This bucket list item was completed on 17th June 2013 in Rotorua, New Zealand.
If you have been following along with the timeline so far, I have just graduated university and transplanted myself into New Zealand on a one-way ticket. Kyle and I landed in Auckland during the first week of June and spent the first couple days getting bank accounts set up, adjusting to the time zone and searching for a used car.
We killed time by checking out some museums and also getting over to Rangitoto Island for a bit of an adventure.
There were definitely some culture shocks when we arrived but Auckland is pretty much the same as Toronto, except there are palm trees… I wasn’t expecting that, coming from Canada. Auckland even has the Sky Tower, which is just a smaller version of the CN Tower.
It took us about four days to find a suitable car and by that time we both agreed it was time to leave Auckland. We drove straight to Raglan because we heard it had great waves and was a cool surf town. The rumours were true. We scored some good waves in the few days we were there and made a few new friends at the hostel where we were staying.
When I left Canada I told everyone that I would give it 3-5 years and then decided whether I was going to stay in NZ or come home. I remember sending my parents and email after having an amazing surf in Raglan and said I was going to live here forever. Well, it’s been over six years and I am still here.
We both would have liked to stay longer but there were many things on our list to see in our first few months in NZ so we kept moving. After Raglan, our adventures took us over to Rotorua, which I consider to be the hub of all fun/outdoorsy stuff in the North Island. We went mountain biking, luging, relaxed in the hot pools, walked around the thermal wonderland and, of course, zorbing.
When I was making my bucket list, I searched all over the internet to find weird, fun, crazy and hilarious adventures to add to my list. I came across zorbing, which looked awesome so I put it on the list.
I did not know that zorbing was actually invented in New Zealand until I saw it on a pamphlet in Rotorua. I was delighted that I was going to cross another item off my list so soon. Kyle was 100% game as well so we rocked up to OGO to do some zorbing.
We did one race down the hill where Kyle and I were in separate orbs. I’m pretty sure Kyle won the race. Then we did two runs down the sidewinder track with both of us in the orb. That was chaotic and hilarious. You smash into each other a lot and get really disoriented from zig-zagging down the hill. Worth every penny.
It was technically winter but we had just come out of Canadian winter so the kiwi version of winter wasn’t bothering us much. Regardless, they still filled the orbs with bath water so when you jumped inside it was nice and warm. When you get to the bottom, someone has to unzip you from the orb and you slide out with all of the water. And then they had a hot tub at the bottom for us to jump in and stay warm.
Unfortunately, my GoPro malfunctioned and I lost all of the footage from inside but here is some footage of my brother and me when he visited a year later.
I was excited to kick off our NZ adventures with so much fun and it was only the beginning of many adventures over the next few months. Stay tuned for more.
Have you been zorbing in New Zealand? Let me know in the comments below.
Make sure to read my next post, [#89 Lesson] See Out Odd Adventures, which discusses the lesson learned by completing this item.Want to be notified when new blog posts are uploaded? Subscribe below.
Dave has been on a mission, since 2010, to cross off the 100 items on his bucket list. The stories of his adventures are complimented by life lessons learned along the way and his travel tips are unique to his experiences.