After hearing good things about Agroventures Adventure Park in Rotorua, we were delighted at being invited to review it. We arrived around lunchtime on a Saturday in May, and we were very surprised to find the place almost empty. Agroventures offer 5 different “extreme” activities, and they are all unaffected by weather, so not going because it’s raining seems daft to me. Having the park almost to yourselves is fun though, as we could pick and choose what activities to do without considering queues.
As we arrived we were welcomed by a happy receptionist that signed us in and gave us our wristbands. The bands were marked 4 times, which means we can do 4 of the activities once. We qualified for the Shweeb, Swoop, Freefall Xtreme and Agrojet. The bungy jump is ticketed separately, and we opted to leave that one out. The friendly staff member gave us a run through of which way we should go for all the activities, and even recommended an order for us. We decided to do the Shweeb first, as this is the world’s only commercial Shweeb. Basically it’s an upside down monorail powered like a bicycle.
Our measurements were taken so that the Shweeb’s could be adjusted accordingly, then we were shown the gears but neither of us bothered to use them. Gemma was concentrating too much on the burn in her thighs, and I was trying to change gear whilst having one of my many rests, but I kept clicking the gear changer the wrong way. I still won, but only just.
We had another go afterwards and I actually tried to change gear properly this time, which I had varied success with. I managed to still go down instead of up on occasion. My time was 1 minute and 6 seconds which I was happy with, but Gemma seemed to get worse the second time and said that she didn’t get on with my Shweeb (we swapped Shweebs for the second race). I couldn’t tell much difference.
The swoop was next for us, and we had a 5 minute wait as we had managed to bump into the only other people in the park! We saw them come down and I thought that it would calm Gemma’s nerves. Any rational person would see somebody else on the Swoop just before them and it would calm their nerves, but it seemed to somehow make Gemma’s worse. I knew she’d regret it if she didn’t try it, so I dragged her on and waved away her fears. It’s an exciting ride, but nothing to be scared of!
We stepped into a large sleeping bag, which was then tied around our ankles. There was a GoPro attached to the bag via a pole which records your Swoop. I was nominated as the person that pulls the cord, so I was on the right. They began lifting the sleeping bag and we rose into the clouds with a lovely view, even on a grey day such as this. Gemma got a little panicky, but I knew we’d be okay as there is only one way down now!
Once at the top, I was asked to hold the cord, then we were given a countdown. 3-2-1, Swoop! As you will see in the video at the bottom of the page, Gemma’s face says it all. The freefall bit scared her, then as soon as the rope tightens and we begin to swing, she’s all smiles. We both really enjoyed the Swoop.
Freefall Xtreme was next, a kind of vertical wind tunnel that lets you practice skydiving. This one was interesting but very tough to get it right. Once again, you will see from the video below that it is very hard to stay in one place, a slight movement in an arm or leg and you flew up to the net or off to the side! Each person got around 4 minutes with the guides, which felt like a fair amount of time, especially as it is physically demanding and extremely loud. The stairs up to Freefall Xtreme were very slippery when we went, so be careful.
The Agrojet was next for us, a speedboat with 450 horsepower. We were given macs to keep us as dry as possible and instructed to tighten our seat belts snugly. We were to do 3 laps, ending with a Hamilton spin. The boat itself is powerful and corners like nothing I’ve ever seen, zooming around the 1km water track onsite. We were both impressed. The only trouble we had was with the GoPro recordings, maybe the camera is a little old but we only had 2 out of our 3 laps on camera. This isn’t a major, but we thought it worth mentioning.
We had opted not to do the Bungy, but I imagine it’s just like the Swoop, but a little bit bouncier. They are both from over 40 metres high and surely give a rush of adrenaline to anyone. All of the activities have GoPro’s set up, and the footage plus photographs are available on CD before you leave. Gemma loved the Swoop, and had fun with all the activities.
Personally, I think it’s worth a visit for the Shweeb alone. You won’t find one anywhere else! Plus, if you compare the price of $109 for 4 activities to other activities in Rotorua you will see that it is well worth it.
Agroventures is a good adventure park that delivers fantastic value for money. A 4-Tune Pass (to do everything that we did, once) costs $109pp, and a VIP Pass (this includes the bungy) is $189pp. For further details and discounts, please visit their website.
Agroventures Adventure Park
1335 Paradise Valley Road