Following a scenic drive to Melbourne's Yarra Valley I nervously arrive at the impressive Rochford winery for a 90 minute Segway Victoria tour.
Segways, for the uninitiated, are a two-wheel electric transport device, released to great fanfare in the US back in 2001. The late Apple genius Steve Jobs once said that Segways were "as big a deal as the PC.*" My personal familiarity with the Segway came about from Weird Al Yankovic's "White and Nerdy" film clip in which the Segway featured prominently and lovingly as the vehicle of derision for white Americans. After watching the clip I was left thinking "man that looks fun" and "I definitely want to try that one day."
Which is why years later I find myself at Rochford Winery watching an un-intentionally hilarious Segway safety video. Next, our small group don helmets, hi-vis vests and go through the paces with tour leader Steve who shows us the important stuff, like how to get on and off safely, stop, and turn. As we timidly get on ourselves and take our Segways on test runs, Steve assures us it will soon feel completely natural. He is absolutely right.
Five minutes later we arrive at an open field and gleefully go hell for leather, zooming at top speed, performing sharp turns and 360s. The Segway is an incredibly easy to operate and smart device. Equipped with balance and gyroscopic sensors, all the Segway rider has to do is lean into and away from the handlebars to control movement.
Steve takes us to a number of obstacle courses where we try out small hills, rough terrain, bridges and ramps. There is an incredible sense of fun with every member of the tour having the time of their lives. It is also informative as well with Steve frequently stopping to tell us interesting information about the vineyard, wine and the Segway of course.
We wrap up the tour with a 45 degree slope which only the brave attempt. About 50% make it, and finish by zooming around outside the restaurant, showing off for the restaurant patrons. At the end of the 90 minutes I was sad to get off my Segway and say goodbye to Steve. Although the day isn't completely over yet, with the group enjoying a main course meal at Rochford's award winning restaurant as part of the tour cost.
Overall a great day out with fantastic value for money. 90 minute Segway Tours are priced at $140 per person and depart 10:30 am and 2:30pm weekends and public holidays