Introduction to the City
The seething power of inner earth comes to the surface in Rotorua. Explore the geothermal areas and discover the unique culture of New Zealand’s Maori people.
Rotorua region, New Zealand
The Rotorua district is located on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. Rotorua is centred on the internationally renowned thermal resort.
The district is located 60 kilometres south of Tauranga, 105 kilometres south-east of Hamilton and 82 kilometres north-east of Taupo.
As of June 2005, Rotorua’s estimated population was 67,600.
Geysers, bubbling mud pools and Maori hospitality are some of the many experiences you will encounter in Rotorua. Welcoming visitors for more than 200 years, Rotorua is the oldest and best-known resort in the country. Generations of visitors have enjoyed its waters, marvelled at its fascinating geothermal activity and experienced the region’s unique Maori culture.
Rotorua is fast becoming known as “Nature’s Spa of the South Pacific”.
Rotorua is the heartland of New Zealand Maori culture, and visitors have the opportunity to experience the warm spirit of Te Maori.
Although most of the Maori population live in the urban areas, there are about 35 marae (meeting grounds) in the Rotorua district.
The Rotorua region is also one of New Zealand’s prime trout fishing spots. You’re practically guaranteed a catch.
What to do and see
TAKE A DIP IN A HOT SPRING
Between Taupo and Rotorua, make sure to stop off at one of the free hot pool spots. One example is the bridge leading to Wai-O-Tapu is a perfect spot where cool and hot streams meet. Check out the other Free Natural Hot Pools in Rotorua.
See the Whaka Thermal Reserve – If you like geysers, then the thermal reserve is a good place to see some as well as to learn about the natural history and geology of the area. The reserve is split into two parts, with the more touristy one, Te Puia, closest to town. Prices start at 46.80 NZD for adults and 23.40 NZD for children. Guided tours are included in the price.Marvel at the lake – Rotorua sits right on a lake. Walking around is good way to spend an afternoon. You can’t rally go swimming in the lake but there are a number of trails and green spaces around it.Go Zorbing – This is a popular activity with backpackers.
You get put into a giant see-through ball and rolled down a hill. It’s pretty expensive for the 5 seconds you get. You also have the option to add water into your ball, which is probably really like being in a washing machine. Two rides will be 80 NZD, while a three-ride package will cost 99 NZD.Soak in the hot baths – All the sulfurous springs in the area means that there are lots of hot springs in which to relax.
Ensure you have good travel insurance, especially if you are over 80.
There is the big Polynesian Spa where you pay for all-day access and drinks. The Blue Baths also have a heated pool. If you just want a lazy day relaxing, a heated pool/spa day is the way to go. Prices begin at 19 NZD per person.Get to know Maori culture – There are a variety of cultural shows and educational tours in the area. If you are going to learn about Maoris, this area would be the easiest in which to do so. The cultural tours all are similar (some are smaller, some have better food, some are different length) and you learn and see a lot of the same stuff. The Tamaki Maori Village tour is highly recommended.