I got picked up from my hostel by a staff member of Canopy tours. We, that means me and the rest of the group, were taken to the office where we had to fill out a form and were weighed to check if everyone fulfilled the requirements. After everyone had filled out the form, had been to the toilet and had taken nothing than a camera we were ready to get started. Our two guides prepared us with helmets, harness and a safety briefing. We jumped back into the car to get to the forest. The drive was quite entertaining and we got to know each other better by playing a little game where you had to name your favorite dessert and a superpower you would love to have.
Finally our group of nine people from countries all over the world arrived at the 500 hectare untouched Department of Conservation forest. We started our three hour tour and already on the first meters we learned a lot about the forest. Standing on the first platform we were taught the most important rule during a canopy tour: “Don’t touch the metal; touch soft things.” After the first fear was overcome everyone experienced the first zip line. Sit down and let go. Wohoo. The trail got better and better and we passed 10 platforms, 6 zip lines (flying fox) and 2 swing bridges that allowed us to feel the forest and hear the birds but also to take a deep breath leaning over the edge of a platform or using a zip line upside down.
We learned a lot about then importance of the forest for the birds, about animals like the possum that kill the New Zealand birds and how we helped the forest by booking a canopy tour.
The pictures that the guides took during our tour are available on their homepage, so you can download them for free. Finally, one of our guides took us back to our accommodation but not without having recommended some cozy bars and restaurants in Rotorua.