Rotorua is a town in New Zealand’s North Island. It’s a popular place to visit, thanks to the variety of activities and experiences on offer, and it’s only a 2.5 hour drive from Auckland. A lot of people visit Rotorua to get a real insight into Maori culture, as it is a cultural centre for the indigenous Maori people.
Rotorua is also very famous for its geothermal activity. If you are travelling through the North Island, this magical town should definitely be included in your travel itinerary.
It’s not necessarily the centre of the town that lures people in, but more the activities and trips you can go on that depart from Rotorua. Rotorua is an extremely dynamic place that offers visitors the chance to dip their toes in thermal spas, delve into Maori culture and try some heart pounding activities.
If you love adventure sports, then you will feel right at home in Rotorua. The beautiful scenery and landscape offers the opportunity to engage in all sorts of outdoor pursuits including mountain biking, hiking, walking, fishing, quad biking and horse trekking. Here you will find some world class mountain biking tracks.
When it comes to activities, visitors are spoilt for choice. There are also plenty of water sports to get stuck into including rafting, jet boat tours, kayaking and parasailing. You can even go zorbing which involves rolling down a hill in a huge see-through ball, and if you are feeling extra brave you can choose to have water in your zorb.
The scenery here is absolutely breathtaking, so it’s definitely worth going on a few walks. You will get to trek through beautiful lakes, rivers and forests.
After a few action-packed days of water sports, you might want to get a bit of rest and relaxation.
Thankfully, Rotorua also has some amazing natural geothermal spas where you can pamper yourself with a few luxurious treatments. Sit in the warm soothing thermal water and feel your aches and pains melt away. Treat yourself to a day at the Polynesian Spa, a lakeside spa offering a wide range of treatments and spa facilities. The locals say that the water of the acidic pool here (now called Te Pupunitanga) has therapeutic properties.
If it’s a cultural holiday you are after then Rotorua is just the place. Here you can immerse yourself in Maori culture and learn about local traditions. 35% of the population here are Maori, and many Maori legends and stories have links to the town.
Rotorua is one of the traditional tourist spots in New Zealand. Rotorua is a Maori word that means ‘second lake’, the town was originally settled by the Maori of the Te Arawa iwi. The town was founded by Ihenga, a 14th century explorer. In the 1880’s the town was transformed and built to cater for demand to visit the ‘hot lakes’.
The locals have been welcoming tourists who want to get an insight into Maori culture here for over 200 years. They are happy share their music, art, language, history and sometimes even their homes with visitors. You can go on Guided Maori walks, visit a real Maori village, taste local delicacies on Maori food experiences and see cultural displays by watching Maori cultural theatre and dance.
There are lots of educational and cultural tours in and around Rotorua to enjoy, including the Tamaki Maori Village Tour which is very popular. Make sure you take the time to visit Rotorua Museum, which is home to lots of fascinating Maori artefacts.
Another reason people visit Rotorua is to see the spectacular thermal features that can be found here. Geysers can be seen in the Whaka Thermal Reserve, where you can go on guided tours. You will get to see exploding mud pools, geysers and natural hot springs.
Rotorua is also right on a picturesque lake, you can go on cruises from the lake which give you a chance to really take in the pretty scenery. There are actually a total of 14 lakes in the area surrounding the town. Lake Rotorua is the second largest lake in the North Island by surface area (it covers 79.8 kilometres).
It’s not hard to see why Rotorua is a must visit destination on the New Zealand tourist trail. It’s somewhere where you can learn a lot about Maori people and create unforgettable memories. Looking for cheap flights to Auckland? Book your dream trip to New Zealand online today with Globehunters.
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