Auckland Scene: Admittedly, it’s been a good couple of decades since I last ventured through the hallowed gates of New Zealand’s favourite little amusement park. Since then, my experience of theme parks has been limited to a disenchanting Disneyland experience (I’m the guy who shows up on the day the rollercoaster is closed for repairs) and colourful zombie flicks (because that’s where the undead always flock for the big finale.)
Rainbow’s End is a pretty huge institute for any kiwi kid. Us adults are probably used to overlooking it now. A couple of years ago, the Manukau City Council took a 0.4 hectare-sized bite out of the place in exchange for a new lease.
But the End is doing pretty well for itself, and it warrants another visit, especially from us big kids. Through March the park is running Night Rides with live gigs every Saturday night; a little rock and roll to go with your rocking roller-coasters. Ahem.
Always keen to impress my younger siblings with my affluent, perk-fuelled writer’s lifestyle, I took my 17-year old sister along to the inaugural Night Rides session, with indie rockers These Four Walls providing the live entertainment. The bumper boats have never been better served by a backdrop of razor-sharp riffs and teenage angst.
I must say, and my green-faced companion would agree, the real stars of the show are Rainbow’s Ends two newest additions, The Power Surge and The Invader. Because you’re never too old to be strapped onto a huge disc and left at the mercy of gravity’s sweeping malice.
I recommend bundling up the whanau and checking it out – relive those childhood memories and catch some great kiwi tunes while you’re at it.
Cue ‘gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow’ pun for the closer…
Check out opening times and ticket information for Rainbows End Night Rides here.
– Luke Oram