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New Zealand is known worldwide for its clean, green image and Rotorua is leading the way in eco-friendly activities for the conscientious tourist. From wildlife encounters to adventure activities and relaxation, Rotorua is not to be missed on any travel agenda.
Start your eco-friendly tour with Rotorua Canopy Tours. Set amongst 500 hectares of virgin New Zealand native forest, the tour has been built to ensure minimal environmental impact. This eco-tourism venture started in 2012 and you can zoom along a 1.2 kilometre network of zip lines, high above the forest floor. Part of the tour includes a presentation on the work of the Rotorua Canopy Tours Forest Restoration Trust, who work endlessly to rid the forest of introduced pests such as possums, rats and stoats to preserve and restore the native bird life.
Following your Canopy Tours adventure, take a short drive north to Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre. For the team at Wingspan, ‘conservation is at the heart of everything they do’. Wingspan run rehabilitation programmes for injured Falcons, New Zealand’s bird of prey. For those that cannot be released back into the wild, they become part of the Wingspan captive breeding programme. The chicks from these birds are introduced into the wild and supplement populations of this threatened species around the country. The visitors can experience the museum, incubation area and an all-weather walkway. There are also flying displays demonstrating the art of falconry, where you can witness the amazing speed and ability of these endangered New Zealand birds.
After an action packed morning take a scenic drive around the northern edge of Lake Rotorua, and stop off along the way to view the natural springs and take a short walk at Hamurana Springs. The spring bubbles from deep within the earth, at a rate of 4 million litres of water per hour. The surrounding area showcases clear waters, trout, and plenty of birdlife.
Continue your travel around the lake to Amora Resort, Lake Rotoiti. Here you will find moored Tiua, the luxury catamaran owned and operated by Pure Cruise. There are a range of activities available with Pure Cruise, all centred around sailing in style. A trip aboard Tiua can include stopping off for bush walks, photography opportunities, and visiting thermal hot springs on the edge of Lake Rotoiti, which are only accessible by boat.
Pure Cruise take their environmental responsibilities very seriously and integrate environmental considerations into all their business planning and decision making. They work together with the Department of Conservation to make Lake Rotoiti a nicer place for all Lake users, and actively maintain walking tracks around the lake. They are also members of Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter, an organisation promoting sustainability within the Rotorua District and showing a commitment to improving their social, cultural and environmental performance. Pure Cruise have been awarded Qualmark Enviro Gold Accreditation, which recognises the dedication to the preservation of the natural environment.
Regardless of how long you are in Rotorua for, if you love the natural environment, the above options are essential for the eco-conscious visitor.