Signing Away Her Life and Giddy with Survival

“It was beginning to feel as if New Zealand’s national emblem wasn’t the silver fern, but the disclaimer form,” Guardian correspondent Rebecca Nicholson writes on a recent backpacking adventure throughout the country. “The frequent signing away of liability for life and limb began shortly after I disembarked from a 26-hour flight from London to Auckland. Someone suggested that the best way to get rid of any long-haul cobwebs might be to take a lift to the top of the city’s 328m Sky Tower, then base-jump off it (on a wire). I did, and two weeks of starting the day with ‘Read this and sign here’ had begun. I landed at the foot of the Sky Tower, giddy with survival, went straight back up in the lift and jumped off it again. It turns out this adrenaline stuff is addictive. So much so, in fact, that entire towns and cities are given over to the business of thrill-seeking. The newest experience to hit Rotorua is a forward-thinking combination of eco-tourism and old-fashioned thrills. Rotorua Canopy Tours are billed as a native forest canopy zipline tour, which is a wordy way of saying that you fly through the trees like a tui, though with panicked screaming taking the place of beautiful birdsong. The full circuit lasts for around three hours, and kicks off with a short walk through the Mamaku plateau forest, during which time the guides explain what they’re all about, which is mostly conservation of native bird species, which are perpetually under threat from non-native mammals such as rats, stoats and possums. After the short walk-and-talk, it’s time to jump off something, as, it seems, is often the way in this country. In this instance the ‘flying fox’ experience involves zipwiring between a series of wooden platforms at increasing heights, and across increasing widths, though this is a relatively gentle experience, at least until the final jump.”


Tags: Guardian (The)  Mamaku  Rotorua Canopy Tours  Sky Tower  

Auckland Creatives Give Condé Nast a City Tour

Auckland Creatives Give Condé Nast a City Tour

Auckland-based designer Lillie Toogood and husband Dirk Paetzold are helping shape the story of New Zealand now for an international audience. The pair were recently interviewed by Condé Nast Traveler for…