New tour opens: see ‘Rotorua by Segway’

Rotorua by Segway opens for business tomorrow (2 February 2016) with their brand new fleet of Segway Personal Transporters.

For the first time, tourists visiting New Zealand’s world-famous centre of geothermal activity can take morning or afternoon tours that pass by active, bubbling mud pools and colourful, steaming hot cauldrons. Sites such as the stunning Government Gardens are also on the route. Find out more and book via their website, or visit their Facebook page:


According to Saturday’s Rotorua Daily Post article:

Rotorua By Segway is the brainchild of local business people Richard and Julie Sewell and Mr Sewell’s sister and brother-in-law Simon and Robynne Watson of Auckland.

“We got the idea when we were on holiday in Italy and Spain. We took three Segway tours while over there and were quite intrigued….they were the highlight of our trip.”

He said Segway New Zealand was invaluable in terms of putting together the tours.

The business owners have spent several months preparing the launch, including careful route planning and identification of hazards, to ensure customers enjoy a safe trip around Rotorua.


“It’s a little quirky and we hope we do well in the market. We have six Segways, so we can take five people at a time with our amazing guide Rachel Sinclair. It’s a 2-hour tour with an intro to the machine that takes about 20-25 minutes to get people confident on the machines if they haven’t used them before.”

The tours start and finish at Urbano Bistro restaurant, located in the middle of the hotel and motel accommodation district of Fenton Street, just a couple of blocks from the centre of town. The tour route makes use of the new ‘Green Corridor’ council initiative to make walking, cycling and personal electric vehicle use safer and easier through the city, by way of a shared space that is demarcated from other traffic. Segway Personal Transporter tours are an ideal example of exactly how such projects do attract new business into the CBD.


“By the end we hope they will all be thirsty and hungry and to pop into the restaurant to talk about their experiences. We like to think it will complement our business here. The tours are small and personal, which was what we really liked when we were overseas,” he said.

Segway Tours have become a very popular tourist activity – typically #1 on TripAdvisor in every town where they are offered (or at least in the top 5). For Rotorua, Lakes Council Deputy Mayor and the leader of the Economic Growth Portfolio, Dave Donaldson, says this new Segway enterprise is a testament to the Sewell’s entrepreneurial spirit, and a great addition to the city’s many offerings to visitors and locals alike. After taking the tour yesterday together with Mayor Steve Chadwick and the council CEO, Mr Donaldson said:


“It was a wonderful experience, even for a local familiar with the landmarks and natural features. Their guide Rachel has a fantastic welcoming personality and great people skills. We were given brilliant tuition in operating the Segway and from then on was pure enjoyment.

“For a tourist it would be both enjoyable and educational. It’s run very responsibly and potential patrons are in for an absolute treat,” Mr Donaldson said.

The tour uses five Segway i2 SE models for tourists to ride. This model offers a safe, comfortable ride with a footprint no wider that a persons shoulders. A front bag enables tourists to carry additional clothing, personal items such as a camera, and a water bottle. The tour leader uses the versatile Segway x2 SE Patroller model, featuring hi-viz reflective shields, a larger integrated bag to hold additional safety equipment, and is equipped with soft-riding Turf tyres.


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