As a honeymooner to New Zealand, you’re bound to find yourself jumping (willingly) out of a plane or off a bridge. And there’s every chance you’ll go on a guided tour to see cute little blue penguins. Or maybe you’ll be after the whole combo – adventure, fun and a nature experience. Rotorua Canopy Tours provide all three of these fun activies.
Rotorua Canopy Tours
Check-in takes place at the Canopy Tour base in Rotorua’s city centre. First of all, everyone gets an iPad to type in their details, including medical conditions and curiously enough, if you have a fear of heights. I was impressed with the iPads – its such an efficient way to gather important details as a precaution before the tour actually begins.
Next up, you’ll be driven in a modern van to an original nature forest in the Department of Conservation park. Now it’s rather chilly in the forest so do dress warmly. During our first few metres stroll into the forest, guides, Shane and Scott discussed the different tree species – many of them Rimu (NZ Red Pine).
We arrived at the first platform to be surrounded by the forest canopy and the purest oxygen.
The guides are meticulous in explaining every aspect of the equipment we’re about to use, but it’s also a fun exercise. On this tour, group interaction is encouraged. Having fun with fellow travellers really does promote trust and friendship. I also like that each tour party is a comfortable size with a mere 10 people, Based on my weight, I was fitted with a harness and given the Smile-of-Bravery award. Convincing isn’t it!
Ok folks, here we go…lights, camera, action!!
As well as an educational walk in the forest, this tour provided the adrenaline rush of zip-lining between the trees. Rotorua Canopy Tours is such a cool concept to get people a little out of their comfort zone. And it provides a heightened awareness of nature’s challenges when it comes to conservation.
I’m stunned to hear that each day, 70,000 birds are killed in New Zealand by stoats, rats and ferrets. Every day! So the conservation philosophy of Rotorua Canopy Tours is to use traps to combat some of this carnage. It gives our New Zealand birds, especially endemic species, a chance to survive.
There are 6 zip lines and two bridges to cross during the journey, which generally takes about 3 hours. The longest zip line is an enormous 220 metres. This map should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect:
This experience is closest I’ve experienced of flying like a bird through the forest canopy. Naturally, there’s a lot of shrieking going on from individuals, but in a happy way. Nothing wrong at all in letting the kid out to play every now and then.