A Geothermal Wonderland
One of the country's most famous tourist locations, Rotorua is a surreal volcanic landscape of spurting geysers, natural hot springs and mud pools. The natural thermal attributes of Rotorua make it the perfect place to completely spoil yourself, with a wide range of day spas, therapeutic mineral pools, mud baths and rejuvenating beauty treatments.
Rotorua is also known as the heartland of the Maori culture. Don't miss Te Puia at Whakarewarewa, the pre-eminent Maori cultural expo in the country. Visit an authentic Maori village and marae and purchase local arts and crafts at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute where, for around 40 years, students from tribes across the country have come to learn carving and weaving traditions. This is also a great place to feast on traditional hangi (earth oven or cooking pit) cuisine and enjoy the vibrancy of traditional song and dance performances.
The adventure seeker is also well looked after in Rotorua. Try the unique Kiwi adventure of zorbing, where you're strapped inside an enormous clear plastic ball, then pushed down a long grass-covered slope! Or stick to the norms and go jet boating, sky diving, rafting, kayaking and mountain biking. Take the Skyline Skyride up a mountain then ride the luge all the way down. Enjoy the sheep show at the Agrodome or do some world-class trout fishing at nearby lakes and rivers such as Rainbow Springs.
- Take the Skyline Skyride: Ride the gondola up 900 metres at Mount Ngongotaha for panoramic views.
- See the Agrodome Sheep Show: Enjoy an exciting and informative insight into New Zealand farm life. See 19 sheep breeds and the art of sheep shearing.
- Be Amazed by the Pohutu Geysers: Found in Whakarewarewa Reserve, this is one of the country's most impressive; but be warned of the sulphur smell.
- Whakarewarewa Forest: This forest has standards of Californian coastal redwood trees. It offers panoramic views of Rotorua city and its free.
- Thermal Wonderland: visit the thermal wonderland of Wai-o-tapu and get up close and personal with the geothermal activity of this region with some wonderful walks.
- Traditional Village: Ohinemutu is a traditional village that has a beautiful Anglican church with a window that depicts Christ as a Maori.