No attachment issues

Safety is our number one core value, and our safety record is impeccable. All guests need to acknowledge and understand the potential risks associated with our activities  

Guest Responsibilities

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, we require all of our guests to:
  • Be able and willing to listen to and follow the instructions and guidance from Rotorua Canopy Tours staff
  • Disclose any medical conditions or concerns to Canopy Tours Staff prior to the experience
  • Complete a pre-tour check-in form
  • Be aware of the physical requirements to complete the experience comfortably

Physical requirements

  • Walk on uneven terrain, cross swing bridges, and ascend stairs
  • Your guides will slow you down when coming into landing platforms. We need you to raise your knees and keep them tucked up while flying and when coming into the platform so you do not hit your legs on the landing ramp
  • Participants should be prepared for physical demands if the tour needs to evacuate due to changes in weather or a medical emergency during the experience. An evacuation would require walking up to 45 minutes on uneven forested trails
  • We are in a natural forest, often over one hour from the nearest hospital. Guests with a history of cardiac complications, those with low fitness levels who may be strained with the exertion of exercise, or those with any other significant health-related complexities who may require immediate help are at risk of not receiving treatment promptly. Individuals with such ailments should seriously consider whether they can complete their experience safely and comfortably. Emergency Services are not able to access our location within the forest. Please speak with us if you have any concerns

Risks and hazards

Our tours encompass various elements, including a 13km (8 miles) drive in modern 12-seater vans from our base to the activity location. Within the activity area are a range of ziplines, suspended swing bridges, and gravelled walking trails through a native New Zealand forest.  

We require all guests to be open and honest about any medical, physical, and psychological conditions that may affect their ability to complete the tour safely.

Once guests can meet the tour requirements and follow instructions safely, your guides are responsible for getting them around the experience and are with them every step. 

We do our best to minimise as many risks as possible through robust and relevant training, safety at height processes, active hazard identification, equipment fit for purpose, and maintenance of that equipment to support its function. However, there will always be elements of the experience and the working environment that we cannot control.

These risks may include but are not limited to:

  • Vehicle collisions.
  • Falls from heights of up to 50 metres (150 feet)
  • Collisions on the ziplines
  • Risk of fingers, hands, hair or clothing getting caught in moving zip line trolleys
  • Exposure-related issues due to weather conditions and unplanned weather conditions
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Falling objects from above, like tree branches and epiphytes
  • Staff negligence
  • Exposed to images of typical NZ conservation activity, which entails removing possums, rats, and mustelids from our ecosystem

Environmental factors

Our tours take place in an old-growth forest with changing weather conditions. We operate throughout the year and are aware and experienced in the localised weather around operation. The temperatures can vary from minus 10 degrees Celsius in the winter to 30 degrees Celsius in the summer, and the weather can include but is not limited to:

  • Thunder and lighting
  • Strong winds
  • Heavy rain
  • Heavy frosts
  • Sun exposure
  • Cold, hot, or humid temperatures

We provide as much wet and warm gear as possible to mitigate these risks, and we also have operating parameters where we cancel tours due to actual and forecasted extreme weather.

Safety measures in place

We have several measures in place to mitigate the potential risks involved and we will do whatever we can to ensure you have a safe and fun experience with us:

  • Providing industry-standard safety equipment .
  • Delivering safety briefings and coaching for you.
  • Providing weight limits and physical requirements. standards – only our staff will see this information, it is discreet.
  • Providing you with wet weather and warmth gear to suit the current and potential weather conditions.
  • Training for our staff to suit the zipline and activity experiences along with continued supervision to ensure they act as trained.
  • Regular equipment and course inspections that are equal to, or above industry standards.


What’s involved

It is a 15-minute drive to the forest, then a 300-meter walk to reach the initial platform. The walk-in involves inclines and declines along a gravel pathway with around 130 stairs spread into small sections. We walk slowly while pausing intermittently to discuss the surrounding flora and fauna. Our guides are experts at gauging the pace for each of our small groups and accommodating every individual.

You will begin ziplining from here by climbing a 15-step flight of stairs to your first tree-based platform. You will return to the forest floor after four awesome zip lines ranging from 40 to 200 metres and a 40-metre-long swing bridge. A 150-metre walk along our forested trail educates our guests on our conservation programme. There is seating here if needed. 

Two more zip lines and a 10-metre suspended swing bridge elevate you above the canopy before ascending back to the forest floor. The last is a 300-metre exit trail that is flat with the occasional tree root that peeks through.

It is approximately a 15-minute van ride back to base.


What’s involved

The forest is reached by a 15-minute van ride. Then, there is a 350-metre walk-in with slight inclines, declines, and 30 stairs. Grand doors open to the first feature, a 75-metre suspended swingbridge 20 metres high!  

A 120-metre walk gets you to our first zip line, where you will be given a safety briefing before ascending a spiral staircase.  The first three ziplines are 50 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres, and they will fly you onto an exposed volcanic rock face. This is a fixed walkway with a handrail on the inside. Canopy Tours guides will get you attached to complete this walk. The walkway is also an awe-inspiring 50 metres above the ground.

The tandem 400-metre zip line is next! This is followed by a 75-metre suspended swing bridge that guides you across a gully. There are a few stairs to conquer next, nearly 200. You’ll then stop at a seating area where your guides offer insights and education into New Zealand’s unique biodiversity and our conservation efforts.   

Following our conservation chat is our beautiful floating staircase six stories high. The highest section sways a little. At the top of this staircase is a small suspended swing bridge, which you will be attached to. There is no further stair to climb from here!

There are two more ziplines, each approximately 150 metres long. The last 50-metre swing bridge is the most difficult of the four bridges. It tends to sway more, but our guides have you attached! 

The final feature is a controlled descent from a tree-based platform 18 metres to the forest floor. This is not an abseil. We will lower you with control, and our guides will ensure you are safe and comfortable.

A final 500 metre flat, gravelled forest trail walk will take you to the exit, where you can take a quick 15-minute van ride back to base.

Decision making and booking  

We encourage guests to consider their physical abilities before booking the experience. You can call the Canopy Tours office with any questions about your ability and physical requirements to complete either of the Canopy Tours experiences. As always, if you are unsure or concerned about anything with your physical ability, you should consult your healthcare provider before booking the experience.

We Care About You

Your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities. If you have any questions or require further information regarding safety measures or tour details, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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