February is always a busy month for Segway New Zealand. Enquiries from individuals and businesses interested in Segway Personal Transporters (PTs) and Segway miniPROs begin to ramp up as the Great Kiwi Summer Holiday Season begins to wind down. We exhibit at the first of many trade shows we will attend during the year ahead. This year we’ve already displayed and promoted Segway products at shows in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Christchurch.
During nationwide travels we also get to visit some of our customers in out-of-the-way places along the way, and are always amazed and impressed how they utilise their Segway PTs as part of their everyday activities. It is deeply satisfying to see Segway PTs having become integrated into routine, serving as an essential and productive extension of either a business or of an individual…or both. Our customers include dairy farmers and orchardists, warehouses and factories, event managers and security guards, along with hundreds of commuters and mobility users.
Segway Tour businesses are also an important customer for Segway New Zealand. Not only do tourists enjoy an enjoyable and engaging local experience, often a tour on a Segway Personal Transporter is a person’s first experience with this incredible machine.
We visited three of New Zealand’s Segway Tour operators during our February travels.
Segway At Taupo is operated by Pure Kiwi Adventures, and have been offering their famous ‘Short Rides’ in a park overlooking Lake Taupo since 2007. This is one of the Taupo’s top tourist attractions and is loved by kids of all ages. The lake fills the cauldera of Taupo Volcano, the world’s most recent supervolcanic eruption. This was a very big bang indeed, and created the second-largest freshwater lake in Oceania.
Interesting fact: when we visit our Segway friends at Segway Asia-Pacific Regional HQ in Singapore and they ask about life in New Zealand, one way we describe it is like this: the area of Lake Taupo is 80% of the area of Singapore, and the population of New Zealand is 80% of the population of Singapore. If every person in New Zealand gathered together and (magically) stood on the surface of Lake Taupo then that would be the same population density as Singapore.
We also visited Rotorua by Segway, a business that launched exactly one year ago. Rotorua is New Zealand’s second-busiest tourist town (after Queenstown). Visitors can take a guided Segway Tour through this very active geothermal region. The tour sets off along a recently opened shared eco-path through the city centre then out to an park filled with boiling mud pools. You’ll glide along a raised footbridge through clouds of geothermal steam rising from hot lakes below, then past a historic lakeside Maori village and the beautiful ‘Government Gardens.’ The tour returns through a volcanic ‘wasteland’ of rocky, multi-coloured mineral deposits and scrubland known as Sulphur Point (an area that kinda smells a bit like rotten eggs, and resembles a Sci-Fi alien planet).
Christchurch Segway Tours began taking sight-seeing groups through this beautiful city in 2006. Operated by our official Segway Dealer Urban Wheels, this tour takes riders past many historic places and through the jewel of the city, Hagley Park. In more recent years tourists have seen a very different Christchurch during their tour. A series of earthquakes levelled many buildings in the CBD in 2011, and caused extensive damage throughout the city (leaving it resembling “London after the war”according to some). Today, the Segway Tour takes in both historic sites as well as the hive of rebuilding activity in the city centre.