Those who have traversed New Zealand will tell you that nowhere in the country does the earth feel as alive as it does in Rotorua. Nature, culture, relation, and action; this city has them all. With such a rich cultural history, it is not a surprise that you will want to have a piece of the Maori culture as part of your itinerary. This article narrows down to just a handful of some of the most awesome things to do when you visit Rotorua.
Unwind in a Natural Hot Pool
If you are looking to unwind in a naturally heated pool, then Rotorua is the go-to, thanks to its deserved geothermal tag. There is even a wide range of options to choose from, including the adventurous Wai-O-Tapu, Kerosene Creek, and the Polynesian Spa, which is located at the heart of the city. Other options such as Waikite Valley Thermal Pools can only be described as super affordable yet great places to be.
Get Immersed in the Rich Maori Culture
As history reliably reveals, the Maori were the first people to settle in New Zealand. These people boast a rich, admirable culture, which can best be experienced on your visit to Rotorua. Whether you are looking to indulge in the fascinating Polynesia culture or Hangi (a traditional Maori dish), you will get to do it first-hand here. You can also watch The Haka performances, which are as captivating as no other.
Walk on the Famous Mt. Tarawera
Ever dreamt of walking around the volcano crater? You can realise your dream on Mt. Tarawera! Having undergone a huge eruption way back in 1886, this mountain holds a lot of significance in the history of New Zealand. The eruption reshaped the surrounding landscape, and you will need a tour guide to gain access to the crater. The photo opportunities on this mountain are breathtaking, and its red volcanic landscape is as vibrant as ever. It is no wonder people compare Mt. Tarawera to Tongariro Crossing.
Catch Glimpses of Geothermal Wonders
While New Zealand may be best known for rugby, the fact that it is also a geothermal activity hotbed cannot be ignored. This hotbed is found in Rotorua. Geysers, steamy lakes, silica terraces, colourful pools, and many more wonders are scattered in this city. For the largest impressive geyser, visit Te Puia, while Wai-O-Tapu is home to multiple vibrant, steamy lakes. Want a dose of bubbling mud? Just take a walk at Kuirau Park. There is also a bunch of bubbling mud pools which can be found right outside Wai-O-Tapu.
Roll Down a Hill
Weird as it sounds, rolling down a hill is an activity which generates a lot of fun, and it is not a strange thing in Rotorua. You will be filled into a hollow hamster before you are rolled down a hill. There are various different tracks to choose from for this seemingly nonsensical activity. One interesting thing about it is that you will want to repeat it over and over again once you complete your maiden trip down the hill.
Visit Kiwi House
Kiwi House (at Rainbow Springs) is where you will encounter more wildlife. While on your tour behind the scenes, you will catch glimpses of the rare kiwi birds just before they leave for the wild. You will also get to see lots of the country’s native wildlife at Rainbow Springs.
Mountain Bike on Redwood Forest
While New Zealand is known to be home to lots of forests, Redwood Forest, or Whakarewarewa Forest, is one of a kind. Whakarewarewa is a combination of exotic and native forests, through which the so-called Whakarewarewa Forest Track winds. Voted by Red Bull as the Southern Hemisphere’s best biking track, this biking haven is worth a try for any biking enthusiast that is visiting Rotorua. You can easily get a rental bike at any of the city’s bike shops or trailheads.
Visit New Zealand’s National Bird of Prey Centre: Wingspan
There are lots of unique species of birds in New Zealand, most of which can be seen at Wingspan. You can even get to watch daily flight displays of the country’s falcon.