Visitors flock to this geothermal site to enjoy its hot springs, mud pools, watersports and fascinating Maori culture.
Rotorua, which sits squarely on the Volcanic Plateau and the Pacific Rim of Fire, is built over one of the world’s geothermal hotspots. Large numbers of visitors come to Rotorua every year for its numerous geothermal attractions, as well as its Maori cultural heritage and wide choice of adventure sports.
The city sits on the shore of Rotorua Lake in the Bay of Plenty area on New Zealand’s North Island. The area is well known for trout fishing and boating opportunities. Rent fishing equipment or enquire about local tour operators in town.
Many of the famous hot springs, colorful crater lakes and bubbling pools are located in parks and reserves such as Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Soak in a geothermal mud bath, marvel at geysers erupting almost 100 feet (30 meters) into the air, and take a scenic flight to nearby White Island, the country’s only active marine volcano.
Make time for a visit to The Buried Village. It was covered with ash when adjacent Mount Tarawera erupted in 1886. Today, the site has a museum, nature trail and teahouse. Nearby Rainbow Springs Nature Park has beautifully sculptured ponds filed with fish. See Kiwi birds and other creatures native to New Zealand.
Discover the culture of the Te Arawa people, who settled in the area more than 600 years ago. At Tamaki Maori Village, see how villagers used the hot springs to bathe and do laundry. Try a hangi feast, which is cooked by steaming the food in the ground, and watch performances of Maori songs and war dance.
Adventure seekers will find plenty of things to do in Rotorua. Try skydiving, mountain biking, whitewater rafting or zorbing. Activites are organised by various operators around the city. In winter, head for the North Island’s ski slopes, easily accessed via Rotorua’s international airport.