286 Days on the Road
We have such an action-packed day ahead that we’ll just jump straight into it! Our first activity of Day 287 out of 365 Days: 365 Activities is actually a five-activities-in-one! We’re heading to Rotorua’s adventure park, Agroventures, to tackle some pretty insane activities!
Just a 10-15 minute drive from the centre of Rotorua, Agroventures is a park of multiple adventure activities: Shweeb, Freefall Xtreme, Swoop, Agrojet and the Rotorua Bungy. You can pick and choose what activities you want to do. We’re tackling all but one, because we don’t need to remind you what happened last time… After checking in at reception and getting our Agroventures tokens, we are hitting our first activity. Judging by its name, it’s a pretty unique one!
Racing in the Shweeb!
We approach the Shweep, small capsules that just about fit one person in attached underneath a monorail. There are two rails set up. There are two of us. Looks like it’s a race!
Two Agro staff explain how these unusual contraptions work, adjust the seats in them according to our height, and start encasing us inside the Shweeb capsule. Action cameras are suction-cupped to the outside of the capsule to capture the craziness for us to take home later. After we give each other the competitive evils, the race is on!
A monorail racing capsule!
We are pushed from the start point for momentum, then it’s up to us to use the bike pedals and the gears. The rails take us on a short journey around a duck point, between the trees, up and under one another’s rails. We have three laps to to get as much speed as possible, even to the point where we fling out to the side around the the corners. By the end of the second lap, Robin has caught up with Laura, who’s on the inside lane, and left her in the dust. The ducks are laughing at her from the pond.
Once the race is over, we hobble out of our capsules discovering new muscles in our thighs thanks to peddling almost on our backs. Our times are displayed on the board in big lights, we get our photo taken, then move onto our next “Agroventure”.
Flying without wings
Our next activity shows that we don’t need to skydive to feel the crazy sensation of freefalling. One of the staff who helped out on the Shweeb is now stationed on the Freefall Xtreme so he comes along with us, giving us a sneak peak at the huge Twin Turbo, Detroit Diesel V12 Engine which can produce speeds up to 200km/h. We head upstairs to the platform where the wind tunnel is produced. Surrounding the wind tunnel is plenty of netting and an inflatable floor so we don’t have to worry about flying away.
After a safety briefing and a quick video explaining the best techniques to stay stable while we’re flying, we are getting some specially designed jumpsuits and goggles on, then joining three Agro staff out on the wind tunnel. One guy is holding our feet, the another is taking photos, and one more is giving us instructions with hand signals on how to move with the air.
Ripples to the face
We crawl onto the netting over a huge hole where the wind is slowly churning out now. Once we are comfortable, the wind is cranked up, and we’re flying! We are told actions that will send us high in the air then back down. The staff are pulling all kinds of crazy faces for the action cam videos too, making us feel like we’re not the only ones with insane facial expressions as our faces ripple in the wind. Then the staff have way too much fun with us, twisting and flipping us around, until finally we slam onto the inflatable floor once our 90 seconds is up. One last jumping photo, then we are moving onto our next adventure! Dayym!
We never thought we would be learning how to fly!
A swing on steroids!
The next one is a quick one, but probably the most craziest sensation of them all: flying 140ft above the Agroventures park possibly reaching speeds of 130km/h! We can ride this thing together, so the team strap us into bags and lie us down like we are whales being helicoptered off the beach. We are then lifted higher and higher until, oh sh*t, that’s high! Because Robin is afraid of heights and is already hating his life right now, Laura is in-charge of pulling the rip cord to release us.
“GO!” the Agro staff shout from somewhere below us. We pull.
We get a second of freefall, the g-force making our stomachs say: “WTF?!” then we get the sweet relief of swing high on the other side to enjoy the most epic swing we’ve been on to date!
Sprinting on water
Our final Agroventures experience comes at some sort of lake dotted with islands. We are now going to be darting around that is a sprint jetboat! Our driver, Brendon, welcomes us into the Agrojet, a small sprint boat with a massive 450 horse power V8 engine. We say hello to the camera then mentally prepare ourselves for the first lap.
Brendon whips us around the obstacle course, drifting round and around islands and propelling us around corners. After the first lap, he stops to ask us if we are Ok…
“Again, again!!” is all we can reply, then we take on some different routes around the track, going 0-100km/h in seconds! The third lap comes to an end with the all famous “Hamilton Spin”, a 360-degree spin on the water!
Phewww! We don’t know if it’s the splashes from the Agrojet we’re wiping off our brow or the sweat. It’s been an awesome way to spend an afternoon, but now we are going to take a drastic change of pace of activities when we get back into the centre of Rotorua…
Winding down at the Polynesian Spa
We park up at our accommodation at the Planet Backpackers, grab some togs, towels and jandals, and flip-flop our way to the Polynesian Spa. The spa is fed by two natural geothermal springs: the acidic Priest Spring to help relieve aches and pains, and the Rachel Spring to nourish the skin. How you want to enjoy the springs, whether it’s the pretty huge complex of the Adult Pools, a more natural setting of the Deluxe Pools, or the Private Pools. Shamelessly, we try them all!
Mineral hot pools with a view
Each section of hot pools, whether its the affordable Adult Pools or the more luxurious Deluxe Pools, is that they all have a view overlooking Lake Rotorua. The pool temperatures range from the comfortable 38 degrees-Celsius to the hardcore 42 degrees! Yet, the 42-degrees is weirdly addictive, especially mixed with the cold plunge pool in the Deluxe Pools.
Interpretation panels around the complex tell you more about the history of the mineral pools, as well as their effects. We even try out a Reflexology walk on the edge of the lake, standing on increasingly sharp pebbles to trigger pressure points in our feet.
A way to end an insane day
The sensational views mixed with a silky-feeling waters, like the pools are giving you a warm hug, make this a super relaxing way to end any crazy day of adventure in Rotorua.
Join us tomorrow where we make our way up the Rotorua Skyline Gondola for a day of downhill go-karting, zip-lining and whatever else!
Even on a gap year you have to treat yourself!
Why wouldn’t you? Get your eyes on these articles!
- Rotorua – Guide for Backpackers
- 9 Newest and Weirdest Extreme Activities in New Zealand
- 7 Free Natural Hot Springs in New Zealand
See you tomorrow