The Mask of Zorbo: Zorbing in New Zealand

Let me apologize in advance for the post title. I didn’t sleep last night as I was trying to drop my roommate off at the airport only to hear that a volcano erupted in Chile and as a result all the domestic flights in Argentina were canceled. The same thing happened to me last week. (Same volcano, different eruption) As an upside, the sunset was beautiful tonight due to an ash filled sky.

Sunset After Volcano Eruption

As a downside, my sense of humor is less ripe than normal and there are thousands of people who were trying to attend the Copa America who are now stranded.

But I digress. This post is supposed to be about something far more logical, Zorbing. Zorbing is the sport of putting yourself in a giant water-filled hamster ball and being pushed down a big grass hill. As far as I can tell there is only two places on earth where you can do this. One is in the middle of the United States (lame…) and the other is in the middle of New Zealand (opposite of lame!) I got the chance to do this in the latter.


I originally heard about this sport on a Travel Channel show called Extreme Adrenaline Rushes. I had actually been working on this bucket list item for a couple years but could never find a way to make it to New Zealand. As it turns out, the island is in the middle of no where. The only thing it is close to is a much bigger island some people like to call Australia. (I am one of those people)

Luckily for me, I was invited to come speak at SMX Sydney and the company I used to work for was willing to foot the airplane ticket. (Thanks Uncle Rand!). After leaving Sydney (a topic for another post), I landed in Auckland in time to catch a smaller plane that was going to Rotorua. Once in Rotorua, I quickly checked into my hotel and made my way to the Zorbing site.

The Zorbing site consisted of a giant carved out grass hill and a group of very excited Kiwis. I changed into my swim suit (cue Baywatch music) and got into the back of a crazy 4WD jeep. The jeep bounced and shimmied its way up the hill until finally dumping me out at the top. The nice staff member unzipped a small door and asked me to dive head first into the Zorb. Perplexed, I obeyed. Inside the Zorb was a few gallons of warm water and now a confused blogger. The staff member poured more water into my spherical prison, zipped the door shut and yelled something at me. From inside my echo chamber I got the impression they wanted me to move in the direction of down hill. A couple big pushes later and I was off.

A Ski Lift for Zorbs

Zorbing In New Zealand

At first I was worried, I had zero control over the ball and there was water flying and swirling everywhere. It was at that moment when I burst out laughing. This was one of the most fun things I had ever done. It didn’t hurt and I was essentially the safest I had ever been. (I was literally in a giant bubble). After rolling down the hill and through the obstacle course, the Zorb and I came to a slow stop at the bottom. A staff member, unzipped the door and looked in at me with a smile.

Snot Sexy

Congratulations, It's a Boy!

I immediately got out and did it again.

In a world increasingly driven by work ethic and efficiency, the rare moments where childhood-like delight are kindled in adults become increasingly paramount.

We have all heard the story of the woman’s life who flashes before her eyes before dying. This scene is generally full of smiling friends and mold-breaking experiences. Here lays the secret to immortality. Cram your life as full of those moments as possible and when your time finally comes to kick the bucket, you will anger the Reaper by having a highlights reel that goes on indefinitely.

Zorbing Again

That night I slept soundly with a smile on my face. The kindle had ignited a flame. The next day I would go bungee jumping. The funny thing is, I am not alone.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • That’s awesome Danny! I can’t believe this is real! hahah.
    Can you share the slides for your presentation?

    • Danny Dover

      The presentation was a bit over a year ago and is now unfortunately out of date. If you still want it, shoot me an e-mail and I will dig it up for you!

  • I did this in Rotorua as well…and like you I could not stop laughing. I have a video of myself in the ball and I laughed the entire way down! In the beginning I tried to pretend I was a hamster, but I only got a few steps in before I fell.

  • I definitely want to give zorbing a shot. I’ll probably end up barfing but it would definitely be worth it!

    • Danny Dover

      lol, actually if you barf in the zorb, it probably wouldn’t be worth it. Good luck and choose your meals wisely.

  • Elliott

    Pretty sweet D Doves! Hope all is well

  • Pingback: Hopping Through Sydney With Kangaroos | Bucket Lister()

  • This is seriously all kinds of awesome. Did you at any time quote lines from the bubble boy episode of Seinfeld when you tried it? Cause I’m pretty sure if I did it, I’d be unable to stop. :)

  • Zorbing is very popular here in the UK. I did my Harnessed Zorb last summer – see here The one with water inside is called Hydra Zorbing, and I’m doing that at the end of May (weather permitting)

    You should definitely try harnessed zorbing-it’s much more extreme than the water zorbing thing. There is a video of me doing it on my post (both from a spectator’s viewpoint, and then from inside too).

    Please take a look and let me know what you think-I’d be interested to hear!

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