Archive for December, 2013
Just about all of New Zealand is on holiday right now. We’re right in the middle of enjoying two pairs of statutory holidays landing mid-week, conveniently bookended by weekends so that there are 10 “days off” out of 16 (at least in the traditional sense of the term).
Whether you’re holidaying in the Far North, the Deep South or anywhere in-between, you will be able to find a Segway Guided Tour or Segway Fun Ride operator open for business along your route. Take a sunset glide along a harbour waterfront, an eco-tour by the lakeside, explore volcanos and boiling mud pools, or simply watch the kids laugh and smile as they zoom round and round.
Recently we profiled Segway Tour and Fun Ride businesses in Rotorua, Taupo and Lake Tekapo. Previously we’ve featured businesses in Auckland (Devonport), Christchurch and Queenstown. Whangarei and Nelson also offer Segway activities.
Segway On Q is always at or near the top of Trip Advisor’s recommendations for activities Queenstown, and here’s a great review from Trip Advisor about Magic Broomstick Segway Tours that was posted just a couple of days ago:
“Roll up, roll up to the jamboree” sang Tim Finn on Jamboree, the closing track on the Split Enz album Dizrythmia (1977).*
For Brendan Waters those lyrics will take on a particularly literal meaning from tomorrow as he rolls up at the 20th New Zealand Scout Jamboree in Fielding on a Segway Personal Transporter (PT).
Brendan will be using a Segway PT for Event Management to get around Manfield Park where 5,000 Scouts will gather between 28 December 2013 and 6 January 2014.
Segway PTs have become an essential tool for efficient operations by staff at large events. Segway New Zealand regularly hires Segway PTs for a wide variety of public safety roles, including traffic management and first aid/first responder duties. Segway PTs are used at large shows with broad appeal such as Big Boys Toys, SpeedShow, Home and Garden Shows, Airshows, and Balloons Over Waikato as well as specialist industry events such as EMEX, FoodTech/PackTech and The Tertiary Industry Management Conference. They have also become an important part of running public events such as Santa Parades and The Pink Star Walk. As a rule of thumb, putting someone onto a Segway PT instantly turns that person into three people, in terms of the work they can do. In fact, two people on Segway PTs can cover the same area as nine people on foot, in the same time.
At the Scout Jamboree a Segway PT will empower Brendan to get all around Manfield Park with ease and at speed, as well as into the town of Fielding. Covering the distance between his own tent to where his troop is camped on the diagonally opposite side of the park will be a breeze. Brendan will also use the Segway PT to stand out from the crowd as he swaps badges with others, to whom he is known by the moniker ‘King Louie.’
The first 450 scouts to arrive tomorrow – including Brendan and the Segway PT from Farm Cove Scout Group (Pakuranga, Auckland) – are traveling down overnight from Auckland on a specially chartered train. The carriages will initially be pulled by diesel locomotives. Once they reach Taumarunui a vintage steam locomotive takes over, and in nod to what may well be New Zealand’s longest running television advert of all time – The Great Crunchie Train Robbery – Crunchie Bars will be handed out to all on board.
* Dizrythmia (from circadian disrythmia or jet lag) was the third album by iconic Kiwi band Split Enz (NZ #3, Australia #18). Featuring their first hit single ‘My Mistake’ (NZ #21, Australia #15), the songs ‘Bold As Brass’ and ‘Charlie’ would also become well-known as the band’s popularity grew. Future albums would deliver ever-increasing chart success both locally and in Australia, and then further afield – particularly in UK, Canada and USA with the single I Got You from 1980’s True Colours.
Dizrythmia was the first Split Enz album to feature Tim’s younger brother Neil Finn, who joined following the departure of co-founder Phil Judd. Over the next three decades the brothers would go on to write and record some of New Zealand’s most-loved popular songs. Worldwide fame was achieved by Neil’s next band Crowded House, initially in the USA (the single Don’t Dream Its Over reached #2 in the US charts, from their debut album). Kiwi success to such heights of the US music charts would not be beaten until OMC’s How Bizzare topped reach #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Top 40 in 1997, and then this year Lorde achieved a 9 week run at #1 on the Billboard Top 100 with her song Royals. Last year, Australian artists Gotye’s Somebody That I Used To Know featuring a duet vocal by Kiwi singer Kimbra also spent time at #1 on many US charts, as well as many others around the world.
