• OGO Rotorua, NZ


More than just a good ball rolling story

Rolling down a hill in a plastic ball: How OGO Rotorua came to be

Way back in 1994 Andrew Akers and his friend Dwane van der Sluis had this crazy idea that they wanted to walk on water. So, an idea was hatched to design some inflatable shoes, however they quickly realised that if they fell over in these shoes they would end up upside-down with their feet floating on the surface… not such a good idea.

Back to the drawing board (AKA Andrew’s garage) They moved onto a double skinned plastic sphere that you could climb inside and roll over the surface water. They called it “The Orb” and took it to the beach to test out (along with Mum’s vacuum cleaner to inflate). But The Orb was hard to control in the surf and Andrew and Dwane were worried they’d float away to South America.OGO Rotorua

After a few modifications and a name change, the Zorb was finally ready to be tested rolling down the hills of the Akers family farm near Kawerau and it worked! From humble beginnings the concept of downhill ball rolling was born.

Next step; launch it to the world!

What better place to unleash the quirky and bizarre concept to the public than Rotorua; tourist mecca of NZ.

After briefly trialing a temporary site in Auckland, the very first permanent downhill ball rolling site was opened to the public on 8th March 1997 on the edge of Mt Ngongotaha, Rotorua (on the exact site OGO Rotorua now operates today.) And their first ball rolling customers? A group of 89 people in for a corporate team building function. Not bad for a first day!

Andrew’s brother David had also recently joined the business to help with the operations and to manufacture the balls. The first Zorb site in Rotorua was a one-man operation, and according to David,  “In the early days, we used a quad bike to transport the customers and the Zorb to the top of the hill.  Then we used buckets of cold water from the farmers water trough to fill the ball. After launching the customers, I had to race the quad bikOGO Rotorua e back down the hill to catch the customers at the bottom.”

Zorb operated on this site for a year until the boys packed up and moved to a new location near the Agrodome.  In 1999, Dwane exited the company to return to his career as a software engineer, while Andrew and Dave continued to operate Zorb Rotorua and introduced the Zorb to the rest of the world. Eventually, unhappy with the direction of the company after several corporate investors became involved, Andrew and David made the tough decision to sell and leave Zorb in April 2006.

Fast forward to 2010

OGO Rotorua was created back on the original site where it all began on the edge of Mt Ngongotaha,. With Andrew and Dave at the helm, they have set about redesigning and developing the original site over the last couple of years – creating tracks, modifying designs and adding new features (no more cold trough water!!)  The boys have now successfully created the largest downhill ball rolling park in the world at OGO Rotorua and (spoiler alert) we are about to get even bigger later this year!



April 24, 2018


School holidays are coming in hot this weekend, we know what we will be doing...what will you be doing? #rolling #rotoruanz #thingstodonz #zorbrotorua #fun
Wondering what you can do on a rainy day in @rotoruanz? Since you're going to get wet (nice warm water included) anyway ZORB is a pretty good option 💦🌧️ #zorbrotorua #rotoruanz #thingstodonz #fun #newzealand
Slippin' and slidin' into the end of the week 💦 #zorbrotorua #thingstodorotorua #rotoruanz #thingstodonz
🕺🏼Our Operations Manager Owen is switching out his chucks for dancing shoes for this years @rotoruahospice  Dancing for Hospice. Vote for Owen and Hamo (sponsored by our mates at @vipplumbing_gas_rotorua) for people's choice and donate to an incredible charity while doing so, link in bio. #twinkletoes #zorbrotorua #rotoruanz
There's a reason we are supporting the @nzfootballferns from the sidelines this @fifawomensworldcup 👀🤪

Catch us in our football number ones on
New Zealand game days for the duration of the cup 🎉

#zorbrotorua #thingstodorotorua #thingstodonewzealand #rotoruanz
School holidays started off with a bang! We are rolling rain, hail or storm - come and see us 💥 #zorbrotorua #rotoruanz #thingstodorotorua #thingstodonewzealand
It's that time again.. Darkest Night is back for 2023 🌚

All the thrills and spills except without the daylight.

Tickets from $20pp 🔥

We've paired up with our mates at @teshascoffeecart to offer delicious food, real fruit ice cream and hot drinks to keep you warm and of course the main event...rolling down the hill in a ball in the DARK! 

For more information and to book tickets check out the link in our bio. 

- Saturday 24 June 2023
- 5:00pm - 8:00pm

#zorbrotorua #rotoruanz #DoSomethingNeWNZ
Finally some sunshine for our long weekend, no better way to spend your King's Birthday weekend (rain or shine) than rolling down a hill 🤩. Open all weekend long 9am - 4pm. #ZORBRotorua #rotoruanz #fun #longweekendvibes
You asked, we delivered.. 🤪 **Do we have to remind you that these stunts have been performed by trained professionals and not to try at home?**
#ZORBRotorua #rotoruanz #thingstodorotorua #thingstodonewzealand #fun #crew #donttrythisathome