You haven’t lived until you go zip lining Rotorua with a Rotorua Canopy Tour through the treetops. Put it top of your list of things to do in Rotorua. I didn’t think I was a ziplining sort of person until I tried flying through the ancient forest in New Zealand with a Rotorua Canopy Tour.  I was told it was one of the top things to do in Rotorua and they were right!

Jump onboard for zip lining Rotorua

It was the SlotZilla Zip Line in the middle of downtown Las Vegas that first inspired my interest in what I previously considered an extreme sport.  It looked rather easy and fun cruising 11 stories high for two blocks of busy Fremont Street. Especially when the light and sound show was playing.

You couldn’t get a zip line environment more different from busy Vegas than a verdant native forest canopy in New Zealand. But high amongst ancient native trees deep in a 500-hectare forest with Rotorua Canopy Tours is where I gained my love of throwing myself into the air with just a steel cable keeping me from plummeting to the ground.


Rotorua’s favourite outdoor activity

There’s a reason why Rotorua Canopy Tours is ranked number 1 on TripAdvisor for Rotorua outdoor activities.  It is indeed a memorable way to spend three hours and a liberating way to conquer a fear of heights. Feel the fear and do it anyway!

The views are exhilarating as you fly through changing landscapes from high above unexplored forested valleys amongst stands of giant long-forgotten trees.

While I am very comfortable in most situations (that doesn’t include anything to do with cockroaches or toads), I have always thought of sky diving or parachuting as a particular form of torture.

I was a little worried that I would get to the jump-off point and freeze and considered pulling out of the whole tour beforehand.  That’s when I got the guilts over letting my daughter down.  She was happy to do the tour but not on her own, so I just had to put my big girl pants on and do it. Zip lining Rotorua here I come.


Zip lining Rotorua is easy peasy

Luckily, everything they said about the Rotorua Canopy Tour guides being trained to support people through the journey was true.  Their instructions were clear and precise, and their encouragement and humour were all I needed to step off into the air suspended on by a wire.

In the end, it was not the jumping off but the landing that was more complicated on this zip lining tour.  I even got used to standing on a tree platform without any railings. Going second or third out of the small group also helped increase my confidence. Once you can put your faith in the wire support system, you know you are always protected from falling.

The longest zip line is 200 metres, but it’s over pretty quickly.  Strangely, I found the suspended walkways the most challenging part.

Unlike other tours I have experienced where you are on a line, Rotorua Canopy Tours encourages participants to bring their camera.  They even take photos on their own camera which are available for you to download free at the end of the day.


Conservation bonus on the Rotorua Canopy Tour

An unexpected tour bonus was contributing to and learning about forest preservation through the zip lining tour.  The Dansey Road Scenic Reserve where the tours are conducted had been a neglected part of the forest, overrun by thousands of pesky possums and rats.

Remember possums are not native to New Zealand and are considered pests.  Without any predators, they can grow to the size of a small dog!

Rotorua Canopy Tours works in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and every visitor contributes to conservation through a portion of their ticket price.  There are 652 traps set to remove pests throughout the forest. the aim is to return the forest to a pre-human state with total predator control.

You don’t have to be particularly fit to do the tour. As long as you can comfortably do a one-hour forest walk and walk up three flights of stairs without a problem, you will be okay to fly through the air.

canopy zip line, Rotorua Canopy Tour

What does it cost?

Zip lining in Rotorua costs $149 NZ for adults and $119 for children. A family of four costs $499.  Children have to be six years or older to experience the canopy zip line and must be accompanied by an adult if they are under 15 years, so there’s no chance to chicken out mum or dad. Add it to your list of things to do in Rotorua right now!

Find out more here.

Getting there

My journey to Rotorua started with an Air New Zealand flight from Brisbane to Auckland in a Premium Economy seat. It was a comfortable leather seat with plenty of room to move around.

The food and wine served on all of Air New Zealand’s flights have been designed to give customers a true taste of New Zealand. Customers in Business Premier and Premium Economy enjoy menus specially curated by renowned New Zealand chefs Peter Gordon and Michael Meredith. The New Zealand wines have been picked by leading independent wine experts.

Air New Zealand offers year-round daily direct services to Auckland from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, up to five flights weekly from Adelaide, as well as seasonal flights from Cairns, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, with connections available across its domestic network. See Air New Zealand.

A domestic Air New Zealand flight took us onwards to Rotorua.

Looking for some great places to eat in Rotorua?  Try these ethical eateries in New Zealand.


Ed+bK was a guest of Tourism New Zealand.