Fondly nicknamed ‘Rotovegas’ by many New Zealanders, Rotorua is indeed an extravaganza of eye-boggling natural wonders and exhilarating activities.
Located in the country’s most intensively active volcanic zone, Rotorua has geysers which shoot up to 30 metres into the air; bubbling pools of thick mud; steaming pools and streams and a distinctive hydrogen sulphide smelling odour that often pervades the atmosphere.
It is a favourite holiday spot for both New Zealanders and overseas guests and has supplemented its thermal attractions with an impressive array of other activities.
You can luge down the side of mountains; roll down hills in giant inflatable globes; fish to your hearts’ content in your choice of 16 lakes in the region; mountain bike through forest; get up close and personal with our famous flightless friend, the Kiwi and at the end of the day reinvigorate yourself with spa and massage therapies and a soak in hot spring pools.
It is also an excellent place to explore Maori culture.
The local Te Arawa tribe has a strong presence in the region’s tourism activities sharing their culture, history and stories through a wide range of cultural performance, hosting and adventures into the wild.
Look out for:
Thermal action – see the bubbling mud, steaming pools and shooting geysers (including Pohutu , New Zealand’s largest geyser)
Spa treatments– people used to come here for ‘cures’, these days you might like to try one of the beauty therapies which even make use of the local mud
Hot pools – soak in the thermally heated hot pools
Maori culture – get a feel for the Maori culture with a wide range of concerts, tours and entertainment
Historic eruption – see the remains of the Maori village buried in the Mt Tarawera eruption of 1886
Kiwis - visit the Kiwi encounter at Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park where vulnerable Kiwi eggs are rescued from the wild, incubated and hatched with the young chicks eventually released back into the wild
Gondola rides – ride the gondola up the side of Mt Ngongotaha and either come back the same way or take a three wheel cart down the luge though the redwood forest
Lakes – get out on to the area’s beautiful lakes in everything from jet boats to amphibious WW2 vehicles
Sheep sensation – get up close and personal with New Zealand’s woolliest inhabitants at a famous sheep show
Adventure – get your thrills in a wide range of activities including everything from sky diving to rolling around inside an inflatable globe
Air New Zealand flies between Rotorua and Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch connecting the city to 23 other domestic destinations. Direct flights between Rotorua and Sydney are also available. For information and to book flights to Rotorua visit www.airnewzealand.com
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