The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Nature and Activities in Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

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Raftabout

Rotorua

Adventure activities

If "thrillseeker" is your middle name, you will be delighted with the adrenalin-pumping, heart-stopping adventures on tap here. 100% Kiwi-owned and -operated, Raftabout consider it their mission to take you hurtling down the highest comercially rafted waterfall in the world, through thrilling rapids, and past Maori sites of legend. Should I ever change my middle name, I am assured that these guys are models of professionalism and experience - and that the scenery is amazing, if you can bear to take a look. More placid rafting and more extreme(!) options available too.

Raftabout
  • Prices: From $85 - $155.
  • Contact: 811 State Highway 33, Okere Falls, Rotorua
  • Tel: 07-343-9500
  • Fax: 07-343-9503
  • Email: info@raftabout.co.nz
  • Web: www.raftabout.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Agrodome

Rotorua

Adventure activities

The list of attractions here took my breath away. Founded by an internationally renowned sheep shearer, the Agrodome hosts a 160-hectare working sheep farm. You can encounter hands-on farming experience of sheep, alpacas, cattle, deer, goats and ostriches, watch sheep being sheared or, buy more wool than you ever could knit (erm, that might just be me). Not only this but Agrodome is also a mecca for the more adventurous amongst us, with bungy, freefall 'extreme body flying', the Zorb, the Swoop (43 metre-high giant swing), the Swheeb (a human-powered mono-rail race track) and helipro trips all on offer.

  • Prices: Prices between $22 (agrodome show) and $405 (island helipro trip). Open 8.30am - 5pm.
  • Contact: Western Road, Ngongotaha, Rotorua
  • Tel: 07-357-1050
  • Fax: 07-357-5307
  • Email: marketing@agroventures.co.nz
  • Web: www.agrodome.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Zorb Rotorua

Rotorua

Adventure activities

You, the soon-to-be zorbanaut, have a number of zany zorbing options at this Kiwi-born escapade. The hectic hill-rolling bubbles were invented here and continue to diversify. Choose from the original harness ride Zorbit, the Zorb-tri-riffic ride or the 'wash cycle' Zydro (you and the zorb plus water - warm in winter, cool in summer). Absolutely barmy and hilarious fun.

Zorb Rotorua
  • Prices: Zydro, $49 or $81 with wet pack; Zorbit, $59 or $91 with wet pack; Zorb-tri-riffic or any three rides $108 or $140 with wet pack. (The wet pack consists of t-shirt, shorts, towel and a bag to ut it all in, or you can just bring your own.)
  • Contact: Cnr of Western Rd and SH5, Ngongotaha, Rotorua
  • Tel: 07-357-5100
  • Fax: 07-357-5102
  • Email: rotorua@zorb.com
  • Web: www.zorb.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Tajo Ostrich Farm

Tauranga

Farms

Ostriches are bizarre, beautiful birds... and huge (at 2m tall they certainly tower over me). Here you can feed the adults (if you can reach) take a farm-tour trailer ride and watch chicks hatching. An on-site farm shop is stocked with everything ‘ostrich’ from ostrich leather handbags to ostrich-oil hand cream.

  • Contact: 1130 Troutbeck Road, Galatea
  • Tel: 09-412-2525
  • Fax: 09-412-2526
  • Cel: 027-452-4988
  • Email: tajo@ostrichmeat.co.nz
  • Web: www.tajo.com
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Ohope Golf Course

Ohope

Golf

This local 18-hole par 71 course is surprisingly and impressively challenging. The coastal fairway is set against a back-drop of volcanic White Island and prominent Whale Island.

  • Contact: Harbour Road, Ohope
  • Tel: 07-312-4486
  • Email: ohope@golf.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Arikikapakapa Golf Course

Rotorua

Golf

Possibly one of the strangest golfing experiences you're ever likely to have. Arikikapakapa sits upon a fuming stew of thermal activity that creates wild undulating fairways pock-marked with simmering vents. The layout is excellent, although you may need a supply of spare balls, as I doubt many strays will be recovered easily.

  • Prices: Non-NZ affiliated visitor $60, NZ affiliated $30, NZ resident $40.
  • Contact: Fenton Street, Rotorua
  • Tel: 07-348-4051
  • Fax: 07-348-1384
  • Email: info@rotoruagolfclub.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Paradise Valley Springs - Trout Springs & Wildlife Park

Rotorua

Nature & wildlife

The opportunity to stroke a lion cub had me sold before I’d even arrived at Paradise Valley. If there are cubs in situ you can enter their enclosure, watch them play and even give them a pat. After that you can watch the adults (I find the lionesses more scary for some reason) play at feeding time, a majestic display of power and teeth as you can imagine. Any enclosures are impressively spacious and indicative of the animals' natural habitat, but the majority of wildlife here roams virtually free. Stroll the 150m bushwalk and hand-feed the trout, eels, wallabies, deer and goats as you go.

Paradise Valley Springs - Trout Springs & Wildlife Park
  • Prices: From $24 for adults, $12 children 5-15, free for under-5s.
  • Contact: Paradise Valley Road, Rotorua
  • Tel: 07-348-9667
  • Fax: 07-349-3359
  • Email: paradisev@xtra.co.nz
  • Web: www.paradisevalleysprings.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Bay of Plenty Highlights

  • Walk on the moon-like surface of White Island.
  • Rotorua is one of the primary Maori settlement hotspots and there are stacks of cultural shows and experiences to choose from. The young and enthusiastic members of 'Mitai' run the most authentic and energetic show.
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