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Ten Kiwi inventions just as quirky as our ZORB ball

New Zealanders are known for their kiwi ingenuity and innovation. Here at ZORB, quirky inventions are something we celebrate – after all, it’s how downhill ball rolling came to be! We’ve put together our favourite ten inventions that are just as quirky as our ZORB ball, and are now known worldwide. Read more about these awesome inventions below – they make us proud to be New Zealanders.

1. AJ Hackett Bungy

AJ Hackett Bungy AJ Hackett created bungy jumping after being inspired by a tradition in Vanuatu, where he watched people jumping from wooden towers with vines attached to their ankles. Hackett then created a system of plaited elastic bands, and this invention received worldwide attention when he jumped off the Eiffel tower in 1987. He was arrested but released straight after because of the international media attention his jump received. Hackett went on to create the worlds first commercial bungy site in Ohakune in 1988. Fast-forward 30 years, and New Zealand has now become the home of the bungy with various AJ Hackett bungy sites around the country.


2. Jet Boat

Growing up, William Hamilton dreamed of a boat that would take him up New Zealand’s various fast flowing rivers and into beautiful remote wilderness areas. In 1954 he developed a new style of boating, with the world’s first propellerless boat. The Hamilton Jet has allowed access to rivers and waterways all over the world, and jet boat operators can be found all over New Zealand.

William Hamilton also went on to invent a machine to smooth ice on skating ponds and the water sprinkler. How’s that for a Kiwi invention – we love his very kiwi, ‘number 8 wire’ thinking!


3. Electric Fence

Bill GallagherWanting to stop his horse from scratching himself on the family car, Hamilton farmer Bill Gallagher electrified his family car. Every time the horse touched the car it triggered a current and the horse got an electric shock. The horse quickly learnt to leave the car alone. Bill then developed his idea and invented the electric fence in the 1930’s, starting by constructing fences for his neighbours.


4. The Eggbeater

A man of many talents, Ernest Godward invented the Eggbeater in 1900. The eggbeater prepared eggs for a sponge cake in 3minutes; previously it would take 15minutes – making it so much quicker to whip up the humble kiwi pav! Godward also invented the spiral hairpin and a burglar-proof window.


5. Shweeb

Shweeb RotoruaLocated just down the road from us at Velocity Valley is the shweeb. Invented by cyclist Geoff Barnett, the shweeb is the world’s first human powered monorail racetrack. The plastic shweeb pods are suspended by metal rails on a dual 200m track where you can race friends and family. With seven gears you can reach speeds of up to 45km/h!



6. Referee Whistle

New Zealander William Atack became the first sports referee in the world to use a whistle to stop a rugby game in 1884. Previously referees would have to raise their voices to stop and control games, which was exhausting! The use of the whistle was such a success it was used around the country and eventually the rest of the world.


7. Jet Pack

Glenn Martin Jet Pack

Glenn Martin had a dream to change the way the world recognises flying. Thirty years later Martins dream came true when he started selling his Jet Pack in 1998. Ten years later his company Martin Jetpack was founded. The Martin Jetpack is known as one of the easiest aircraft to fly either with or without a pilot.




8. Springfree trampoline

Now a worldwide phenomenon, Dr Keith Alexander came up with the idea for the Springfree Trampoline in the 1980’s. He wanted to buy his daughter a trampoline, but his wife said they were too dangerous. As an engineer he thought he could come up with something to make the trampoline safer. The Springfree Trampoline is said to have reduced trampoline injuries by up to 80%.


9. Aquada Speedster

New Zealand inventor Alan Gibbs created the world’s first high speed amphibian vehicle. The Aquada converts from a car to a boat seamlessly with the touch of a button. A year after its release in 2003, Richard Branson drove one of his vehicles and broke the record for an amphibious crossing of the English Channel.



10. Disposable syringe

The disposable syringe as we know it was invented by Pharmacist and veterinarian Colin Murdoch. Not wanting to risk the spread of infection with reusable glass syringes, Murdoch designed and created the disposable syringe. However, it took years before his concept was accepted and used around the world.


