Summer Playtime Just Got Adventurous

Summer Playtime Just Got Adventurous
  • Written by
  • Harri Sharman

Summer playtime just got adventurous!

Rotorua: stunning lakes, geothermal wonders, and, of course, action-packed adventure – it’s the ultimate destination. As a recent returnee to New Zealand and an amateur adventurer, thrill seeking was hot on my to-do list. And, what better place to start than the aptly named Adventure Playground! From horse trekking and self-drive 4WD buggy tours, to clay pigeon shooting and archery – adrenaline-boosting activities for the whole family.

Since stepping into new management in early 2020, it’s clear the Adventure Playground team – headed by the knowledgeable Craig Holley – are ramping up for summer, with plenty of new activities in play. So, my fiancé John and I decided to spend an afternoon checking out the fun.

Fun to view

One of the highlights of Adventure Playground is its unparalleled view across Lake Rotorua and beyond. Boasting a higher elevation than other nearby attractions, whether you opt for a relaxed horse trek or an exhilarating 4WD buggy tour, you’re treated to the most stunning vistas in town.

Horse treks and 4WD tours run four times a day – even during wet weather. Prior to our visit, they’d experienced two days of heavy rain, but the mud only made it more fun! Craig demonstrated his off-roading skills on the Mount Ngongotaha tracks, running through 750 acres of land and unspoilt native bush – the only way to access this beautiful, untouched landscape.

Take a shot

As we navigated our way down the activities trail, we stopped at the purpose-built clay pigeon shooting facility. With eight shooting bays – and more on the way – we were dually impressed at just how well Adventure Playground caters to multiple groups and abilities. Options include paying by the shot, testing out traditional over/under shotguns, pump-action guns and modern semi-automatics – with nothing less than the highest quality guns and ammunition.

For a beginner like me it’s the best place to go to learn gun safety from the experts and practise your aim. I even managed to hit a few clays! For the more experienced shooter, the challenging high pheasant field range simulates various game birds taking flight – as close to the real deal as you can get!

Family friendly

In addition to the beefed-up shooting range, there’s a new archery and soft air target range. Great for the smaller shooter to practise their hand-eye coordination, or for those that prefer something a little simpler.

We found it incredibly easy to venture away our entire afternoon, and we’re excited to plan another visit and check out the “go fast” buggy – a buggy that’s destined to hit double the top speed of existing buggies – which is arriving at the park very soon. There’s also word that an exclusive military-themed experience is currently under construction. So, whether you’re a daredevil or adventure-curious, there’s plenty of fun, thrill and action to be had at Adventure Playground.

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