Things To Do In Rotorua
Rotorua is an ideal escapade area along the Bay of Plenty Region in New Zealand with an array of things to do and appreciate and some of nature's most captivating attractions. Summer is the preferred time of the year to visit the city of Rotorua. Set on a trail with your bicycle, bring your wakeboard and your fishing rod, or tighten up the laces of your hiking boots and take part at some of Rotorua's stunning mountain treks and summit conquests. There's a pile of attractions and adventures for everybody, whether you are after the undertaking or simply need a bit of rest and relaxation from the routine city life, Rotorua is your best bet as an ideal adventurous vacation spot in the South Pacific Region.
When To Go:
It is imperative to know when is the best time to fly out to Rotorua because most of the activities involve outdoor or nature exploration. By statistics, tourist arrival reaches its peak during the summer season, but here are a few certainties about its climate and temperature. The months January, February, March, November and December have a decent normal temperature. Most precipitation (blustery season) is seen in March, May, June, July, August, September and December. By and large, the hottest month is February while the coolest months occur in August with March having the most rains and dubbed as the wettest month in the island. If you are comfortable with going around a humid and dry weather, February is the ideal month to go.
These are the prominent places and popular things to do in Rotorua City:
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Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest
The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest is a stunning forest of giant redwoods and ferns. There are several walking trails of varying duration, from a few minutes to all day. You can choose the green route or the 4.8 km which is about an hour and a half walk. You can also ride a horse and there are ad hoc routes, or the challenging mountain bike. There are lots of people running or walking with the dogs. Admission is free and there is a visitor center that sells for $5 New Zealand map with different paths.
The Redwoods offer a relaxing walk in the forest of Rotorua. There are various routes to do, if you come during the busy day you can choose to move an hour and a half that will allow you to admire the towering redwoods in the forest. There are numerous other trails that last from 30 minutes or up to the whole day, and a great place to do other physical and outdoor activities. There are also picnic areas where you can bond with your friends or family. Admission here is totally free, and there are grill areas provided for every picnic table. One of the best things to do is hire a bike and meander through the forest. Branch out many paths and trails of various levels. The trail is very challenging and has well marked degrees of difficulty.
Tamaki Maori Village
The place is nice and so are the wonderful performances at the Tamaki Maori Village. Everyone has tattoos to signify their tribe. The allowed tour group consists of about 100 tourists. After the ritual of meeting and welcoming into the village and you can see the Maoris in small groups, which in rotation will introduce you to the local crafts, traditional games and learning to do the Haka. Then the whole group is brought into the common room where the Maori perform songs and dances, including the legendary Haka.
After the show, you will be lead to the mess hall where you can eat the food (especially meat and vegetables), cooked in the ground. The cost of everything is excessive but you can count on with a discount voucher of $10 that you will find in hotels. The Maori have great respect for their customs and tradition and they showcase it here with engaging and entertaining performances. The premise is vital to understand that this show is indeed a thing for tourists, but it teaches what it means for these people to pass on and share their traditions. To appreciate everything, it is best to book in advance the show of 19:30 PM including dinner.
St. Faith's Anglican Church
This church is beautiful and is located next to the beautiful town house called the Tametekapua. You can also see a traditional canoe and manholes smoke after the street. You can also visit the nearby Kirau Park with its mud pools located next door. A visit to the St. Faith’s Anglican Church is free. It is a wonderful church wrapped in white steam with a beautiful stained glass windows and a beautiful facility. It is an impressive place and right next to the church is the cemetery of the Maori, fighter and heroes of the World Wars in the early times of this island.
This small church carries the image of the Tudor style that is more than 100 years old. It is interesting to see that in the engraving of the temple, it depicts Christ in the Korowai (leader mantle), walking on the waters of Lake Rotorua. It is one of the designs of the old world that meets the interweaving of Christianity with local customs.
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
It is advisable to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland to see its impressive colors. The day begins at 10:15 AM when some lady geysers spew water for about 20 meters. Immediately after you go inside the park and it starts with a path tracing that shows lots of things including; waterfalls, rocks, lakes with beautiful colors, small pools of hot water and much more. If you have little time to spend in Rotorua, visit this site which is much cheaper than any other paid sites in the city.
When you get to this site, hold your nose (because of the sulfuric odor) but keep your eyes wide open. You will be amazed that nature is capable of creating these beauties. The colors explode everywhere and if it’s a sunny day and there are no overcast clouds, you can make great photos. The path is well structured and indicated. Try to arrive before 10 so you can actually see how the geyser “erupts”. The entry is $30 per person, but it is well worth the time, money, and effort. Just before the geyser, there is an outside path for a fee. There is the mud pool which is fascinating and disturbing at the same time. The site is recommended and suggested to those who want to have a glimpse of the geothermal part of New Zealand.
This attraction offers the opportunity to spend a day that is unique and different from the usual. The cable car ride at the Skyline Rotorua will take you to admire the valley from the top of Rotorua for souvenir photos rel. At the top, it is not lacking in entertainment; in addition to the restaurant there is the luge which is a thrilling ride on top of the plastic toy cars equipped with wheels and brake tied to the handlebars. Take the pack with three descents, or with only 5 dollars difference choose any of the five package rides. It is great place that is well organized and managed by its entire staff.
This site is far from the city center and you need to hire a taxi to get to it. A visit here is necessary because it is one of the main attractions with panoramic views of the entire city. There must be a certain budget to enjoy the Skyline, but you will not regret the toboggan experience with your kids. You can also visit the Jelly Belly store to buy candies. Upstairs features a fine diner with a varied buffet that is stocked with fresh produce and you can ride a luge that amuses both children and adults. It also has access to the sleds and other outdoor activities to do in Rotorua.
