Full Throttle Karts, where we have NZ's fastest (up to 45kph) indoor outdoor karts with purpose built chassis imported from USA, 270cc engines and a full lap timing system - race on our indoor track, or extend the fun by opening up the access gates to the outdoor track section if the weather is fine!
• A 6-lane slotcar set for the kids, with lots of cars to choose from!
• 10 Hyper Stimulator racing sim units - Used for training by over 20 V8 Supercar drivers, Hyper Stimulators are a market leader in race simulation.
• Private Pool Room - with big-screen TV and seating, as well as two pool tables and all the space you need.
• Conference Room - with seating for up to 24 people, and projector facilities.
• Pizza Oven - nothing beats a fresh-from-the-oven pizza!
• Fully licensed venue - with beers and alcoholic beverages available.
This venue has now relocated to new premises opposite the Hamilton Airport.
Wow what a fun day out had. We arrived on the Sunday with KIWIreviews and were put on the racing simulators. Firstly of all may I add i went down with my son and his friend and my 15 month old daughter so I was not going to participate at all, and just be a bystander.
My son and his friend got in the simulators and they started to race. They were having a ball of a time and the smiles were from ear to ear. The simulators are so realistic from damage reports to blown out tyres to rolling the cars. You can have the choice of gear stick or paddle shift change near the steering wheel. The guys at Full Throttle were so patient and helped both my kids as they hadn't done anything like this where you had to change gears. You also have the ear muffs on for sound and it just makes it so realistic. Halfway through the race there was a spare car still going so they got me to jump in and have baby beside me in her buggy. Now that's when I say I let loose it was fantastic - was like being a teenager again. My son and his friend said it was brilliant as it taught them a little on how to change gears and was really like racing.
After we finished there we moved onto the go-karts. Now, due to both our kids being rather light, management decided to let them go on by themselves for safety reasons. The Full Throttle crew were very professional and safety conscious but not in a spoiling the fun way. the two boys had a few minutes by themselves as both had never done anything like that. Full Throttle is perfect for the beginners right through to experienced players who are really competitive. The karts are easy to operate and got everyone out into the track smoothly. This is great for all ages from 10 all the way up.
After the karts we had a great time on the slotcars. I can't fault the guys at Full Throttle and KIWIreviews at all, and give the day out a 10 out of 10 and will most definitely be back there again and will bring husband. I can't thank everyone enough for such a great day and a first time experience for my son and his friend who are still talking about Full Throttle even now.
Lets make one thing clear! I am a bloke! when I was asked if I could review Full Throttle for the guys at KIWIreviews, my answer was "Hell yes!".... then followed by "Where is it?" That was the part that was a wee bit of a surprise, located off the new bypass at Avalon drive, its a road that (due to modern infrastructure) I never take, so I have not come across this venue "by chance" in the past. But that still is not a huge downside, as it is still a really easy to locate venue once you have powered up the google machine and found the address.
We entered the foyer at Full throttle and were told we had a wee wait till it was our turn and shown to the waiting area, comfy , homely and full of distractions. After a very short wait , it was Race sim time!
After finding my "car" of choice (the one that had an FPV ford on the video screen) we were given a thorough run down and told how to "drive" the simulators.
i could write a massive novel full of every word describing "JOY" from a thesaurus. Fast paced, realistic track and amazing audio. While refusing to leave the simulator after our turn i was told that they are capable of network racing with racers at an Auckland location!
FYI my refusing to leave resulted in being given a bit more review time! :)
Now to the real thing!
After a quick but informative safety briefing we were kitted out in race gear and helmets and ushered to our Kart. SO MUCH FUN! The track is great as it can be easily modified for novices, or full time Pro racers like myself (may not be actual pro racer). They treat the race very seriously, with safety spotters on the track and lights on track to signal racers to slow down if required. Aall in all a great time on the track!
We then got to wind down playing the mega slot car set..... trust me, the joy of playing a slot car set has not left me in my 30 years !
While the kids (and older kids) played around on the slot cars I went for a wee wander round, and found the private bar area. What i came across was evident to be a small and private bar area with big tv, pool tables and bar leaners....and a small stage which had pole installed on it (I'm told this is for adult entertainment, I may or may not be able to confirm this). What is great about this wee room is that it is not located as part of the main event areas, but easy to access and very subtle.
All in all, the venue, entertainment and the staff were extremely good! We killed a couple of hours there and could have easily spent a whole day there!
I would highly recommend!
Full throttle Karts is one very nifty little place that arouses the petrol head in all of us. As a family we went on a typical four-seasons-in-one-day with a 12yr old, 10yr old, 5 yr old and two adults (my husband & I) who are known for acting like 16yr olds.
