Situated on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua in the central Bay of Plenty area, lies the city of Rotorua. Established in the 1830s, Rotorua offers a mix of natural beauty, unusual geo-thermal activity and a fascinating Maori culture. Rotorua’s name comes from the Maori words Roto (lake) and Rua (two).
Rotorua is situated on the Volcanic Plateau and has one of the world’s most lively fields of geothermal activity. It’s a region known for boiling mud pools and natural hot springs and sits squarely on the Pacific Rim of Fire.
There’s a host of attractions to cater to all tastes in Rotorua and you can stay at a number of Choice Hotels in the region. Quality Inn on Fenton is close to Rotorua’s CBD and within walking distance to buzzing cafes and restaurants. The hotel offers a choice of suites, studios and deluxe studios. Comfort Inn & Suites Coachman is also centrally located and features self-contained spacious apartments. Econo Lodge Cleveland is situated on the shores of the stunning Lake Rotorua and guests can choose from a range of comfortable units.
Kick-start your trip by getting on board the Skyline Rotorua, a 900 metre long cableway system which seats 8 people. It’s located just a few minutes from Central Rotorua, high up at Mt. Ngongotaha. Be prepared to experience Rotorua’s most spectacular views from above!
A visit to Hells Gate geothermal attraction is a must. This is Rotorua’s most active geothermal park and features boiling hot pools and erupting waters! There’s hot water lakes, steaming fumaroles, New Zealand’s largest active mud volcano and examples of land coral. It’s an amazing sensory experience where you can see and touch the unique geothermal muds.
The violent volcanic eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886 was one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters. Rocks, ash, and mud bombarded the village of Te Wairoa resulted in 150 fatalities. Now, thanks to the redevelopment by the Smith family, you can see what life was like at the village before, during, and after the eruption. Drop into the fascinating Museum of Te Wairoa which houses a large collection of objects from the Mt Tarawera eruption. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family to see and do around the village as well. Children can explore the village with ‘Smithy the Archaeologist’ and dig in the discovery room.
Ever wanted to experience what living in a Maori Village is like? Head to Whakarewarewa! This village is set amidst a landscape of erupting geothermal activity. You can join a guided tour and discover how Maori people have come to live in harmony with their unique environment. Enjoy Maori cultural performances and even learn how to make your own Harakeke (flax) treasure with professional weavers! If you get peckish, try a traditional and delicious geothermal Hangi (Maori feast), Hangi Pie or Corn Cob.
There’s plenty of guided walks which will allow you to connect with the culture, people, history and landscape of Rotorua. And for the water-lovers, be sure to take a cruise along the pristine waters of Lake Tarawera.
New Zealand is famous for its premium wines and in Rotorua, you can take in the glorious scenery as you enjoy quality wine. Pay a visit to the award-winning Mamaku Blue Winery, where you can taste wines and liqueurs, blueberry juice and home-made preserves. Make sure you try their blueberry muffins and pancakes and go for a stroll through the orchards! Or indulge in a food and wine matching experience at Volcanic Hills Wine Tasting Room, located on the base of the Skyline Gondola. The Volcanic Hills range includes Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Rose, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.
Have a great experience in Rotorua!