Lugeing and Zorbing whilst holding our noses

Rotorua Travel Blog

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Zorbing & Luging


Tom was in an understandable grump on Boxing Day morning. He alone had to fly home today & then head straight for work. One last widow-maker BBQ breakfast was his final comfort before the cruel return to reality.


The day’s executive pressures facing Dave, Jenny, Jonny, Bini & me involved throwing ourselves down a grassy slope in a giant inflatable beach ball (zorbing), followed by hurtling along steep & twisty racetracks on tea-trays (luging) Both activities are located in Rotorua, which is famous for it’s hot sulphur springs that billow plumes of egg-smelling steam into the air all around the town.


The first thing any pro-zorber has to do is change into slightly stinky nylon t-shirt & shorts.

You are then bundled into a land rover & driven up a bumpy track to the top of a grassy slope. Once up, you’re ushered inside the inflatable beach ball. There’s a smaller pod inside the ball’s outer shell & here you stand with water splashing about your ankles. The pod is sealed water tight & you take a step forward which rolls the ball from it’s mooring, turning you upside down as it goes. The path of the ball is a winding track with high sides, a bit like a bobsleigh run. As the ball rolls & bounces it’s way to the bottom you slide about like a lone sock in the spin cycle. Something about the sensation is absolutely hysterical and I was bellowing with laughter from top to bottom.


Zorbing was a laugh, but it was on the Luge track that things got serious. Kiwi men clearly pride themselves on Luging prowess as much as they do being chiefs of the Barbie: After a practice run on the scenic slope where Jonny Bini & I familiarised ourselves with the Luge, (a piece of moulded plastic with wheels underneath and a basic push-pull steering & braking mechanism) Dave challenged us all to races to the bottom.


Sweet Bini was a bit of a non starter on the racing front as she sat on the brakes the entire way down, being overtaken by tumbleweeds and arthritic beetles. Dave, Jonny & I used the ‘no brakes, no rules’ tactic to try to be the first to the bottom. We each won a turn & managed not to inflict serious injury on each other, despite our best efforts.


Our final activity in Queenstown was a therapeutic soak at the Polynesian spa, to recuperate after our athleticism. The spa has 4 natural pools heated by volcanic activity from below. The hottest pool was 42 degrees and laps up against a fabulous lake view. It’s a real treat to loaf about in such a unique setting, but we realised you can’t loaf for too long before you become a lobster.


It’s impossible to thank Jenny & Dave sincerely enough for having us stay over Christmas time, and for spending these two days with us. I hope I’m as generous & as young at heart as these guys when I’m all grown up!

frankcanfly says:
This is where I first 'Zorbed'!!! What a blast!!
Posted on: Jan 04, 2007
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photo by: Vanessa_Mun_Yee