Rainbow's End (theme park)

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Rainbow's End
Rainbows End Logo 2014.png
Current Rainbow's End logo is introduced since 2014
Slogan Fun On Demand
Location Manukau, New Zealand
Coordinates 36°59′38″S 174°53′02″E / 36.994°S 174.884°E / -36.994; 174.884Coordinates: 36°59′38″S 174°53′02″E / 36.994°S 174.884°E / -36.994; 174.884
Owner Rainbow's End Theme Park Limited
Opened December 1982; 35 years ago (1982-12)
Operating season Year-round (except Christmas Day)
Area 9.3 ha (23 acres)
Total 21
Water rides 2
Website www.rainbowsend.co.nz

Rainbow's End is a 9.3 hectares (23 acres) theme park in Manukau, Auckland. Rainbow's End includes the main theme park and also Kidz Kingdom, a family entertainment center for children 8 years and under.[1][2] The park, owned by Rangatira Limited,[3] is currently New Zealand's largest theme park and currently employs up to 300 staff.[4]


Opened in 1982 on the site of a former skate park, the park extended its lease in 2010 for another 24 years, after five years of discussions with the former Manukau City Council, though it will have to reduce its size by 0.4 ha from 9.3 ha to allow for new construction at the nearby law courts (being compensated for the land lost). The agreement with the Council also commits the company to re-invest $3 million every three years into new rides or upgrades.

Ride History
1982- Park opens with the Bumper Boats, Mini Golf, Can Am Cars, Mirage Cars and video games.
1983- Cinema 180, Pirate Ship, Maze and the indoor play area open.
1984- Log Flume and Dodgems open
1985- Kiddies Cars and Space Shuttle Zim Zam Zoo Playground open
1986- Coca-Cola Corkscrew Coaster opens
1992- Motion Master opens
1993- Family Karts replace Mirage Cars
1995- Gold Rush opens
1996- Car wash Convoy opens
1997- Castle Land open with Dragons Flight roller coaster and Carousel (Known as Cadbury Land Castle until 2012)
1998- Log Flume set on fire by arsonists in June. Ride reconstructed and rethemed before reopening as the Enchanted Forest Log Flume
2001- Fear Fall opens
2004- Power Surge and Jumpin' Star open
2008- Ferris wheel inside the Cadbury Land castle is closed after the death of a maintenance worker after they got caught in the ride mechanism
2009- Invader opens
2012- Dragons Flight is removed from Castle Land. Castle Land closes and the new Kidz Kingdom outdoor covered area is opened on Boxing Day 2012[5] with 3 new rides: The Choco Express, Surf n Swing and Magic Bikes.[6] Happy Feet replaces Journey to the Centre of the Earth in the Motion Master.
2013- The indoor section of Kidz Kingdom opens which includes The Fortress of Fun, Enzo's Country Raceway and the Small Talk Cafe as well as interactive activities for smaller children.[7]
2014- Stratosfear, a Discovery Revolution ride from Zamperla, opened on 17 April. Unlike most Discoverys this version sends riders upside down, one of only 4 of them in the world that do so.[7]
2015- Brand new Family Karts arrive, the karts can seat up to 2 passenger and go up to 22km/hr on the purpose built track.[8] After 32 years of operation, Rainbow's End closed and demolished their Cinema 180. This was the last of its kind in the world. The park announced on their website that they will be building a new attraction around this area in the future.
2016- The Dodgems ride is completely refurbished including all new cars and 1950s drive in theme.[9]
2017- AA Driver's Town opens.[10]
August 2017- Pirate ship closes after 34 years of operation to make way for an unannounced new ride.[11]

Current rides and attractions[edit]

Its main attraction is New Zealand's only corkscrew roller coaster. A new ride, called Stratosfear, opened on 17 April 2014. Stratosfear is one of only 4 on the planet. It is located near the Fear Fall and Family Karts.

