Getting the top job at Rainbow's End was a full-circle move for Karen Crabb - a frequent visitor to the theme park as a child.
Crabb has been heading Rainbow's End for just under a month, after moving from brewing company Lion. In that time she has been meeting the team, getting to grips with how the park operates and adjusting to her new "office".
She's already had a meeting on the log flume ride, and tries out several attractions each week.
Crabb says that when she applied for the job, her husband Mat - a builder by trade - said he couldn't think of a job better suited to her.
"In fact, that was the reaction of so many people when I told them, they were like: 'That's great, that's really exciting, that so fits you'."
Crabb says she's a big kid at heart, and her three children - aged 13, 11 and 8 - are also thrilled that she got the top job. "The kids thought it was amazing and they're still super excited ... I think they'll be asking to come to work with me quite a lot.
"My little 8-year-old, after I told him, about two weeks later he came to me and said, 'Mum, can you come to school because no one believes me that you're the boss of Rainbow's End'."
Four hundred thousand people a year visit Rainbow's End, owned by Wellington-based Rangatira Investments.
Visitor numbers have grown more than 30 per cent in the past four years - reflecting the more than $15 million invested in new attractions and revamping the park over the past few years, says Crabb.
On the weekend, the theme park attracts 1500-2500 guests per day.
Before starting as CEO on February 12, Crabb bought her family to the park, where she tried every single ride.
The 44-year-old says the log flume is her favourite, because of the nostalgia associated with going on it as a child, but she also enjoys the Corkscrew Coaster.
Crabb grew up on a goat farm in Riverhead, northwest of Auckland, the oldest of two children. She's lived her entire life in Auckland, except for two years away on her OE, and says she and her brother came to Rainbow's End at least once or twice a year.
"The corkscrew rollercoaster was probably the most exciting one I remember, at that time, but I did like the log flume because it was one both Mum and Dad would come on as well," she remembers.
"I have lots of nostalgia for the log flume ride - it's a great family ride and that's really what Rainbow's End is all about."
Crabb says her childhood consisted of lots of sport. She played netball, and lots of touch rugby as a teenager. She went through Massey High School before going on to study for Bachelor of Arts at the University of Auckland.
"When I left university, I wanted to go into film and TV, and so I did some work experience in the area and that morphed into events, PR, advertising and from there I started at Lion, working in a number of different roles," she says.
In 2000, Crabb joined Lion Breweries, as it was known then, and has spent more than 15 years with the company, broken into two stints.
Her first role was in public relations, before moving through other roles and departments including project managing, sales, marketing, manufacturing, HR, strategy and business planning.
In her last role before leaving Lion, Crabb worked in a general management position as retail director, running the Liquor King chain.
The theme park enthusiast says it took "something special" to get her to leave Lion. "I'd been at Lion a really long time ... and I really enjoyed my time there but I saw the role for Rainbow's End advertised and thought it was really special and a fantastic opportunity to do general management, but work in a theme park."
Crabb says the transition from being retail director at Lion to a CEO was not such a big step up as it might seem.
"There are a lot of very familiar things that I've come across at Rainbow's End, but it's obviously a different product and a different audience," she says.
"Moving over into this role, I've been so impressed by the operation. It's a really sound business, it's really well-run by great people, which is fantastic for me as I get to really come to grips with the role and learn this different market.
"The one thing I really focus on and what I've bought to this role, and all of my roles, is leadership - leadership of people, aligning teams and bringing teams together to be the best that they can be."
I have lots of nostalgia for the log flume ride - it's a great family ride and that's really what Rainbow's End is all about.
In light of the 2016 tragedy at Australian theme park Dreamworld, where four people were killed on the Thunder River Rapids attraction, Crabb says safety is paramount at Rainbow's End.
"Safety has been one of those areas that I've been wanting to come up to speed with very quickly and I'm really impressed with the safety procedures that are in place. There's a huge amount that's done."
Rainbow's End has a maintenance team of 12 who are trade-certified. Each ride is checked every morning to the manufacturer's specifications and there's also a regular independent auditor and WorkSafe who check the rides, Crabb says.
The theme park went through a major refurbishment in recent years, which included sending its old rainbow sign to Waihi, to serve as the town's entrance sign.
"To complement the redevelopment and investment in the park we recently updated the new front gate. Once completed, it was important to find a new home for the rainbow, so we placed the rainbow on a large truck and took it on a road trip around the North Island to its forever home," Crabb says.
"We were thrilled to then work with Go Waihi and Resene to relocate the Rainbow at Victoria Park as you enter the Waihi township."
The $15 million-plus spent over the past five or six years went into making the Kidz Kingdom, which opened in 2013, the Stratosphere ride, which launched in 2014, and the AA Drivers Town, which opened last year.
Entrance fees to Rainbow's End are $62 for adults to go on the rides and $52 for children. The pricing was increased last year by about $3.
A frequent theme park visitor, Crabb has been to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott's Berry Farm, Lego Land, Dreamworld, Movieworld and many other New Zealand attractions.
"I make a point of getting out in the park every day, and seeing what's happening. I come in on the weekends to really see how people respond," she says.
"I had a meeting on the log flume ride late last week where we went through the [ride] three times in a row just because we were looking at it and what we needed to do to increase the experience. It's critically important that we experience what our guests do to know what to focus on."
A potential second theme park is not off the cards for the future.
We were thrilled to work with Go Waihi and Resene to relocate the Rainbow at Victoria Park as you enter the Waihi township.
"We know that New Zealand is a growing country, Auckland especially is growing, so there's an increasing consumer and customer base for us to be evolving into. We also know that industry trends say sociability is growing and that people are looking to increase that, so we'll be looking to tap into that as much as possible."
Crabb has kept in contact with Rainbow's End's former CEO Chris Deere.
"He's been absolutely great ... he's really passionate about the park and still involved with the industry. He's been a really fantastic support."
Crabb leads a team of 300. And while she hasn't had to do any training to be CEO of the theme park, she has had a handful of inductions.
"Other than basic safety inductions, there's been no specific training. I've had an induction on every single ride by the attractions team in terms of understanding from my own perspective, how does a ride operate and safety requirements."
This year, she says she is focused on understanding trends within the industry.
"It will be about understanding the trends and the future investment for the park that we need to do in the next few years because it takes a number of years to get the infrastructure," Crabb says. "My responsibility and what I want to achieve is to make sure that Rainbow's End is a really vibrant part of Auckland and that it's a great business which offers a really great experience."
When Crabb isn't floating around on the Bumper Boats attraction or hard at work in her office, she says she can be found outside playing with her children.
"My kids do all of the Saturday sports now so we're often out at soccer or basketball or hockey watching them ... or if we've got some time off, we'll go and do something different; we were at the Lantern Festival [last] weekend," she says.
"I'm such a big kid at heart. I love theme parks, I love water parks, I love fun - any excuse to get out there and enjoy it."
She also loves skiing, snowboarding, scuba diving, water skiing, and fishing.
Crabb can't put her finger on a defining moment throughout her career, but she says she has always jumped on opportunities available to her.
"I've been very conscious of taking all the different opportunities as they arrive, which is how I ended up here," she says.
"From doing a BA and starting in film production to working at a brewery, and working overseas in advertising in different countries there, I've just been really lucky to look at every opportunity and just grab them."
• Age: 44
• Job title: CEO of Rainbow's End
• Education: Bachelor of Arts from Auckland University
• Family: Husband Matt, three children aged 13, 11, and 8
• Last book read: Be Our Guest by the Disney Institute
• Last film watched: The Avengers: Age of Ultron directed by Joss Whedon
• Last overseas family holiday: Disneyland in California, LA