While New Zealand is a relatively young country, it has accumulated a rich and deep history in its short time. Below is just a small sample of the many attractions in Rotorua that history aficionados will want to add to their to-do list.
Polynesian Spa is your chance to soak away your worries while getting an appreciation for the 19th Century bath houses that made Rotorua an international tourist destination. Originally known as the “Priest’s Bath” for curing a local priest of his arthritis, the site has been home to The Pavillion Bath, The Duchess Bath, The Ward Baths and now Polynesian Spa. While Polynesian Spa offers visitors a contemporary spa experience with modern conveniences, many elements of early buildings and baths have been carefully retained in the current complex to pay respect to the historical significance of its setting.
Rotorua Golf Club
The first recording of golf in Rotorua dates back to 1902. Initially golf was played casually at various venues in and around Rotorua. In 1906 the Rotorua Golf Club came to life and the early years saw the club have three different homes in quick succession until finally arriving at Arikikapakapa Reserve in 1912. The Reserve had been bestowed to the government by the representative of Ngati Whakaue and was especially set aside for recreation and the medicinal use of hot springs. Today, the club welcomes visitors from around the world to play a round on this unique Geothermal Golf course with its steaming vents, bubbling mud and spectacular views the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley.
Whakarewarewa – The Living Maori Village gives you a special opportunity to gain an insight into life in an authentic Maori village. Maori have for generations harnessed the power and energy of geothermal activity to undertake everyday tasks like cooking, bathing and heating their homes and the guided tour at Whakarewarewa gives you a chance to see this first-hand. Tikanga Maori (the Maori way of life) is also front and centre at Whakarewarewa with the twice daily Maori Cultural Performances at Whakarewarewa relaying generations-old stories and legends through song and dance.
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