  • AA Driver's Town - A driving experience covering 1,200sq m where children up to 12 years old drive mini Suzuki Swift vehicles through a town with two way roads, roundabouts and traffic lights.[10]
  • Stratosfear - Billed as the scariest ride yet, sends 30 riders spinning through the air and even upside down. This was one of only 4 of its kind in the world on opening day.
  • The Invader - The Invader is a Disk'O Coaster from Zamperla in Italy which utilises gravity to move across a 15 metre high, 80 metre long w-shaped track.
  • Power Surge - The Power Surge is a thrill ride that can spin on both a horizontal and a vertical axis.
  • Dodgems- Dodgem cars with 1950s drive in theme.
  • Kidz Kingdom - An area in the park catered for children 8 years and under. The outdoor covered area has seven rides including the Choco Express, Carousel and Jumpin' Star. The indoor area includes the Fortress of Fun (play structure), Enzo's Country Raceway (cars) and the Small Talk Cafe as well as interactive activities for smaller children.[12]
  • Corkscrew roller coaster - A roller coaster manufactured by Arrow Dynamics. It is the only one of its kind in the country. It is over 90 feet (27 m) high, and contains three inversions, a vertical loop and a double corkscrew.
  • Goldrush - A mine themed roller coaster ride consisting of short drops and sharp corners. This ride was custom built by Rainbow's End engineers
  • Log Flume - The Enchanted Forest Log Flume has minor drops and a larger drop at the end.
  • Fear Fall - An 18 story Intamin drop ride. Riders are lifted up the tower and dropped at speeds reaching 80 km/h, with the ride vehicle being stopped by magnetic braking.
  • Family Karts/Scorpion Karts - A go-kart attraction with two levels of suitability- one for families, one for older guests.
  • Bumper Boats - Guests are seated in Bumper Boats and are free to drive around 'bumping' into other guests.
  • Motion Master - A motion simulator attraction.
  • Crazy Sideshows - A range of carnival rides open on weekends and holidays.
  • Centre Stage - A large covered stage and eating area with shows on the weekends and the holidays.
  • Futuretainment arcade - A large arcade with lots of interactive games and gifts.


Rainbow's End and Kidz Kingdom have won a number of awards.

2013 - Awarded two Brass Ring 2012 Awards for "Best Employee Reward and Recognition Program" and "Best Innovation in a Training Program" for a facility with annual attendance less than 1 million at the IAAPA ceremony in Orlando, Florida.[13]
2014 - Winner of the Marketing Excellence Award at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards 2014 - South[14]
2015 - Winner of the 'Best of the Best Marketing Award' 2014 at the Westpac Auckland Business Awards.[15]
2015 - Awarded a 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence[16]
2015 - Finalist in the Tourism Industry Awards 2015 in the categories of "Visitor Experience" and "Business Excellence" [17]
2015 - Kidz Kingdom was the winner of the "Top Family Entertainment Centre of the World Award 2015" at the IAAPA award ceremony in Florida.[18]
2015 - Awarded the "Auckland Youth Employer of the Year" award as part of the Auckland Council Youth Employer Pledge Scheme.[19]
2016 - Awarded a 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence[20]
2016 - Placed 5th in the TripAdvisor list of the Top 10 Amusement Parks & Water Parks in the South Pacific[21]
2016 - Winner of the "Local Youth Employer Award", "Innovative Youth Employer Award" and "Jobfest Exhibitor Award" at the 2016 Young At Heart Awards administered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development.[22]
2017 - Awarded a 2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence[20]
2017 - Awarded the Qualmark Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award[23]


On 10 February 1990, Thomas Wayne Hemi, 19 years old, fell from a bungy jump at the park. The jump master, Jason John Collett, failed to secure the bungy cord to Hemi's feet. Hemi initially survived the fall, but subsequently died from his injuries. Collett was later found guilty of manslaughter after evidence was presented that both men had smoked cannabis prior to the jump. He was granted mercy - on recommendation from the jury - and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.[24]