If you need to save on your travel budget and want to enjoy Rotorua for free, go to the Kerosene Creek and enjoy the outdoor baths. After a long trail, you will arrive in the middle of the forest and discover a steam out of the woods and find a river of hot water, and just after walking about 2 minutes you will also find the beautiful waterfall and natural pool that is large enough to swim.
Water is not terribly hot, and if you go early, you can enjoy privacy all over the place. Clearly there is not much crowds here but it is very well maintained by the locals who live near this creek. In all its lakes and seas, the water in Rotorua is usually cold. The Kerosene Creek and its temperature is about 35 degrees, a perfect place to swim in the water and stand under its small but pleasant waterfalls.
Mitai Maori Village
The Mitai Maori Village is easily reached by car (5 minutes from Rotorua) or avail of the different coaches that is organized to fetch and bring tourists directly from the hotel. The dinner takes place in a marquee where there are dozens of tables and accommodates a dozen people each. The evening begins with a nice presentation of Maori culture and continues with a visit to the "hole" where the main feature is the cooked dinner.
The visit continues with the reconstruction of some typical moments of the old Maori culture; like the arrival on board a boat or the representation of different moments of daily life, from dance, the games, and the fighting. Everything is represented with a great sincerity and with the intent to understand what the life of the Maori tribe is on this island. After the show, you go back in the marquee where you must join the feast for the prepared dinner buffet. They have great food and served in large amounts. From the main course to the desserts you will not be disappointed.
In conclusion of the dinner there is also an opportunity for discussion of what are the current issues that involve New Zealand and in particular, of course, the Maori culture in the present. Depending on the package you can, after dinner, continue the visit with other activities, but sometimes the tourists choose to end it here. Surely it is an experience to try and learn a little more closely about the Maori culture. The cultural attraction also offers the opportunity to make friends during dinner with the other tourists that you happen to share the same table with and hails from all over the world. The family who runs the Village is nice and very sociable and combine comic roles in the interesting parts of their culture.
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools
The Waikite Valley Thermal Pools is a little corner of green in Rotorua in which they created a pool for small children and adults and perfect for a relaxing day. There are several pools in stone with water at different temperatures and private pools to try. The cost is very affordable and highly recommended.
The only flaw is that it is the only campground you can find that is not equipped with black pool to drain water, but this is due to its proximity to the spa. The kitchen is small, so be prepared to wait for your turn. Also it is very beneficial because it includes admission to the spa for guests, which alone would cost $15. The spa is very nice and they have 7 tanks of different sizes and different temperatures, and are not very crowded.
Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park
The first stop at the Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park is the observation of lions devouring huge steaks. Then you can go and see the lions that are really beautiful and some are even newly born but the staff will make you hold them. You can pet even those who nap, caress them a bit on the belly and decide to return an hour after they wake up or after finishing the ride around the park. The great thing about this zoo is that you can feed the animals and you have the opportunity to interact with deer, horses, sheep, alpacas and goats, although the cutest is definitely the wallaby, the cousin of the kangaroo.
Then it's time to come back to the lion cubs who are now awake and perky but enjoy being stroked on the back; the important thing is not to pet them booby head as they may take it as a gesture of defiance. It’s amazing to see how they are loyal to the guy who takes care of them; they are with him all day and evening more than their mother. The ticket price is proportionate to what it offers and a visit is really worth it.
Lake Rotoiti is the most beautiful lake in New Zealand. You should take your time and go hiking. If you visit it during winter, you can see fog patches on the lake making it look more impressive and fun to explore. Located along the n the car path between Rotorua and Auckland, always have your camera ready for the beautiful landscapes that arise all the time.
The Lake Rotoiti is one of the landscapes that deserve to be clicked and captured on film. After a winding road and almost deserted lake you will arrive on this place. Take great pictures of the sunset. A visit is truly enjoyable and the silence is broken only by the presence of the ducks that reside on this famous lake in Rotorua.
Te Puia is a beautiful natural site with geysers and boiling mud but nestled in a fabulous location. Be sure to visit this place on a clear day and good weather, the natural show is impressive like the shooting geysers, fumaroles, sulfuric odor mud (or smelly), and the feeling of being in a “Dante's Inferno” setting in certain moments. It is all very well maintained and cared for by the nature conservationists from this area.
The tour of Te Puia is best done with a guide that tells you step by step (in English) the wonders of the place. Standing among geysers and sulfuric fumes gives the impression that the forces of the earth are felt here in this park for a fee (money well spent). Inside you can see boiling mud pools, geysers and thermal pools of water that spray several times a day. Along the path you can see a rebuilt Maori village (which you can also visit) and within a black dome where you can see a couple of kiwi.
The Rotorua Museum is an old bathhouse. The film showing is included in the tour package. Furthermore, they serve an affordable and very good lunch after the visit. Interestingly, the original site is a very picturesque building that was constructed for therapeutic baths. It is now an informative museum where all the major exhibits related to the history of the Maori and New Zealand is fairly presented. If you do not have time to visit the interior, you can admire the architecture of the building and the surrounding gardens.
Rotorua is a good example of a city with a thousand and one things to see and discover. This city deserves a close look and thorough exploration when in New Zealand. Prepare yourself and your camera to understand and capture all of its natural beauty and postcard like images. This city is a must see and worth the travel and effort to discover.
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