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Photo TR: Rainbow's End, New Zealand


mattnz
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It's summertime Downunder and New Zealand's only theme park Rainbow's End has just opened their new ride 'Invader' - a Zamperla Disko Coaster. Having never been on one before (I don't think there are any others in this part of the world...), a small group of us decided to check out the ride and the rest of the park on a very warm day just after Christmas...

 

(I'll do a part 2 and 3 as my partner Andrew and I checked out some other fun stuff during our Christmas break.)

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Good operations and friendly staff go a long way too! Next up: the ghetto fair comes to Tauranga and we take a trip to Rotorua to check out some other thrilling attractions.

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Overall we had a fun-filled day at the park! Rainbow's End has a decent line-up for our little island nation.

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But who needs two of them? Hmm...possible site of a future ride? Perhaps an invert? (One can hope.)

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Finally we checked out the park's two race car rides.

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The park also has a retro Cinema 180 attraction with a domed screen. You stand while watching funny 70s clips of out-of-control trains, planes and automobiles, and even the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens! Fun way to experience the ride actually.

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Credit denied! (We didn't feel like stealing a child.)

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Here you'll find the park's third coaster - a dragon wagon that weaves around the castle surrounding the area.

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Frog Hopper enthusiasts rejoice!

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Cadbury Chocolate no longer sponsor the park's kiddyland, but Rainbow's End give them big-ups nonetheless.

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3D simulation attraction. Kind of a ghetto Jurassic Park.

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...shows. Does this one count as a 'culture credit'?

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...dodgems...

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Other attractions you'll find at Rainbow's End: bumper boats...

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Time for lunch TPR style.

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O Intamin gods - creators of the Intamin drop tower - we worship thee!

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And an AWESOME one at that. Not too tall, but very, very forceful. It takes my breath away each and every time.

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It's an Intamin drop tower.

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Nearby is the BEST ride at the park.

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The little girls on the other side kept telling us to scream!

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We gave the Pirate Ship a whirl.

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This is an excellent flat ride. You're left feeling very grateful for the restraints...

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Sign of quality?

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Next up: another Zamperla ride, the Power Surge.

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...and double corkscrew over the midway. They send you through twice with the option of getting off after round 1.

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This would be the vertical loop...

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Station pic featuring one of the more colourful coaster trains out there.

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We rode the Arrow Loop & Corkscrew.

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There's another lift hill outside (literally) through the trees.

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It has great themeing all the way along the course, with trains coming at you, falling beams, animatronics, and a lift hill in the dark...

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Station pic. I have no idea who manufactured this ride. Can anyone shed some light? You ride in four seater trains and it feels a bit like a Wild Mouse - with tight corners and sudden braking. But the ride is custom fit for the hillside it shares with the log flume and is really, REALLY FUN!

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It's called Goldrush.

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We headed over to the mine train coaster. Random themeing on the way.

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Our friends posing for the onride photo. Overall I was very impressed with the log flume. I first rode it way back in the mid-1980s and it still has one of the best lay-outs of any flume I've been on. Themeing has improved too which is always a good thing!

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Final drop.

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...then downright scary.

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...and trippy...

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Where things start to get a little weird...

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You head into the creepy caves.

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New themeing has appeared. It's now a little bit 'Pirates of the Caribbean'.

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Love on the log flume!

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The water is very green.

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Other rides in the area were still testing so we headed to the log flume - an old favourite of mine.

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A little themeing at the entrance/exit. This will NOT happen to you on the ride.

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The colour of Pepsi!

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It's a Zamperla Disko Coaster!

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Naturally we headed there first.

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Invader is near the back of the park.

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Rainbow's End! Good to see it's still gay-friendly after all these years.

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...with the occasional volcano or two.

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Andrew and I travelled by train to start our holidays. This is what New Zealand looks like...

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Mmmm Cadbury Land. Great report, looks like a nice little park. I love the picture of everyone worshipping the drop tower, haha that's how Kings Island was before the B&M hyper came in.

 

I met a guy this weekend and his accent sounded like an Australian, so I asked where in Australia he lived...but he was from NZ! Australian and NZ accents are so similar!

 

Damn, it's coming up on 2 years since I was living in Australia....

 

-Jizz"Got some Tim-Tams at World Market today!"Man

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Part 2: The ghetto fair comes to Tauranga

 

Or more specifically, Mt. Maunganui, which is just over the harbour from my old hometown. The fair was run by Mahons Amusements, who have been operating in New Zealand for over 60 years. The fairs always provided good 'training ground' for me in my youth and I like to go back - if only because I find many fairground rides to be more fun and intense than those found at theme parks! I'm sure many can relate.

 

Oh, and happy New Year everyone!

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Please ride me! (We didn't - Andrew and I aren't quite credit whores just yet.) We had a fun time at the ghetto fair! Seriously, we have to do things like this while waiting for Middle America 2010...

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Ferris Wheel. Yet another 'faster than your average' fairground attraction. You rock backwards every time you go over the top.

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This was where the fair started to get really ghetto...

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Fishing for prizes.

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Yay for being 'Big'!

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The Superloop aka Fireball/Ring of Fire as seen in the movie 'Big'. We were tall enough to ride.

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The Pirate Ship also seems to go much higher than your usual HUSS model.