As Crowded House’s star descended in USA, it ascended in UK and Europe when brother Tim joined the band and their popularity soared with third and fourth albums Woodface and Together Alone. Enduring success followed with their respective solo careers and together as The Finn Brothers.
While the Finn’s are yet to feature a Segway PT in any of their music videos, you can see PTs in another Kiwi artist’s music video (Ethical’s On My Throne), and a rocket-launching Segway PT in Avril Lavigne’s Rock N Roll.
When it comes to shooting music videos, live sports, television shows and feature movies the Segway PT offers a fantastic, fast, flexible platform to film from. Beautifully designed Kiwi-developed “hands free” knee-steer options are available via Segway New Zealand, and several Steadicam operators and videographers purchased Segway PTs during 2013. For example, since January 2013, Broadcast Arts Video Unit Steadicam operator Rhys Duncan has regularly been seen in television sports coverage of major rugby games and cricket matches gliding up and down the sideline on a hands-free Segway x2 Turf model.
Merry Christmas to every Kiwi who uses a Segway Personal Transporter.
There are so many different ways to use a Segway PT. In fact, even Santa Clause uses a Segway PT these days. No more sleigh to service, no more reindeers to feed.
The Oklahoman newspaper reports “Sonic Santa” has been seen in downtown Oklahoma City throughout December. There might even have been two seen at the same time (which might take a bit of explaining to the kids). In any case, if you wake to the sound of a disturbance on the roof on Christmas Eve, it could well be the sound of spinning wheels instead of hooves this year.
Lake Tekapo’s is nestled in the heart of ‘MacKenzie Country’ – a vast, flat basin located high and deep within the Southern Alps in the central South Island. This lake’s water is a particularly striking and memorable shade of turquoise-blue that sets it apart from other alpine lakes on the popular State Highway 8 inland tourist route.
Segway Xtreme operates right on the lakefront in the centre of town with a fleet of six Segway ‘x2’ model Personal Transporters (PTs) fitted with large off-road, low-pressure, high-traction tyres that are surprisingly light on the environment.
With Segway Xtreme you can learn to ride a Segway PT with short “Fun Rides” on the grassy area between the shops and the water’s edge. Or take a guided Segway Tour around the lakeside to Pines Beach past highlights such as the little stone Church of the Good Shepard and the statue of the infamous sheep rustler James McKenzie’s dog – who dutifully helped his master herd flocks of stolen sheep into the then-unknown basin.
Because it is zero-emission and so gentle on the environment, this Segway Tour is the only vehicular traffic permitted by the Department of Conservation along the track to Pines Beach. Gliding along silently on a Segway PT makes it possible to enjoy how the shallow waters of the bay often provide a haven for black swan, scaup, pied stilt and sometimes even the rare crested grebe and black stilt.
At 710 metres, Lake Tekapo is one of several large, highland lakes in the area. The other prominent natural feature of the area is Mount John rising to 1,000 metres. At the top of this mountain is New Zealand’s premier astronomical research observatory, which benefits from the particularly dark skies in the region. Nearby, New Zealand’s highest mountain Mt Cook/Aoraki (3,753m) peaks up from the Southern Alps. The alps run some 450km and form the backbone of the South Island, and are themselves some 3 kilometres high.
New Zealand’s thermal wonderland on the Volcanic Plateau offers one of the few places in the world where tourists can easily and safely view boiling mud pools, colourful hot lakes, towering hot water geysers and amazing historical sites where Maori and early European settlers interacted with and lived amongst this unique geothermal environment.
Rotorua and Great Lake Taupo are “must-see” tourist towns – and both offer Segway Tours and Segway Fun Rides here in the heart of the North Island’s most active geologic region. Situated about an hour’s drive apart, each offers its own mix of things to do and see.
