Let’s go Zorbing! A Photo Essay

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The premise itself sounds ridiculous. First, you dive head-first into an inflatable plastic ball that’s suspended within a larger inflatable plastic ball. Next, about an inch of water is added into the inner ball with you. Then, you are pushed down a large hill.

Ridiculous, right? Actually, it’s just another New Zealand-born adventure sport, known as zorbing.

Zorbing in Rotorua

I first heard of zorbing about a decade ago, while watching an episode of “The Amazing Race,” in which the contestants had to go zorbing in Rotorua, New Zealand. After watching teams roll and bounce their way down a hill, I decided I needed to add zorbing to my list of must-dos when I finally visited New Zealand.

It would take me roughly eight years to cross it off my list, but I finally became a Zorbonaut in 2008, when a friend and I tackled Rotorua over a long weekend. (We were studying in Wellington at the time.)

Check out our wacky zorb adventure through the following photos:

First, you choose one of two options: Zydro (where you slip and slide down the hill with water in your zorb) or Zorbit (where you are strapped into the zorb so you go tumbling head over heels down the hill). Then you get into the giant hamster-ball-looking contraption (I dove in).

Zorbing

Next, you are rolled down the hill. There are different tracks to try, depending on if you’re riding alone or with a partner.

Zorbing

Jamie and I did the Zydro together, meaning we spent the entire ride slipping and sliding around, limbs flying. I’ve never laughed so much in my life.

Us reaching the “landing pad”

When you reach the bottom of the hill, enthusiastic zorb employees maneuver your zorb so that you can slide out the opening. It’s very awkward; not unlike what I imagine being birthed would be like.

“It’s a girl!”

Pose for a few good, wet photos, then make your way back to the lockers and changing rooms (if you’re wet like we were).

Take a few more photos.

And don’t forget the iconic “jump shot” before you leave.

IF YOU GO

Today, there are actually two different companies offering zorbing in Rotorua. There's ZORB New Zealand, which is the “original” operator and the one I went with. And there's also OGO Rotorua, which offers similar rides.

Have you ever been zorbing before? If not, is it something you'd like to try?

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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20 Comments on “Let’s go Zorbing! A Photo Essay

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  1. Whoa, this is the coolest thing I have ever seen!!! Definitely will try this on my next trip to NZ, it’s at the top of my list! Love the idea of being birthed out of a giant water-filled ball….

      Haha, yeah, it’s pretty crazy! But tons of fun.

      They also opened up a Zorb course in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. But I would always recommend going for the true Kiwi experience in Rotorua!

    That looks like a lot of fun, probably wouldn’t want to drink too much before. I think I’ll wait for the true Kiwi experience, even though my parents live near Pigeon Forge.

    Hey, it look like so much fan!! What’s the function of the water added there? And, did you two climbed in the same ball? I always thought you will roll down loose inside the ball, so can’t put more than one people. I’m curious!

      The water just allows you to slip around and keeps you from tumbling head over heels. You basically stay in (sort of) one place. So, yes, if you do the wet version, you can zorb with more than one person! It’s crazy, and you end up all tangled, but it’s so much fun. If you do the dry version, then you actually get strapped into the zorb, so you end up going upside down and everything. With that version, you can only do it with one person inside.

    […] Let’s Go Zorbing! Amanda at A Dangerous Business is a lover of all things Kiwi, and it’s no surprise that she loved zorbing!  Her incredible photos capture every moment.  I, for one, had no idea you could zorb with water in the ball, and then come out as if you were being born! […]

    Aaaa very nice photos. One of my dreams to ride in zorb, but in Ukraine we dont still have it. Does it very expensive?

      Well hopefully the zorb will eventually make it to Ukraine! It’s a lot of fun. As for price, it’s not exactly cheap – $40-$50 per ride. But it’s completely worth it!

    Woo! I cannot wait to try Zorbing! I was in Rotorua Tuesday, but I was on a sponsored trip and went rafting with the 7 meter waterfall instead. Still a gnarly time, but I am dying to Zorb it up, my friends had a blast!

      Zorbing is SO much fun! Definitely figure out a way to fit it in!!

    […] in Auckland, sandboarding in Northland, black water rafting or canyoning in the Waitomo caves, zorbing in Rotorua, skydiving and bungy jumping in Taupo, doing a flying fox in Gravity Canyon, and skiing on volcanos […]

    […] should come as no surprise that Rotorua has some of its own to offer. The must-do activity here is zorbing, where you dive into what looks like a giant hamster ball and are rolled down a hill. Go with […]

    […] extensively all over the country with two friends. We booked everything from whale watching to zorbing to a private flight over the Southern Alps, and racked up some impressive credit card bills. I […]

    Zorbing is awesome. We did that in Rotorua when we spent 6 months traveling in the country. It is one of kind of experience and we loved it.

      SO FUN. I could not stop laughing.

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