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NEWS: Rainbow Springs, NZ, opens $10 million water ride


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It's great to see an attraction of this calibre in New Zealand's tourist hot spot Rotorua. Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park is more of a wildlife sanctuary/kiwi encounter experience but this ride seems to fit the theme well. And as a bona fide 'log flume' enthusiast I'll have to pop up there soon to check it out.

 

 

Springs splash out for opening day

 

One minute you're meandering through native forest on a peaceful river, the next you're plunging 12m into a small lake, surrounded by screaming people.

 

Rainbow Springs' new $10 million Big Splash water ride opens to the public today, offering visitors and locals a glimpse back into the past, as well as a bit of a thrill and a refreshing shower.

 

"It is a water ride - you are going to get wet," said project manager Stewart Brown.

 

The nine-minute ride, taking guests through New Zealand's ecological evolution, has been nearly two years in the making, including a year of research before the physical work started on the project in May last year. Mr Brown said it was exciting to see the finished result.

 

"I think people will be pretty impressed and it is a ride that will get better with time as the bush continues to grow. Rotorua should be proud of what we have achieved. It's great to see the dream come true."

 

The bush includes existing trees, which the ride was built around, and more than 7000 transplanted native trees.

 

Boats of up to eight people carry you back to pre-human times, travelling into Maori occupation and then European settlement with a running commentary. The boats are also lifted into the tree canopy for a different perspective on the forest ecosystem, before finishing with the 12m "Big Splash" back to ground level.

 

For the most part, it is a leisurely boat trip through a pleasant bush setting, but the final drop adds a touch of excitement for the thrillseekers. And you can do it as often as you like.

 

Entrance to the park will rise from $30 to $35, but that includes as many Big Splashes as you want and locals' cards are still operating.

 

Big Splash is the largest single investment in the park since it opened in 1932 and Mr Brown described it as unique in New Zealand and in keeping with the conservation and sustainability focus of the park.

 

He was expecting a busy weekend as people come to Rainbow Springs to try the new ride. It will be open to everybody 1.1m and taller and to children 0.8-1.1m who are accompanied by an adult.

 

The project also includes an interactive playground, expected to be open by the end of the month.

 

Another article available here:

 

Chance to relive our ecological evolution

 

 

Yes there are dinosaurs!

Edited by mattnz
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^ Not quite!

 

$35 is pricey but of course Rotorua is a tourist trap. Come to think of it, with its reasonably mild climate and massive tourist traffic I can't see why New Zealand can't have a second theme park. I'm guessing Rainbow Springs aren't going to start building roller coasters but maybe we can have a Rainbow's End #2 somewhere nearby? One can hope!

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