We booked our tour online at Chariots of Hire and arrived 10 minutes before the departure time. We were greeted by Jarryd, our tour guide, and asked to choose a helmet which was a comfortable fit and then we had a short intro into how to use the segway, time to practise and a few do's and don't's. When we all felt confident, which didn't take long as they are dead easy to ride and control, we lined up one behind the other with Jarryd leading our group.
The tour lasted just over an hour and took us around Whiteman Park on the tarmac paths, to bits of the park I had never been to before. The paths around the park, with quaint wooden bridges over streams and ponds, give you the opportunity to get up close and personal with nature without the walking involved. So even on hot summer days, you can still enjoy this activity.
When we rode through The Village, you could see people looking at us, as it is quite a spectacle and as we left The Village behind, we saw very few people after that, until we got closer to The Chariots of Hire office in The Village, on our return. I certainly felt more comfortable with the Segway when I knew there wasn't lots of people looking at me.
We rode in a big oval taking in Mussel Pool and Wedding Island, the Children's Forest, enclosed dog parks and saw some stunning scenery that we had never seen before. There are also big, old farm machinery and waggons dotted about the place which Lew Whiteman (who used to own the land) collected during his lifetime and donated to the park as part of his legacy.
Jarryd is so friendly and knowledgable and gives a very informative tour of the park, answering any questions with ease. We have been on the tram and the train at Whiteman Park, but the Segway tour enabled you to feel more emerged with the surroundings which we didn't feel on the train or tram. It really is a unique and exciting way to see the park.
We stopped in suitable places throughout the tour to have a rest and take photos and we were all given a bottle of cold water by Chariots of Hire, what a lovely touch. We got to really test out our skills midway through the tour on one of our stop offs, as Jarryd made a fun obstacle course for us to race around. It was such good entertainment and no pressure if you didn't want to join in, but we all did and were timed on our laps with time penalties if we touched the cones we were weaving in and out of. I took the slow approach with no time penalties, which was not a winning combination.
We saw lots of wildlife on our travels; a mum and dad duck with all their ducklings, some kangaroos and lots of birds. Jarryd did say they have seen snakes very occasionally, but luckily not on our tour.
If you have been to Whiteman so many times and haven't seen the park from a Segway perspective, then you have to come back. Spend the day as there is so much to do; museums, bike/walking trails, shops, playgrounds (one recently revamped), the splash park, Caversham Wildlife Park, have a picnic, BBQ or go to the cafe for breakfast/lunch, ride the vintage train or the heritage tram, but make sure you book a Segway tour and see the wonderful delights of Whiteman Park, reputed to be the largest metropolitan park in the world. It is one of the best things I have done and would highly recommend it to anyone.
Click here for more information about hiring a Segway, including weight and age restrictions.