Concrete planning makes a big splash in Rotorua


Construction of the concrete flume section in Rotorua of Rainbow Springs new Big Splash water ride broke all records thanks to the Barfoote Group, an innovative Northland based company.

With 400 kilometres of road separating their Whangarei base and the construction site in Rotorua, the company decided to take an innovative approach to building the 431-metre concrete flume section of the ride.

After being told by Swiss based ride design company Intamin, that the flume had to be poured on site as there was barely a couple of millimetres leeway allowable in the finished flume size, Kiwi ingenuity came to the fore.

"We knew we could do it, so we designed moulds to pour the concrete flume in sections that could then be easily transported to Rotorua and slotted into place," says Barfoote Group managing director Trevor Barfoote.

"We poured the first one, put it on the back of the ute and drove to Rainbow Springs, and that's how we won the contract."

Ever since then a steady flow of concrete flume sections arrived on site from Whangarei. This innovative method sped up construction of the ride eliminating the need to pour the concrete on site, which was a weather dependent job with the potential to delay a time critical project.

Due to the success of pre-casting the flume Intamin is considering using this construction method for future rides it builds around the world.

The nine-minute long Big Splash ride is a journey through time that will feature an informative narrative, state-of-the-art animation bringing to life dinosaurs, moa and the haast eagle, with an adrenalin boosting plunge at the end.

It opened to the public on January 20.