Planning a trip to New Zealand? If you are then Rotorua probably isn’t the first place on your list of places to visit… but it should be. This small Kiwi city has plenty to offer and it’s finally tooting its horn about it! Rotorua Tourism has just launched its first tourism campaign in a decade!
Here we go, let’s just get right to the good stuff. Does everyone have a bag of popcorn for this minute of wanderlust-creating content? Ready, steady, let’s roll…
So we bet you’re asking yourself a couple of questions: “Where’s Rotorua?” and “How come I’ve never heard of it before?”
First thing’s first, location. Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty right on the shore of Lake Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island. It takes just under three hours to reach it by car from Auckland. What’s so special about this place? It’s a hot spot for thermal springs and geysers! Tourists have been flocking this part of New Zealand for over a hundred years in search of its soothing and rejuvenating waters.
Rotorua has always been on the so-called Tourist Trail but Rotorua Tourism hasn’t been pushing for new tourists in quite a while… ten years. This is the first part of a new push to change the perception of the city and attract more locals from around the country to the area. If you’re heading out on flights to Auckland then don’t forget to add this city to your trip itinerary!
Top things to see and do in Rotorua
- Waimangu Volcanic Valley: after Mount Tarawera erupted in 1886, Waimangu Valley became the world’s newest geothermal eco-system. It’s full of trails that range in distance for mountain biking, hiking and walking. Expect unique ecology, rare botany and very cool geothermal springs and geysers.
- Okere Falls: if you’re after a bit of adventure, this place is where you’ll find it. It has great white water for kayaking and “white water sledging” (pretty much hurling yourself down the river with a lifevest and floatie) with the world’s highest commercially rafted fall (7 metre drop).
- The Redwoods: Rotorua is home to some pretty fantastic trees. Unlike California’s Redwood Forest, this forest was purpose planted in 1900 as part of a tree planting program to see which species grew the best in New Zealand. This 6 hectare grove of massive redwoods is just off Tarawera Road and is a must.
- Lake District: The region around Rotorua is spotted with lakes, around 14 of them surround the city. Each lake is well stocked with trout and fishing is a popular past time. Boat tours are readily available, especially in Lake Rotorua where you can take a trip to Mokoia Island in the centre.
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