Zorbing, or Riding Inside a Large Ball Down a New Zealand Hillside

Rotorua Travel Blog

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Zorb in Play

On the outskirts of Rotorua is one of my favorite activities in New Zealand -- Zorbing.  The Zorb is a large vinyl ball that you crawl inside and then get rolled down a 200 meter long hill.  There are two methods:  the Dry Zorb and the Wet Zorb.  If you choose the Dry Zorb, you are harnessed inside the ball, and then rolled down the hills head over heels many many times until you reach the bottom.  That one seems to have more potential for losing ones lunch inside the ball, which could make for a big mess.  I have always chosen to do the Wet Zorb.

The Wet Zorb is billed as the "wash cycle" by the local operators here.  There is no harness involved in the Wet Zorb.

Having been run thru the washing machine -- i.e., the end of the Zorb
  You get inside the ball, they add some water to the bottom, and they give you a push.  The brochure says it is a cross between a rollercoaster and a waterfall.  I think it's more like being inside the washer during the spin cycle as you are rolling down the hillside.  The water works a bit like a lubricant in that it allows you to stay in a sitting position (for the most part) as the Zorb rolls down the hill.  The water does spin all around you and you bounce around a lot, but I have never gone heels over head or vice versa on the Wet Zorb.  I talked my Dad into joining me, but could not convince Mom that it as a good idea!  They give you clothing for your ride down the hill so you don't get your own clothes wet -- and you do get wet!  It's not real flattering -- but better than coming out wet with your own jeans! 

Dad and I laughed the entire ride down.

Patio at Hotel Dunston
  His eyes were quite large during most of the ride, but once he figured out that he was not going to go topsy turvy, he relaxed and really enjoyed it.  Mom got a good laugh from the sidelines too -- and when she saw how wet we were when we emerged from the Zorb, she was quite happy she did not do the Zorb.

We stayed at the Duxton Hotel at Okawa Bay on Lake Roitotiti just on the outskirts of Rotorua.  Its a quaint little hotel on a beautiful lake.  We had a nice patio off the back of our room with a great view over the lake.  It was a perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and watch the ducks on the lake as the sun was setting.  It was quite nice just to sit outside and enjoy the quiet, the view and the wonderful weather.  My parents were particularly happy to be sitting outside in January in weather so nice, particularly since it was below Zero back in their hometown in Wyoming!

We had a nice dinner at the hotel dining room.  I had New Zealand lamb, Dad had prime rib and Mom had chicken.  They served the meal with sides of vegetables family style.  It was a really nice no frills meal, but delicious.  For dessert, we had a hazlenut mousse with a hard chocolate shell -- only so so.

TYoungTX says:
It's a great adventure! I'm sure you would enjoy. :) My Dad's a good sport.
Posted on: Jun 02, 2008
X_Drive says:
I have heard of that and even seen movies of it and it sounds like such a kick. But I am such a chicken when it comes to adventurous stuff I mot sure I'd really do it. :) Glad you and your Dad had fun.
Posted on: May 30, 2008
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Zorb in Play
Zorb in Play
Having been run thru the washing m…
Having been run thru the washing …
Patio at Hotel Dunston
Patio at Hotel Dunston
Zorb Course
Zorb Course
Zorb Ball
Zorb Ball
Two ladies exiting the Zorb
Two ladies exiting the Zorb
Zorb being reloaded to go back to …
Zorb being reloaded to go back to…
Dad and me Zorbing!
Dad and me Zorbing!
Stop Over at the Agrodome; Mom and…
Stop Over at the Agrodome; Mom an…
Lake Roitotiti
Lake Roitotiti
Another Shot of the Lake
Another Shot of the Lake
Rotorua Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Funky Breakfast or Lunch Spot
Fat Dog Cafe & Bar is a funky little cafe in downtown Rotorua that is a great spot to catch breakfast or lunch. They serve a wide variety of foods, m… read entire review
Rotorua
photo by: Vanessa_Mun_Yee