outer sphere) causing you to slide around as you roll down the hill. You more or less stay at the bottom, you are not strapped in for this version of the ride. Lots of screams and yells of delight and happy people. Highly recommended!
Zorb you say? Yes well until recently I had never heard of it either!! The Zorb is a New Zealand invention which was recently on show to the world via "The Amazing Race" (which I would LOVE to be in!!!).
The Zorb is a big plastic ball which you pop inside and roll down a hill in. It is the latest adventure sport to spring up in New Zealand and is really fun to try!
Rotorua is actually home to the first ever Zorb site (although franchises are popping up in other parts of the world now) and is located right next to the Agrodome.
This was most fun for us. Some chose to go down straight (for speed!), others zig zaging downhill.
Even though it rained it was a great way to spend one morning.