Famous for its geothermal wonderland, Rotorua offers the perfect tranquil setting to recharge after long days travelling the country. The city is surrounded by mountains, rivers, geothermal spas, native forests and 18 fresh water lakes, making it the perfect place to reconnect after a long flight, or busy days.
Morning: Retreat to the Polynesian Spa geothermal hot pools
Nestled on the shores of Lake Rotorua, Polynesian Spa is your geothermal hot water bathing and soul soothing hideaway, where you can recharge for the days ahead.
The spa’s 28 mineral pools, divided between four unique areas, are fed from two natural springs for a combination that both nourishes the skin and relieves tired muscles, aches and pains.
Many international travellers commute directly from Auckland to Rotorua, a three-hour drive, and feel exhausted by the time they reach the city. TripAdvisor reviews on Polynesian Spa recommend its Retreat to gain much-needed energy back.
Polynesian Spa is the place to experience wellness sourced from Rotorua’s very own backyard. Offering a range of health and wellness treatments, Polynesian Spa has a Retreat area focusing on locally sourced New Zealand made products. From Aix spa therapies to geothermal mud body wraps, massage and facials, Polynesian Spa is the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature’s gift.
Polynesian Spa is in easy walking distance from many of Rotorua’s central cafés and accommodation. Mornings are the best time to visit as is often quiet and peaceful.
Afternoon: Walking and swimming at the Blue Lake (Lake Tikitapu)
This is one of the most popular spots for locals with beautiful swimming beaches, a playground for kids, and a 5.5km walking track encircling the lake with incredible views.
The walking track boasts incredible views over the Blue Lake and Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake) and will take you through native bush, onto a secluded beach and through the forest.
The lakes name, Tikitapu, derives from ancient times, where the daughter of a high-born chief was bathing in its crystal waters and wore a tiki (sacred greenstone neck ornament). The piece dislodged itself while she swam and the blue waters of the lake are believed to still be hiding the tiki tapu.
The Blue Lake is a 15 minute drive from the central city. Pack a picnic or pop into the nearby Airstream Café, head down to the shore and spend the afternoon enjoying some of New Zealand’s most pristine beauty.
Evening: Walk through the magical Redwood Forest
The 5600ha Whakarewarewa Forest is the perfect playground for walkers, runners and mountain bikers.
The towering Redwoods, along with numerous other species including the native silver fern, combine to create an invigorating atmosphere and a truly magical environment.
Weave through the forest, breathe in the fresh air, see the light pouring through the trees and discover why The Redwoods is one of the city’s greatest treasures.
The most easily accessed part of the forest is five minutes from the city centre. We’d recommend the following walking tracks which are all well signposted:
• Beginner - Redwood Memorial Grove track – 2km – 30 minutes
• Beginner - Waitawa Walk – 3.4km – one hour
• Intermediate - Pohaturoa track – 7.5km – two hours
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