Taupo offers two sites – Fun Rides on the lakefront in town, and Guided Tours through a nearby thermally active reserve. In Rotorua, Segway Activities are based at Putt Putt Mini Golf (07 348 6314).
“Ewww, what is that stinky smell?” ask children when they first arrive in Rotorua.
The characteristic foul odour of rotten egg that fills the air is a gas called Hydrogen Sulfide that vents out from deep in the earth’s crust.
When the owner of Rotorua’s Putt Putt Mini Golf first approached Segway New Zealand to purchase a fleet of Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) in 2007, he asked: “Are they Hydrogen Sulphide-proof? That gas is corrosive and rots out electronics around here. A television set lasts about a year, and a fridge not even that long. We can’t even keep a cash register working.”
Our response was that, well, actually we didn’t know. No where in the world had Segway PTs been exposed to a high atmospheric level of Hydrogen Sulphide. What did know was that the Segway PT had been really well engineered to last, was well-built and had environment seals and gaskets to prevent water and moisture ingress. We also knew that the original i167 model had been independently certified to an industry standard confirming it is safe to use in oil refineries, petrochemical and gas plants, and similar environments where certain levels of explosive gases could be present. We reasoned that with this being the case, if any electric vehicle was going to last the distance in Rotorua it would be the Segway PT.
Seven years on, all four Segway PTs continue to operate normally.
Summertime is a great time to upgrade your Segway Personal Transporter (PT).
If you have a previous model, then you’ll really enjoy the benefits of the Segway i2 and x2 models. LeanSteer offers a more intuitive ride, and also more comfortable travel over uneven surfaces – both urban and off-road. The wireless InfoKey provides information such as speed, odometer and trip meter, as well as being used to activate the immobilising Lock function.
For some Segway PT owners, their needs change over time. Perhaps you have an i2 but an x2 would suit you better now? Or visa-versa? Either way, we can trade-in your current model and make it easy to have the exact Segway solution you want now.
Maybe you’ve taken up golf and want to use your Segway PT to transport both you and your golf bag on the fairway? We’ve got Golf upgrade kits for whatever model you own. We’ve also got Security upgrade kits, plus a range of Cargo solutions for both consumer and commercial users. Remember to check your tyre tread – new tyres will give you all the traction you need for safe travels over summer. And if your Segway PT is looking a bit tired with scuffed, damaged or broken trim pieces, then new trims will sharpen up your look.
Here’s an example of someone who has just changed her Segway PT model to suit her changing needs.
This customer has a spinal injury so she has limited ability to walk. She purchased an i180 in 2005, and for many years used both this and her manual wheelchair to move around her workplace (which was the Spinal Unit at Auckland Hospital). During the day, she’d choose whichever was most convenient device for the journey she was taking around the facility. These days, she works in a different role at a different hospital, and has little need to use her PT around the workplace. Her children are growing up she wants to spend more time outdoors with them, so last week she changed her i180 for a Segway XT (the first-generation equivalent to the current x2 model). With the warm, sunny weather upon us, she’s really looking forward to having the mobility to get down to the beach with her family this summer.
Speaking of 2005, here’s our ‘postcard’ brochure we gave out during 2005-2006.
On Saturday 4 December 2013 TV2 screened the Grand Final episode of Lets Get Inventin’ featuring finalist Scott Flaville and his Segway-powered automatic road cone laying machine invention. This Auckland-made, award-winning television show screens in 73 countries around the world.
Mainfreight’s annual Christmas Party of 1,300 enjoyed Segway Fun Rides for the forth year running last weekend, and once again Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) proved their popularity against ferris wheels, rock climbing walls, bouncy castles, inflatable slides, merry-go-rounds and even the big man in the red suit giving out free presents. Well, ok, so maybe Santa was the most popular attraction on the day after all – but hundreds of kids sure had no trouble running down the batteries on half-a-dozen Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) on a sunny afternoon in Manukau.
You can book The Segway Challenge or Segway Fun Rides for your Christmas Party, Corporate Team Building Event, or Family Fun Day this summer with Segway New Zealand anywhere in the Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga region, or at one of almost a dozen other locations around New Zealand.