Saturday, May 22, 2010


Rotorua, NZ became a must-stop on my list when I learned about zorbing, basically you rolling down a hill in a giant plastic hamster ball. How cool is that?

First I needed to get to the ZORB center, 10km (6.2 miles) outside of town. Fortunately this was connected to Rotorua's public transit system, so I hopped on the #1 bus and figured I would get off when I saw a big hill and giant hamster balls. Well, I happened to reach such a location, so I scurried off the bus. BIG mistake -- it turned out I was at Fishpipe, a giant stationary hamster ball, naturally from the inventors of Zorbing. It was still a 3 mile walk on a busy country highway to get to the Zorb location, but terrific day. And some vacation exercise, woohoo!

After walking for so far I was ready to be strapped in! There are two types of zorb rides -- one has you strapped in like an astronaut as you roll down; the other you're thrown in with some warm water and you slide around like you're on a water slide. I elected to do both and after telling the cashier my story he gave me the second ride for free!

The astronaut zorb was an incredible rush. The world is just spinning round-and-round and I just laughed hysterically the whole way down the hill. The water ride was also fun, though not as novel.

After an intense morning of hiking and zorbing, I was a little pooped. Rotorua has an immensely developed tourism industry and I found the amount of choices to be overwhelming (and a bit pricey). Rather I was content to walk around, and found some great sights along the way. To the left is the Government Gardens, an immense plot of land gifted from Maori tribes to the Brits, on which they placed this impressive mansion surrounded by flowers, trees, and a croquet field! That's right, croquet, aren't we getting all colonial here.

I then walked down to the shores of Lake Rotorua and enjoyed a beautiful, relaxing afternoon in the city park, breathing in all the country air my body could take in.


  1. Hi Jonathan!

    We are enjoying your blog and pics. This is really a wonderful adventure. This is the best way to see and experience the world. You have a front-row seat!

    Remember, wrong turns can always be righted if you stay alert and sometimes they can add to your adventure. Never be afraid to make decisions. Listen to your environment. Enjoy the people and the places.

    Bob & Andrea

  2. I was wondering if you had ZORBing on your to-do list! I remember first learning about it from one of the Road Rules seasons on MTV in the 90's. I know.

    Great blog and pics!