Zip Lining in Ancient New Zealand Forests
“Don’t look down. Don’t. Look. Down.”
The mantra was running in a loop through my mind as I slowly and carefully approached the edge of the platform. “Just keep going down the steps, you’ll fly off with no effort” my guide said to me, guiding me down to the first steps. One step. Two steps. Three.. and I was off! Hanging by my harness and flying among the trees meters above the floor of the Rotorua rain forest.
While in Rotorua, New Zealand, on my Contiki Tour, I decided to go zip lining. I’d always thought it had sounded like fun and I really wanted to hang upside down while flying through a lush rain forest ever since I saw it on My Life’s a Movie (blog). The problem was, however, that while I’m not a complete chicken, I hadn’t considered how I would react stepping off a platform 22 metres above the ground into thin air.
I chose to go with Rotorua Canopy Tours because they are a non-profit organisation and all the funds they raise go towards conserving the very rain forest you zip line through. It’s been described on Trip Adviser as a low-impact “Adventure activity with a brain.” As a nerd, I love brains so I had to have a go! Also, they provide you with free photos from the tour.
After a short hike to the first platform, you receive a safety brief before you head off exploring a 1.2km network of zip lines and swing bridges. As you progress through the network, the zip lines become longer, and the guides begin challenging you to try new things, like stepping off the platform backwards or zip lining while hanging upside down.
As stated above, I was initially a little nervous, mostly because I was only starting to develop my trust in my waist harness (it always takes a little while for me). But once I had successfully completed my first zip line it was all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns from there. OK, maybe it was more adventure, excitement and wonder but you get the point. In a strange way, it was good preparation for sky diving over Lake Taupo since it was what opened me up to stepping out of my comfort zone (and there’s nothing like leaving your comfort zone by jumping out of a plane).
My only complaint was that I went on the twilight tour, so it got dark pretty quickly which made photo opportunities tricky, and even though it was summer it was FREEZING! This was likely due to the lack of sun light and the fact that we were in a rain forest environment. Moral of the story: take plenty of layers when you do this so you don’t get too cold.
This was one of my favourite activities while on my Contiki, and I was so lucky to get to do it again in Tasmania, but that story is for another day.
Have you ever been ziplining? Where in the world were you? Share below.