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.