Home' Special Publications : Holiday Guide January 7th Contents 8 ---THE NELSON MAIL Tuesday, January 7, 2014
NELSON'S MOST FUN AND
fast, furious fun!
No Mess, No Masks!
Open 7 days a week during holidays
Located at Tahuna Beach
Ph: 548 5278 www.prokarts.co.nz
Happy Valley drive
not for faint hearted
Happy Valley is open every day
Call to book for tours:
03 545 0304
If you're after scenery and
adrenaline pumping adventure,
then try your hand at driving a
quad bike through native forest
tracks at Happy Valley Adventures.
Happy Valley is a 15-minute drive
from Nelson city, on the way to
Cable Bay. I've been out here for
various events before, I've been a
backseat passenger with my family
on a quad bike tour, I've screamed
my way through the Amphibious
Argo Ride -- an all terrain vehicle
which drives through rivers and
bogs, and before I left New Zealand
four years ago, Happy Valley was
one of the last places I came to in
Nelson, with my octogenarian nana.
It's one of her favourite places in
Nelson and she took me on the im-
pressive Skywire, a four seat ride
that speeds high over the lush
native forest. Now I'm back to try
my hand at actually driving one of
the quad bikes on the Bay View
tour, along with an American
family visiting New Zealand.
Tour guide Phil Hawes takes us
around the land, which is also a
functioning farm. It sprawls over
1600 hectares of native forest, farm
land, gullies and hills.
The Bay View ride covers 14km of
native forest trails, the kids on the
backs on their parents bikes, while
I have been upgraded to driver,
tasked with handling this heavy
quad bike, taking the steep inclines
on a low gear, then hurtling
through the flat farm lands
keeping an eye out for skitterish
It's an exhilarating and informa-
tive tour, climbing up hills to catch
stunning views of the valley and
nearby Delaware Bay.
Phil explains the land and it's his-
tory, and on one of the first stops he
shows us a 2000-year-old matai tree
and tells us about the properties of
native trees and leaves, and the his-
tory of getting drunk off the liquid
the tree stores.
Later, while we take a refresh-
ments break while over looking the
pristine Delaware Bay, Phil
explains the history of the bay,
named so because in 1863 a boat of
that name was wrecked on rocks
there, its crew rescued by five local
Back on the bikes we head back
down the hill, I soon learn to take
those sharp corners slowly, and
head back down to the flat farm
land, to the ''fun circuit'' where
riders can let loose on the track,
revving the engines and going as
fast as possible.
Happy Valley Adventures also
offer guided horse treks, paintball-
ing, the Amphibious Argo Ride and
Bookings: (03) 548 5278
Prices: $12 one game, $17 two games, $22 three
games, $26 four games.
In position: Beaumont Powell, 11, of Greymouth,
sets his laser sights on the enemy .
Suppressing my views on guns and gun cul-
ture for a day, last week I strapped myself
up with a laser gun and took down some
teenagers -- and my father.
Laser Tag is fairly new to Nelson, and can be
found at Tahuna Beach. It is owned and run by
Nick Fowler, who also runs Pro Karts across the
road from the laser tag field.
My dad and I joined a group of 10 teenage boys,
split into two teams and were suited up with
sensors strapped to our heads, attached to the
lightweight hi-tech laser guns in our hands. There
was a button for reloading ammunition, and you
had to aim the laser exactly at the sensors on your
This is an outdoor laser tag game. The teams
were sent to their opposing bases and the game
started with us hiding behind inflatable props. We
could use the trees and scrub in the field to sneak
around in and hide from each other, and dart
between the props on the open field.
The first game was Capture the Flag -- we
needed to get to each other's base to steal their
flag and safely get it back to our own.
I scooted around in the trees taking out these
teens, swallowing my morals while my competi-
tive spirit rose. I spotted my dad trying to sneak
by down on the field, aimed my laser at his head
and shoot. At the same time, one of the youths
was sneaking well-aimed shots at me, my gun
made a sick noise then yelled at me ''man down.''
Arms raised, as instructed, I grudgingly headed
back to base, but was given a new life to start
The games are 15 minutes long and, depending
on your efforts, you can work up quite a sweat.
The guns have a range of about 300 metres and
there are a limited number of ''bullets'' you can
fire, until you reload.
You can be hit so many times until you die, it
all depends of the rules of the game but, thanks to
the miracles of technology, you can get a new life
once you're back to base.
The boys looked like they were having the time
of their lives, revelling in the chance to gun down
their friends. While it's been open for only about
two months, it has proved itself a popular pastime
Nick says at least 1000 people have played so
far, and a surprising range are attracted to it,
from hyperactive kids, to female bank employees
battling in the rain, to ''macho guys'' gunning
each other down. He says anyone can play, if they
have the physical stamina.
There are 20 guns, brought from the United
States, and there is a variety of games to play.
Other than Capture the Flag, there's Team Death
Match (last person standing wins) and Zombie as
well (once you get killed as a human, you keep
playing as a zombie to get the rest of the humans).
Laser Tag will be open all summer, but
bookings are needed. Depending on your group
size, you can be teamed with others playing.
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