First up on the list of things to do (and there is alot) was the simulators, as an avid learner pilot I was eager to test my skills on the aviation simulator however it was not going that day so had to settle for the ITM Hamilton 400 simulators, which the kids (includes husband) was eager to get into, and before you could say Brrrrmmmmm everyone had found their 'car'. Now as the mum with the 5yr old I shared my car but soon found myself steering through the track whilst Mr 5 pushed all the buttons and pulled on the lever. Through the squeals & laughing it was over all too soon and found ourselves being directed to the foyer to sign a waiver and get into the karts.
Now downside of the Karts is you have to be 10yrs and older, as it should be, so not complaining. But I was concerned that me as mum and Mr 5 would slowly get depressed watching everyone else have the time of their lives and then I saw the menu! YES a menu to feed my child and keep him quiet while we watched. And even better (for parents) a LICENSED BAR, Yes finally a place that offers speeding and alcohol. Anyways I digress grabbed a few drinks of juice and a couple of pizza's which were reasonably priced and yum. Mr 5 and I ate to our hearts content whilst watching the action and spied the slot car tracks & Foosball table - Mr 5 no longer cared about missing out on the karts and played and played and played on the slot cars and Foosball while Mum went to check the 'private' pool room. Giving full throttle karts a two thumbs up from a mum with a small kid
Now the pool/private room.....My husbands eyes lit up like, well a man's would when spying up a pole designed for talented dancers located in there, which is introduced through a sports room where the sports channel is on 24/7. I then realised this 'Full throttle karts" is a man cave heaven, the smell of petrol, the noise of engines, simulator car games, slot cars, Foosball, pool, alcohol - to be honest I'm surprised this hasn't become the local for all men in the Waikato district.
Pricing is average for the actual go-karts, pricey for a family though. But if you want a special family day out highly recommend. The fact they cater for all ages makes me realise they understand their clientele, (especially if the pole in the private room is anything to go by). In the meantime though if your husband or partner has gone missing I would check Full Throttle Karts first.
If you have ever been go karting before you will know how much fun it can be, and Full Throttle Karts is no exception. The track has plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and plenty of straights to push the kart to the limit.
If it is fine, you will get the benefit of the other half of the track being open as well, which takes you outside and really gives you more bang for your buck.
As if this isn't enough, Full Throttle Karts really start to show where they are a bit different and really do have something for any age, first by having the Hyper Stimulators, all ten of them, which is great. Gives you a real sense of racing, without all the expense and danger. You can also pick any track you want, although the times I have been on it, they always put the Hamilton ITM400 track on.
Next up is a six car slot car setup which is great for the kids and the big kids alike. This and the Hyper stimulators are great if you have a really big group, as you can rotate around, watch some kart racing and not get bored. Which is a big plus for the kids.
We checked out the private pool room, which is new since I was last there, and makes sense with the space they have. As the name suggests, it is private, and by the looks of the strippers pole we found in one of the corners, it is a great venue for a stag do.
Didn't get to see the conference room, but it is great to see a venue that is catering for many different people, and providing enough entertainment for whoever may be there, this coupled with fresh pizzas, and being fully licensed it sure is one of the best karting places I have been to.
Okay, You can now officially say that OCTANE is my new middle name! First: the waiting lounge was great, it had a comfy atmosphere, and I loved just chilling out and watching some rugby on the TV they had. It was right next to the HYPER simulators, so once everything was sorted you could just walk through a small doorway into the room, and then just have a blat on a digital model of the track of your choice, but I personally love the Hamilton V8 track as it was so familiar.
Speaking of the simulators, they were very cool, the headphones meant that it could create a sort of surround-sound effect, plus it kept the noticeably loud noises confined to the player's ears so as not to disrupt the activities of anyone else in the waiting lounge. I liked the fact that there could be other players participating because all 10 simulators were connected so that we were all racing each other.
I found that it was rather comfortable in the cockpit, it isn't the comfiest place I've been in but is wasn't the worst either. The controls were okay, but I did have some trouble using them when I needed to get away from a wall I had just smashed into, but other than that they were fine.
Now, onto the track itself: It all looked great, the track wasn't too easy, I mean many people still ended up crashing, but it was fun to ride on and I enjoyed the combination of first an enjoyable inside feel, then a tight confinement as I went through the tunnel into the outside track where I felt a sudden wide-open-spaces sensation, before returning to the inside track where the cycle began all over again. I found it easy to drift around most corners, and the kart was both fast and cooperative so I could actually pull some tight turns while going at a reasonably fast speed.
The slot car set was perfect, It was much larger and cooler than any other track I've used, and it was fun doing it with others as well, so it was a chance to both race and socialize. The track took a bit of getting used to, because although flat it was still full of corners and at one point a zigzag part, but soon I was zooming around the track with only a few problems here and there.
Now, the final thing I did on the day was the pool room, it was a good room with two tables, a full set of balls for each table, two starting triangles and four poles; plus there were a couple of seats and a TV near the entrance. The only thing was that it was rather noisy as it was in the same room as the kart track, but as all I did was play pool, there wasn't all that bigger deal. Altogether, this is the perfect place to race. It is much better than the Daytona race track back in Palmerston North, which I tried out a few times while down there, and so Full Throttle deserves a personal 10/10 for every aspect of the place, enjoy!