On 21 June 1998,a fire struck the Log Flume ride. Over 75% of the ride was destroyed and two offenders were arrested. After that, the Log Flume was reconstructed and re-themed.[citation needed]

On 2 February 2008, Michael Ross Stuart, a 21-year-old park worker died while carrying out maintenance work on a ferris wheel, located in the Cadbury Land Dream Castle attraction. The worker became trapped between one of the carriages and the frame of the ride, and had to be cut free by firefighters, but died at the scene. The accident, which occurred before the park opened for the day, caused the park to be closed down for two days because of "unforeseen circumstances". Stuart had been working at the park since 2005.[25][26]

On 10 November 2012, a woman got trapped on the Log Flume ride. Firefighters were called to the theme park to free the woman and had to cut up parts of the ride to get her free. A fire service spokesman said it was unclear how the woman became trapped. She was taken by ambulance to Middlemore Hospital with minor injuries.[27]

On 5 January 2015, a blown thermostat caused the corkscrew coaster train to be stuck at the top of its lift hill for approximately 15 minutes due to its automatic cutoff system. Staff managed to return the train to its station and no injuries were reported. The ride was closed down for two days for repairs before reopening.[28]



  1. ^ "Kidz Kingdom :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  2. ^ "Kidz Kingdom". Rainbowsend.co.nz. Retrieved 16 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "New owner happy to have Rainbow's End". Radio NZ. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Young at Heart Employer Awards :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  5. ^ "Kidz Kingdom set to boost visitation at Rainbow's End - Australasian Leisure Management". Ausleisure.co.nz. 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  6. ^ "Kidz Kingdom :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  7. ^ a b "Rainbow's End Theme Park Rides :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  8. ^ "Family Karts :: Rainbow's End". rainbowsend.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-06-07. 
  9. ^ "All New Dodgems". Rainbow's End. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "AA Driver's Town Now Open :: Rainbow's End". rainbowsend.co.nz. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  11. ^ "Iconic pirate ship ride at Auckland's Rainbow's End to close". Stuff.co.nz. 9 August 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2017. 
  12. ^ "Kidz Kingdom :: Rainbow's End". rainbowsend.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-06-07. 
  13. ^ "Rainbow's End Wins International Awards! :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  14. ^ "Rainbow's End Theme Park Wins Award for Marketing :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. 2014-10-17. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  15. ^ "Rainbow's End – Crowned 'BEST OF THE BEST' :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. 2015-03-04. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  16. ^ "2015 TRIPADVISOR CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. 2015-05-25. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  17. ^ "Rainbow's End named Tourism Awards finalist :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. 2015-08-31. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  18. ^ "It's Official – Kidz Kingdom at Rainbow's End Judged Best in th :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  19. ^ "Rainbow's End - Youth Employer of the Year 2015 :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. 2015-11-30. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  20. ^ a b "2017 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence :: Rainbow's End". Rainbowsend.co.nz. 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  21. ^ "Best Amusement Parks - the South Pacific - TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards". Tripadvisor.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  22. ^ "Young at heart awards | AucklandNZ.com". Aucklandnz.com. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  23. ^ "Rainbow's End Qualmark | :: Rainbow's End". Rainbow's End. Retrieved 2017-10-03. 
  24. ^ "History of sentenced adventure operators - National News". TVNZ. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  25. ^ Martin Johnston (10 February 2008). "Police name man killed at Rainbow's End". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  26. ^ Martin Johnston (11 February 2008). "Theme park stays shut after tragedy". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 10 September 2011. 
  27. ^ "Rainbow's End Ride Injures Woman - national". Stuff.co.nz. 10 November 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2013. 
  28. ^ Sophie Lowery (5 January 2015). "Passengers on stuck Rainbow's End rollercoaster describe terror". Newshub. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 

External links[edit]