By Ian Williams
Award-winning Segway Sensation SA is bringing its gravity-defying sightseeing innovation to the city with the launch of guided tours around the Adelaide Riverbank precinct.
The two-wheel personal transporters have been a tourism drawcard in the Barossa over the past two years and now owners Cindy Chynoweth and Shane Camilleri have been given the go-ahead to operate along the River Torrens.
“We’ve been waiting for government approval and it came through very quickly at the beginning of January, so it’s been a whirlwind period for us to get ready,” says Cindy.
From Saturday 11 February, the couple will be running three tours a day from Wednesday to Monday. Each tour can take 10 people, who receive 15-minutes of training near the Torrens weir by the Par 3 North Adelaide golf course, before heading off for the hour-long tour to the Adelaide Zoo and back.
The six-kilometre route passes various key buildings, including Adelaide Oval, the festival and convention centres and the University of Adelaide.
“Our Barossa tours have been really popular so we’re very excited to have been given the opportunity to operate in the city as well,” says Cindy.
“It’s a great way of exposing people –especially tourists – to all the many businesses and tourism activities that Adelaide has to offer along the riverbank. It’s a win-win for South Australia.”
Cindy and Shane launched Segway Sensation SA in late 2014 with tours on weekends and public holidays from Seppeltsfield Winery. Visitors are shown panoramic views of the wine region as they travel through some of the valley’s oldest vineyards and 19th century Barossa architecture.
“Since then we’ve taken more than 3,200 people on Segway tours, which is awesome considering we only operate on weekends and for corporate events,” says Cindy.
“It’s generated a lot of interest among all ages from about 10 years to an 88-year-old who wanted to tick it off his bucket list.”
The success of the business has been highlighted at the South Australian Tourism Awards where it has picked up bronze and silver medals in consecutive years.
While the Segways look tricky to use, they are fitted with gyroscopic sensors and computers that keep them automatically balanced. Riders simply shift their weight forwards or backwards to move the vehicle and lean on the handlebar to steer.
Each trip has two tour guides – one at the front and another at the back of the line – and Cindy wants to hire a Mandarin-speaking guide for the riverbank tour for the increasing number of Chinese tourists.
Segway Sensation SA is also planning to add a third tour at a beach suburb within the next 12 months.
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