About Us

How Rotorua Canopy Tours came to be

Rotorua Canopy Tours was borne from a lightbulb moment when James (34) roped in his mate from university Andrew Blackford (34), a structural engineer, to join him on his crusade to set up New Zealand’s first ziplining canopy tour

James, previously the Trade Manager for Destination Rotorua Marketing, threw in his jetsetting job to pursue his dream of creating a sustainable eco-tourism attraction in Rotorua. Buddy Andrew got in on the action, donning his engineering hat and designing the zipline construction and the systems that support it’s safe operation.

It all began with a potato gun with a line attached (who would’ve thought these toys could actually have a practical use!) as they crafted the zipline paths through impenetrable undergrowth over deep gorges and gullies. Along the way they came upon some hidden treasures like the 500 year old rimu tree where the Tui song zipline is located.

The build took five months of construction, with every piece of equipment and material winched into place by hand. This included the 160kg cables which now span the valleys.

Lots of fancy people were brought in to help nut out the puzzle together and to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, including arborists, ecologists, builders, engineers and safety consultants. Click here to read the full story of how Rotorua Canopy Tours began.

We were all blown away by the beauty of the virgin native forest and birdlife trying to survive with the pesky rodents around. So we also decided to mix tourism and conservation to regenerate this special slice of forest and to take people like you, on this epic journey with us.













We opened the doors at Rotorua Canopy Tours in August 2012, bribing the first customers to come ziplining with the promise of free pizza. Since then, Rotorua Canopy Tours has become an award-winning experience and is a well-known New Zealand must-do. Click here to read about all of the awards we have received.

Around 35 staff make up the team at Rotorua Canopy Tours; all New Zealanders with a deep passion for the outdoors, conservation and giving our customers the best experience possible (click here to meet the team). They all take an active part in our trapping and conservation operation with inspirational stories to tell.

Rotorua Canopy Tours are proud members of:


Tourism Export Council



Backpacker Youth Adventure Tourism Association



Tourism Industry Aotearoa


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