I have tried a few go-karting venues in my days, and I have to say that almost without exception they are one-trick ponies at best, glue-fodder at worst. The best I have encountered prior to relocating to Hamilton was a venue that had a half-arsed indoor paintball arena in the building next door. Thus, I was overjoyed to discover something really different... a go-kart arena that catered to the entire family, had a variety of attractions, and was actively working on adding new features and services to it's menu. Welcome, to Full Throttle Karts in Hamilton!
Now, due to some bulk-bookings and staff-availability issues, we didn't get to check out everything on the menu... the Flight Simulator in the building at the back was out of action due to the qualified operator being out of the country on business, and the Party Bus was booked for the whole weekend... but we did get a chance to try almost everything else. So, here we go...
Hyper-Stimulators: These are nifty little racing sims packed with almost every race track, of every type, in action these days including a few no longer active - such as the Hamilton ITM400 V8 track, which has been decommissioned now that the V8s have pulled out of town. Though you will never really get the 'feel' of racing on the real tracks, the graphics are suitably correct and detailed, the rendering is smooth enough, and the pace fast enough, that it's still the next best thing to racing for real. The price could put you off a little, but if you have a bulk group, the rates are actually pretty reasonable.
Karts: Not the most powerful out there, these are still the fastest legal karts in the country! Licensed to a top speed of 45kph, these little beauties will throw you around the track and a very good clip when you put your foot right down, but take care on those hairpin turns, as you can easily swing your rear end round too far and end up trying to go backwards, and these babies don't do reverse. I had a real blast, and despite being lapped a few times (Hey, I had a camcorder strapped to my kart, I wanted good footage more than I wanted bragging rights!) I still managed to have a hootingly good time as I took the straights on the outside portion of the full track, and the big sweeping curve at the bottom of the indoor section was great for 'drifting' around!
Slotcars: Not really my thing, it was great to see the kids, and the kids-at-heart, getting stuck in. Lots of laughter, lots of action, thrills and spills... and most importantly, lots of happy parents getting breathing space as the kids sorted out the race options for themselves. My only critique is that this is clearly a well-loved attraction, because some of the cars are in dire need of having their brushes replaced and track guides cleaned.
Private Pool Room: Great for chilling and watching big-screen TV while the kids blatt on the go-karts or slotcard set, or for hiring out for stag nights, hen parties, birthdays, etc. With two full pool tables that aren't coin-operated, this allowed those of us who hung around after the karting to unwind with some pool and chatting.
Overall, I thought the day was a real winner, and the general consensus confirms this. Everyone seemed to have a great time, and personally speaking I think there was little to note that isn't totally positive. But, there was one small issue that I felt should have been addressed. Though really young kids have no place trackside near the gates, they do wander, so the gates leading from trackside into the kart parking bays should have better locks. A toddler on the track is going to be a bad picture no matter how you look at it. Other than that, things couldn't have been better. The staff were friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and proactive about ensuring everyone was ready to have fun in a safe way. What more could you ask for?! Though I personally didn't try the pizza, hot food or licensed bar, these are great additions to the venue and ones sure to please.
I'd happily spend a whole day at Full Throttle Karts. The first time I'd been in a go-kart, and I found myself getting bolder the more laps I completed. Not that it helped me get up any speed. I'd need to return and drive more laps to improve my probably slowest lap record!
I may have widened the circuit in one spot (bumping the barrier) - but at least I can say I added to the other drivers' fun as none of them could say "I got lapped!" - it was me being lapped every time!
All drivers are briefed before taking to the karts, on safety etc. Our briefing staff spoke so quickly we didn't catch every rule, unfortunately. We were all kitted out with hairnets and helmets, and overalls. Great fun and I'd return again.
It was good to see the 6-track slot cars gave the youngest children something to do - big smiles all around as they enjoyed laughing at the crashes and rolls of their cars.
The pool room is well separated from the track noise - sure, you can hear it, but not enough to distract from a serious match. I did notice the baize needs a clean, and a possible replacement on one table (where players have dimpled it when cheating by marking the cloth before lifting it; bad form, that!).
It was a brief visit, and I wish I could advise on the conference facilities and the simulators. Maybe after the next visit!
I'd definitely recommend it to teens and young adult, older adults wanting to relive their youth (ain't that all of us?) and families. (Mothers of toddlers need to know that the unlatchable gate onto the course is not always manned, so watch your little one.)
Random listing from 'Entertainment'...
This episode of Bob the Builder has never been seen on TV!
Bob's been giving the task of building Sunflower Valley's new sports stadium, in time for the first ever Sunflower Valley Games. Unfortunately for Bob, Gripper and Grabber the machines brought in to help, have other things in mind. Will the plan come together or will the Games be a disaster?
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