Mountain Louging – Living Facebook

Almost a year ago I saw a post on Facebook of some guys having a blast louging down a mountain. No one knew where it came from on the thread, but I remember thinking, “Man – I gotta try that.” Most of the time the things I’ve see of Facebook stay things I’ve only seen on Facebook. Well no longer. In New Zealand we stumbled upon Skyline Park in Rotorua. When I saw they had luging I insisted to Jackie that we HAD to go.

When we got there they told us we could only buy packs of at least 5 luge rides with a zip line. We thought that was overdoing it, but without any smaller options we paid the $70pp and went inside.

Good thing we did too! After our first ride down we ran back to the top to do it again, and again, and again… I am usually not the type to go to an amusement park on a vacation while touring a country, but the Kiwis do it in such a unique and outdoorsy way that it is well worth it. The park had awesome Mountain Bike trails and the Zorb, which we didn’t get to try because of time. What a great way to enjoy the New Zealand outdoors and views!

Here is a video of one of the last trips down. By then I got more confident and really let it rip. I even got some air on a couple of the dips – you can hear me hooting when it happens 🙂

Some other non-luge clips:

Here is Jackie before we took our zip line down. I would have had video but since you end up laying back for the ride the whole shot was of the sky :-/


Getting ready to zipline
Getting ready to zipline

The more speedy way to come down after the zipline. We fell backwards with a quick bungee. It happened so fast I forgot to film it. :-/

A quick bungee down.
A quick bungee down.

One of our many rides back to the top on the Gondola for more fun rides.

Taking the Gondola back up for another fun ride
Taking the Gondola back up for another fun ride

Hot Springs of New Zealand

Maori Village

On our way through Rotorua we stopped in the living Maori Village in Whakarewarewa Rotorua. There you walk through a town that uses the underlying hot springs to provide energy for cooking, cleaning and heat. It was neat to watch (and feel) our first hot springs up close as they billowed warm steam through the cool air.


They used a series of channels to fill tubs or pools from the main springs.


And the kids asked US to take pictures of them playing when we passed by! Very photo friendly family I guess. 🙂


There are no hired actors here, everyone is a descendant of the original Maori townsmen.  You can watch the local family perform traditional Maori Dances.


We even got to take a picture with one of the afterwards.


We then toured the above ground cemetery located right in the town. Interesting looking cemetery with smoke circling the tombs.


Romantic Natural Hot Spring Spa

Our next stop was the Wairakei Terraces & Visitor Centre NETCOR in Taupo. This natural hot sprng stop was a completely different experience than the first. A much more quiet and romantic location these hot springs are partially man maded but are filled with run off from the natural hot springs above. The claclium deposist left from all of the mineral water covers the once man made surface and now is completly integrated with all the natural colors. We spam in the spa for well over an hour. (Supposedly the minral bath helps joints an aches too.)