Stuff Biking has launched a new activity to action Kiwis afflatus and account for indulging their adulation of biking afterpiece to home. Back Your Backyard aims to appearance Kiwis that we don’t charge to biking too far to accept some different experiences.
It goes afterwards adage that Kiwis are a appealing adroit lot. Whether it’s agreeable atoms, advancing up with disposable syringes, bearing the meringue breeding that is pavlova (don’t @ me Australia!), or the acclaimed ‘number 8 wire’ mentality, this land has been punching able-bodied aloft its weight aback ages ago.
Of course, it’s not aloof all-overs and desserts that Kiwis accept led the apple in, but additionally in some absolutely alarming biking ideas. From casting yourself off a arch to, able-bodied casting yourself about in a artificial ball, actuality are five of the best New Zealand-first biking inventions.
Big Air at ZORB.
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Nevis Bungy: Adrenaline-fuelled.
The bartering bungy jump
Let’s get one of the abundant Kiwi exports out of the way first.
Now, you can’t say you’ve “done” New Zealand until you’ve thrown yourself off article tall, with a allotment of elastic tied to your ankles. I anticipate that’s the law, or something.
Originating in the islands of Vanuatu, it took a able Kiwi called AJ Hackett to appear up with the abstraction that bodies would be agog to pay to animation at abundant heights off a allotment of cord. He approved it aboriginal in Auckland in 1986 off the Greenhithe Bridge, afore authoritative a name for himself by jumping off the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 1987, promptly accepting arrested for his troubles.
Aback advancing aback to NZ and starting the aboriginal bartering operation off the Kawarau Arch in November 1988, Hackett has helped the bungy become as abundant of a allotment of the NZ angel across as flightless birds, rugby, and hobbits.
Bungy all-overs are now allotment of chance trips about the world, and the heights are accepting added and added intense. Actuality in New Zealand, the Nevis in Queenstown is the better bungy at 134m. That doesn’t alike blemish the top 10 tallest, with the accomplished in continuous use in Macau – a whopping 233m off the ground.
Try it: Nevis Bungy abreast Queenstown. Adult $275, adolescent $275, NZ apprentice $245.
ZORB: The “mega” track.
Aback in 1994, two Kiwi blokes had the ablaze abstraction of actuality able to airing on water. I’m academic beers may accept been involved.
Andrew Akers and Dwane van der Sluis morphed that asset of an idea into a new decline brawl rolling concept, and decided to ditch water for acreage … hilly land. The original track was in Rotorua and opened in 1997, and afterwards a few disagreements, buy-outs, name changes etc, it wasn’t until 2019 that the aboriginal owners, developers and inventors were aback on board.
You accept four advance to accept from in Rotorua, from a beeline decline to pinballing bottomward a ample hill, the “big air” with three drops, to the “mega” clue – the world’s fastest, longest and steepest decline brawl rolling track. Picture yourself as a beat in a abrasion machine, and that appealing abundant describes the activity inside.
To access the Kiwi-ness of it all, the zorbs are bogus bottomward the road, and amount a cool $13,000 to produce.
Try it: ZORB, 525 Ngongotaha Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua. Prices alter depending on the cardinal of advance and riders in anniversary zorb.
The Shotover Jet boats can biking up to 90kmh.
The jet boat
Born with the rather affected name of Charles William Feilden Hamilton (Bill to his mates), this South Canterbury artist is the ancestor of all things jet boat. With a affection for actuality on the water, Hamilton bare to appear up with a way to cross Mackenzie Country’s bank rivers, so in 1954, he acclimatized the Hanley Hydro-Jet to accomplish the world’s aboriginal propellerless boat.
Although he never claimed to accept invented the jet boat, it was Hamilton’s architecture for acceleration that helped revolutionise the industry.
Now jet canoeing is a must-do of adrenaline-seekers worldwide. Speeding bottomward attenuated river beds, centimetres from cliffs and coulee walls, with a few gravity-defying stunts befuddled in for acceptable measure.
Try it: Shotover Jet, 3 Arthurs Point Road, abreast Queenstown. Passes alpha at $159 for adults and $89 for children.
The Shweeb can be raced by two people.
You apperceive you charge be accomplishing article appropriate if online behemoth Google apprehension you.
Well, one apprehensive idea beat out added than 150,000 entries for a $1 million grant from the internet behemothic to advance eco-friendly transport. Invented by an (cough) Australian, Geoff Barnett’s architecture of a carriage arrangement on monorails, with bodies accepting about in self-propelled biking pods, has accepted to be a hit at Rotorua’s Velocity Valley Chance Park.
There are two tracks, acceptation accompany can chase anniversary added – extensive up to 50kmh. You can additionally get up to 60 degrees of bend on the aeroembolism as you ride the 200-metre track.
The abstraction is that one day this will be the way we will be zipping about cities, but for now, the track in Rotorua offers a glimpse into a accessible carriage solution.
Try it: The Shweeb, Velocity Valley Chance Park, Rotorua. $55 per being for three laps
The luge was invented in Rotorua aback in 1985.
Clearly there is article in the baptize in Rotorua (ahem), because our final apparatus is additionally from the region.
While the abstraction of a luge is annihilation new, and is a affection of abounding a Swiss Alpine boondocks or Winter Olympics, it was the original Skyline buyer Hylton Hensman who came up with the abstraction aback in the mid-80s of the allotment go-cart, allotment toboggan which did not await on snow or ice.
The three-wheeled luge carts use force to biking bottomward a array of tracks, from the added sedate, scenic journey through Redwood Forest, to the wannabe-Lewis Hamilton acerbity of the avant-garde race.
Try it: Rotorua Luge, 178 Fairy Springs Road. Gondola and one luge: Adults $50, accouchement $33.
If you accept account for air-conditioned places in NZ and our surrounds that you’d like us to showcase, email us at email@example.com. Follow us on instagram.com/stufftravelnz for biking inspiration, and tag #backyourbackyard to appearance your support.
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