Us kiwis are a creative bunch! When it comes to quirky kiwi inventions, it’s pretty hard to beat ZORB. Come and see for yourself how fun it is to roll down a hill in a giant inflatable ball.


May 29, 2018


Why live life on the edge when you can roll off it Why live life on the edge when you can roll off it?! MEGA is the longest, steepest and fastest track in all the land! Plot twist, you also get arguably the best views in Rotorua from the top 💥👌 #zorbrotorua #rotoruanz #dosomethingnewnz
Psst... did you know that you can bring your water Psst... did you know that you can bring your waterproof camera or device inside the ZORB ball with you? 👀 Just make sure you remove any attachments and you're good to go! 

We're also now open 9:00am - 6:00pm which means more time for ZORB rolling goodness! 👍

#zorbrotorua #bytheinventors #rotoruanz #dosomethingnewnz
In celebration of the Longest Day tomorrow the 22n In celebration of the Longest Day tomorrow the 22nd of December, we bring you the Non-Stop Roll! We’re offering a morning or afternoon unlimited ride pass on our Straight, Sidewinder & Big Air tracks! Check the link in bio to book in! Limited spots available! 💚 #zorbrotorua #rotoruanz
Another Rotorua Locals Day done and dusted! A mass Another Rotorua Locals Day done and dusted! A massive thank you to everyone that came along, together we raised around 1,500 cans for the Rotorua Salvation Army! Y'all rock! 🥫🤘🙌💥

#zorbrotorua #rotoruasalvationarmy #rotoruanz #dosomethingnewnz #nzmustdo
Thank you Rotorua! We are now FULLY BOOKED for our Thank you Rotorua! We are now FULLY BOOKED for our annual Rotorua Locals Day taking place tomorrow in support of the Rotorua Salvation Army! If you would still like to support the fantastic work of the Salvation Army you are more than welcome to visit our site tomorrow to drop off canned goods. Don’t forget we offer a 50% discount year round to Rotorua locals with proof of address! ✌️🥫 #zorbrotorua #rotoruasalvationarmy #rotoruanz
Back again for 2021 and proudly supporting the Rot Back again for 2021 and proudly supporting the Rotorua Salvation Army is our annual Rotorua locals day where individuals can exchange cans of food for ZORB rides! Due to the move to the new Covid-19 Protection Framework we have made a few changes. 

🥫19 December 2021 10:am - 4:00pm. Individuals will need to pre-book a timeslot, you can book online via the link in our bio or call our team to book in a time slot on 0800 646 768! 

🥫Limit two rides per person 

🥫All visitors to ZORB Rotorua over 12 years and 3 months must show proof of their vaccination via their My Vaccine Pass to gain entry to our site

🥫Bring along proof of Rotorua residency 

More details in the link in bio ✌️
We’re changing things up a bit this summer and a We’re changing things up a bit this summer and are asking everyone to secure a booking time. This will help assist with operations over those busy times and also ensure that we’re adhering to the new Covid-19 framework. You can book via our website link in bio or if you’re not sure what to book don’t worry! Feel free to give us a call on 0800 646 768 and our friendly front office team can book you into a timeslot! 🤩🙌👍 

#zorbrotorua #rotoruanz #nzmustdo #dosomethingnewnz
Behind the scene sneak peek 👀 of filming with @ Behind the scene sneak peek 👀 of filming with @sevensharptvnz and Ben Hurley, who was rolling round @rotoruanz in style... ZORB styles of course 😎 

If your Mum was hogging the TV watching boring soaps last night and you missed it - check out the link in bio to watch!💥

#zorbrotorua #rotoruanz #sevensharp #volcanicair #mountainbikerotorua
Kicking off our Longest Day celebrations in style Kicking off our Longest Day celebrations in style with Bubbles, Beats & Breakkie! Watch the sunrise over Lake Rotorua while enjoying a hot breakfast courtesy of our friends at Terrace Catering! While your dining take in the epic views and enjoy beats from the coolest DJ in town! Check out the link in bio for more information and to look buy tickets! 🥂🥞 #zorbrotorua #rotoruanz #dosomethingnewnz #terracecatering