It's summertime Downunder and New Zealand's only theme park Rainbow's End has just opened their new ride 'Invader' - a Zamperla Disko Coaster. Having never been on one before (I don't think there are any others in this part of the world...), a small group of us decided to check out the ride and the rest of the park on a very warm day just after Christmas...
(I'll do a part 2 and 3 as my partner Andrew and I checked out some other fun stuff during our Christmas break.)
Andrew and I travelled by train to start our holidays. This is what New Zealand looks like...
...with the occasional volcano or two.
Rainbow's End! Good to see it's still gay-friendly after all these years.
Invader is near the back of the park.
Naturally we headed there first.
It's a Zamperla Disko Coaster!
The colour of Pepsi!
A little themeing at the entrance/exit. This will NOT happen to you on the ride.
Other rides in the area were still testing so we headed to the log flume - an old favourite of mine.
The water is very green.
Love on the log flume!
New themeing has appeared. It's now a little bit 'Pirates of the Caribbean'.
You head into the creepy caves.
Where things start to get a little weird...
...then downright scary.
Our friends posing for the onride photo. Overall I was very impressed with the log flume. I first rode it way back in the mid-1980s and it still has one of the best lay-outs of any flume I've been on. Themeing has improved too which is always a good thing!
We headed over to the mine train coaster. Random themeing on the way.
It's called Goldrush.
Station pic. I have no idea who manufactured this ride. Can anyone shed some light? You ride in four seater trains and it feels a bit like a Wild Mouse - with tight corners and sudden braking. But the ride is custom fit for the hillside it shares with the log flume and is really, REALLY FUN!
It has great themeing all the way along the course, with trains coming at you, falling beams, animatronics, and a lift hill in the dark...
There's another lift hill outside (literally) through the trees.
We rode the Arrow Loop & Corkscrew.
Station pic featuring one of the more colourful coaster trains out there.
This would be the vertical loop...
...and double corkscrew over the midway. They send you through twice with the option of getting off after round 1.
Next up: another Zamperla ride, the Power Surge.
Sign of quality?
This is an excellent flat ride. You're left feeling very grateful for the restraints...
We gave the Pirate Ship a whirl.
The little girls on the other side kept telling us to scream!
Nearby is the BEST ride at the park.
It's an Intamin drop tower.
And an AWESOME one at that. Not too tall, but very, very forceful. It takes my breath away each and every time.
O Intamin gods - creators of the Intamin drop tower - we worship thee!
Time for lunch TPR style.
Other attractions you'll find at Rainbow's End: bumper boats...
...shows. Does this one count as a 'culture credit'?
3D simulation attraction. Kind of a ghetto Jurassic Park.
Cadbury Chocolate no longer sponsor the park's kiddyland, but Rainbow's End give them big-ups nonetheless.
Frog Hopper enthusiasts rejoice!
Here you'll find the park's third coaster - a dragon wagon that weaves around the castle surrounding the area.
Credit denied! (We didn't feel like stealing a child.)
The park also has a retro Cinema 180 attraction with a domed screen. You stand while watching funny 70s clips of out-of-control trains, planes and automobiles, and even the Loch Ness Monster at Busch Gardens! Fun way to experience the ride actually.
Finally we checked out the park's two race car rides.
But who needs two of them? Hmm...possible site of a future ride? Perhaps an invert? (One can hope.)
Overall we had a fun-filled day at the park! Rainbow's End has a decent line-up for our little island nation.
Good operations and friendly staff go a long way too! Next up: the ghetto fair comes to Tauranga and we take a trip to Rotorua to check out some other thrilling attractions.
Or more specifically, Mt. Maunganui, which is just over the harbour from my old hometown. The fair was run by Mahons Amusements, who have been operating in New Zealand for over 60 years. The fairs always provided good 'training ground' for me in my youth and I like to go back - if only because I find many fairground rides to be more fun and intense than those found at theme parks! I'm sure many can relate.
Oh, and happy New Year everyone!
Earlier in the day we climbed Mount Maunganui itself. It's an extinct volcano right at the end of the peninsula.
Is this a 'nature credit'?
Later that night we went to the ghetto fair - New Zealand style!
First contraption to greet us was the garishly coloured Scream Machine. You kind of feel like you're on stage with all those lights in your face.
But the ejector air time is totally worth it.
The Hurricane. More ejector air time to be had - with a pretty minimal lap bar.
Mahons count on the public not to be stupid while the ride is in operation.
We rode the Sizzler. I swear this is much faster than your usual Scrambler-style ride.
The Pirate Ship also seems to go much higher than your usual HUSS model.
The Superloop aka Fireball/Ring of Fire as seen in the movie 'Big'. We were tall enough to ride.
Yay for being 'Big'!
Fishing for prizes.
This was where the fair started to get really ghetto...
Ferris Wheel. Yet another 'faster than your average' fairground attraction. You rock backwards every time you go over the top.
Please ride me! (We didn't - Andrew and I aren't quite credit whores just yet.) We had a fun time at the ghetto fair! Seriously, we have to do things like this while waiting for Middle America 2010...
Great pictures and report. The last Photo TR I saw of Rainbows Ends it looked pretty ghetto, but it looks like they have cleaned up the place and now it looks great. The log ride was pretty funky and trippy. Anyway the park as a whole is very nice and seems to be a hidden gem.
Thanks for the TR. Rainbow's End is a fantastic little park. It doesn't look like much, but the log flume, mine train coaster and drop tower are all GREAT rides and when we visited a couple of years ago the park was a lot of fun. (And we got the kiddie credit since our son was with us!)
I write about how to travel the world for pennies on the dollar at Miles To Memories!
NZ's never been big when it comes to amusement parks. I unfortunately never got to go to Rainbow's End when I lived in Auckland back in 1990. I did, however, get to go to some other (now defunct) amusement parks including Footrot Flats (in Auckland, named after the NZ cartoon series) Fantasyland (now Splash Planet, in Hastings), and the QEII fun park in Christchurch
As for the accents, there are differences, and do not ever accuse a Kiwi of being an Aussie or an Aussie of being a Kiwi
Rainbow's End looked like quite the charming little park. I was saying it aloud a few more times than I should. Your ghetto carnival is still better than the one we have here in Windsor (Ontario). Oh, and I believe the Scream Machine is a KMG Miami.
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