Rotorua - the home of fascinating Māori culture, hot springs and boiling mud pools. No visit to New Zealand would be complete without stopping here.
Rotorua is one place where the turbulent forces that formed New Zealand are most evident. This city, on the Volcanic Plateau, has one of the world’s most lively fields of geothermal activity and sits squarely on the Pacific Rim of Fire.
Rotorua, New Zealand, is also the ancestral home of the Te Arawa people who settled here more than 600 years ago and their presence offers the visitor numerous cultural experiences. Try a hangi feast cooked in the steaming ground, take a tour of an authentic pre-European Māori village or treat yourself to an indulgent spa therapy.
If adventure is your thing, Rotorua has many attractions to get the adrenalin flowing; everything from skydiving and luging to zorbing and ziplining. You'll find the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world here - the 7-metre drop at Tutea Falls is a one-of-a-kind experience. In addition, Rotorua is home to one of New Zealand’s best mountain bike circuits.
It’s also a big trout fishing area with fishing on the lakes and tributary rivers and if you’re unlucky there you can sight some of the huge trout (but, alas, not catch them) at Rainbow and Fairy Springs. With its international airport, Rotorua is also the gateway to the North Island’s skifields for excellent skiing and snowboarding at Mt Ruapehu in the winter.
Wind down afterwards with an exploration of the area by foot. Canopy tours by day or night offer a spectacular perspective of the native forest below, while the newly opened Tarawera Trail circles the lake it's named after, passing historic sites, giant ferns and and rippling streams. And be sure to sample some local kai; start at the revamped alfresco area of 'Eat Streat', where you can bask in the geothermal heat year-round - outdoor dining at its finest.
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