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The surrounding Rotorua Lakes Region is rich with history, culture and natural resources. While Rotorua is often celebrated as a thrill-seeker’s destination, there are many activities to enjoy in the area at a more relaxing pace.
Discover the birthplace of New Zealand tourism at Rotorua’s Buried Village of Te Wairoa, located on the edge of Lake Tarawera. Te Wairoa was once a bustling township that served as gateway to the world-famous Pink and White Terraces. In the late 1800’s this village played host to visitors from all around the globe until the devastating eruption of Mt. Tarawera in 1886, which destroyed both the village and the terraces.
Learn what became of the people, the Pink and White Terraces, and how this location planted the seed for New Zealand tourism. The Buried Village features a museum, archaeological site and walking trails along a natural stream through waterfalls and native bush. They also offer an on-site café, gift shop, and children’s activities.
Maori culture remains an integral part of New Zealand society today. Even in modern times, the native people of New Zealand continue to incorporate aspects of traditional living into their everyday lives. Whakarewarewa is a Living Maori Village whose inhabitants practice traditional methods for cooking, bathing and heating, using the geothermal fields upon which their home is built.
They also celebrate traditional crafts, including carving and performing arts. Guided tours run throughout the day and include a tour of the village plus a cultural performance, featuring traditional Maori song and dance. You may also purchase a Hangi (traditional Maori meal) cooked in geothermal steam, visit the Gift Shop or stroll along the surrounding nature trails, which feature boiling mud pools, explosive geysers and steaming lakes.
The jewels of the Rotorua region are the lakes. Early Maori people were able to traverse between the ocean and inland regions thanks to a large network of lakes and rivers, which also provided a resource for fresh water and fishing. Today, the Lake Region is a popular destination, with each lake providing unique history and scenery. Rotorua Duck Tours provides daily sightseeing excursions on-board retired WWII amphibious vehicles that allow visitors to see each of lakes from a new perspective.
These tours provide fully guided commentary and one-of-a-kind views of Rotorua’s stunning scenery, including local points of interest, historical markers, and native bush. A great activity all year round in any weather condition, visit their website to find out more and book your Rotorua sightseeing tour directly.