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We rode the Sizzler. I swear this is much faster than your usual Scrambler-style ride.

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Mahons count on the public not to be stupid while the ride is in operation.

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The Hurricane. More ejector air time to be had - with a pretty minimal lap bar.

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But the ejector air time is totally worth it.

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First contraption to greet us was the garishly coloured Scream Machine. You kind of feel like you're on stage with all those lights in your face.

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Later that night we went to the ghetto fair - New Zealand style!

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Is this a 'nature credit'?

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Earlier in the day we climbed Mount Maunganui itself. It's an extinct volcano right at the end of the peninsula.

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Thanks for the TR. Rainbow's End is a fantastic little park. It doesn't look like much, but the log flume, mine train coaster and drop tower are all GREAT rides and when we visited a couple of years ago the park was a lot of fun. (And we got the kiddie credit since our son was with us!)

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NZ's never been big when it comes to amusement parks. I unfortunately never got to go to Rainbow's End when I lived in Auckland back in 1990. I did, however, get to go to some other (now defunct) amusement parks including Footrot Flats (in Auckland, named after the NZ cartoon series) Fantasyland (now Splash Planet, in Hastings), and the QEII fun park in Christchurch

 

As for the accents, there are differences, and do not ever accuse a Kiwi of being an Aussie or an Aussie of being a Kiwi

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^ Ah, Footrot Flats! The place I rode my first coaster - the Cannonball Run (an S.D.C. Galaxi I believe). It became a bit run-down by the 1990s but I always had a lot of fun there.

 

I hadn't seen the KMG ride on the NZ fair circuit before. Simple but quite fun!

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Part 3: Rotorua

 

We took a quick trip over to Rotorua to visit Skyline Skyrides to ride their new 'Skyswing' - a bungee style attraction. Commercial bungee jumping began in New Zealand in the early 1980s and we've always been big on this sort of thing down here (perhaps because we have a lot of very large canyons, cliffs, etc, to jump off...).

 

Skyline Skyrides also have six luge tracks which run down the mountainside. This is LOTS of fun!

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Finally we drove to my favourite lake in the region - Lake Okataina, which mysteriously has no inlets or outlets. Ain't it pretty. So concludes my TR - thanks for reading!

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But we were more excited to find another ghetto fair! (Alas, closed during the day.)

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All around Rotorua you'll find thermal sites including mud pools, hot springs and geysers...hence the tourism.

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We had a quick look around Rotorua. These are the 'Government Gardens'.

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The chair lifts serve a practical purpose but are a fun in themsleves.

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There are two sets of chair lifts to get you back to the top.

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Finish line.

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Fun for young and old!

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Some of the tracks are almost 2 kilometres in length.

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There are some spots where you really do need to slow down! (Big turns, drops, etc.)

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You can pick up some great speed on the luge tracks.

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Funnily enough this was where all the tourists were! But with six tracks you get through pretty fast.

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We went to check out the luging.

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Over the cliff. Holy CRAP!

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This is the part where expletives are shouted out as you rocket to 120 kph / 74 mph.

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Cables lift you up slowly to 50 metres / 164 feet. I was given the job of pulling the 'rip cord'.

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You are strapped into this device. There is an on-ride camera too.

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We went straight to the Skyswing expecting more huge queues. Surprisingly, there were none!

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But the view from the top is the winner.

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The gondola offers pretty cool views of Rotorua.

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You have to take the gondola up the mountainside. They take your picture for purchase later on. We took our own ;-)

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We arrived to find massive queues at Skyline Skyrides. I kind of forgot Rotorua is a pretty huge tourist destination...

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That log flume's turning loading area sort of reminds me of the one at California's Great America. Is it an Arrow log flume?

 

That Skyswing thing looks crazy! If I am correct it works like sit-in version of a Skycoaster? Not something I'd personally like to try but looks pretty thrilling. Not surprized to see something as New Zealand is known for being a thrillseeker/adrenaline junkie's heaven. There's no OTSRs right? Looks kinda like the harnesses on the old version of a Skyscraper ride.

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^ You're strapped in with three-point harnesses on the Skyswing. It seems much steeper than a skycoaster to me, but probably provides a similar experience - though I find flying face-down a lot more intimidating...

 

Not sure who manufactured the log flume but it looks like an Arrow ride to me.

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Rainbow's End looks like a really nice little park, certainly nicer than my local park, Wild Waves. They have a good collection of rides and I liked the rainbow trains on the Arrow. The Skyswing looks really fun! I'd rather do that than a skycoaster.

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-Jizz"Got some Tim-Tams at World Market today!"Man

 

I bought myself a special-edition three-pack at World Market for Christmas; I go weak at the knees for those things. (Thanks a LOT, Cam. )

 

Your ghetto carnival is still better than the one we have here in Windsor (Ontario).

 

The Freedom Festival, fireworks aside, has just become so sad over the past few years; I saw not one ride I actually wanted to pay for back in June. (Heck, the Tecumseh Cornfest has better rides!)

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Thanks all.

 

Guy, New Zealand beckons! I believe you can visit the remnants of Hobbiton somehwere around Hamilton. But you're right, the whole country basically looks like Hobbiton so why bother! And I am planning on climbing Mt. Doom (doing the Tongariro Crossing) sometime soon.

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