Rotorua's latest tourist attraction is ready to hit the streets.
Rotorua By Segway is the brainchild of local business people Richard and Julie Sewell and Mr Sewell's sister and brother-in-law Simon and Robynne Watson of Auckland.
"We got the idea when we were on holiday in Italy and Spain. We took three Segway tours while over there and were quite intrigued.
"The guides were spectacular and we had such a great time and learned so much we thought this might just work here," Mr Sewell said.
"We all talked about it when we got home and they were the highlight of our trip."
He said Segway New Zealand was invaluable in terms of putting together the tours.
"We've spent a lot of time and effort getting this to where it is now. Things like defining hazards, in terms of what the machines like and don't like, such as bumps and kerbs and things like that."
He said locals such as Richard Morrison and staff at the Rotorua Museum had helped a lot in getting information ready for their guide and opening up areas such as Ohinemutu to take their clients.
Their first official tours start on Tuesday.
"It's a little quirky and we hope we do well in the market.
"We have six Segways, so we can take five people at a time with our amazing guide Rachel Sinclair.
"It's a 2-hour tour with an intro to the machine that takes about 20-25 minutes to get people confident on the machines if they haven't used them before."
The tours start and finish at Mr and Mrs Sewell's Urbano Bistro restaurant on Fenton St and use the Green Corridor through town to Kuirau Park, into Ohinemutu, the Lakefront, down Eat Streat and into the Government Gardens.
"By the end we hope they will all be thirsty and hungry and to pop into the restaurant to talk about their experiences. We like to think it will complement our business here. The tours are small and personal, which was what we really liked when we were overseas," he said.
Rotorua Lakes Council economic growth portfolio leader and deputy mayor Dave Donaldson said he thought the new enterprise was testament to the Sewells' entrepreneurial spirit and was a great addition to the city.
Mr Donaldson rode the route yesterday.
"It was a wonderful experience, even for a local familiar with the landmarks and natural features. Their guide Rachel has a fantastic welcoming personality and great people skills. We were given brilliant tuition in operating the Segway and from then on was pure enjoyment.
"For a tourist it would be both enjoyable and educational. It's run very responsibly and potential patrons are in for an absolute treat," Mr Donaldson said.