If Queenstown is the adventure park of the South, then Rotorua must be the playground of the North. Located in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, Rotorua is a popular destination among both international and domestic visitors (for good reasons!).
Unique for its geothermal activities, fun attractions and breathtaking natural landscapes, Rotorua possesses an innate ability to infiltrate one’s five senses! You’d know that you have arrived at your destination simply by (literally) inhaling. With the slightly pungent sulphuric air (not unlike rotten egg or human gas?), one’s sense of smell would certainly be revived! Well, at least you can take pride that your nose is functioning well!
#Tip In case you are worry about being suffocated, the sulphuric smell is most prominent only at certain parts of the region.
If you can overlook the smelly sulphur, then you are in for some warm comfort and great fun!
Known as a mecca for health and healing, a variety of hot pools and bath facilities await you in Rotorua! Be it a soak in the hot mineral spring or mud pool, one shall emerged warm, refreshed and rejuvenated!
We went for a supposed twilight soak in mud and the hot pool at Hell’s Gate!
Feel the wind in your hair, as you zoom down one of the fun Luge tracks! Part go-cart, part toboggan, this fun activity is suitable for all ages! After completing the track, enjoy the scenic chairlift back to the top of the track. Dangle your feet in the air and hold on tight!
#Tip Rotorua Luge has three tracks of differing skill levels. Purchase a combo deal and save more!
If you are a fan of horror movies or one of those weird people whom get a kick out of seeing others’ scream, then you should get yourself to the top of the Skyline Gondola where you shall find the exciting Skyswing! I could hear my pounding heart, just seeing other’s scream as they swing into the air.
For something more light-hearted, head down the road for some happy noises.
Can you hear yourself laughing hysterically as you tumble down the hill (literally)? Well, I did. Set on a stunning 17-acre property overlooking Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island, OGO Rotorua provides multiple ride options that allow one to roll down the hill in an inflatable ball!
If you prefer a more sophisticated genre of music, tune in to the light-hearted Pulse FM99.1. Providing a delicious cocktail of sentimental oldies and new pop R&B that suit this sacred playtown, FM99.1 also (helpfully) belts out some of the latest promotions/deals in town!
#Tip Roll down the hill with a friend for double the fun at a lesser cost! The OGO Rotorua provides greater value-for-money when you purchase the package with a companion.
Like many other parts of New Zealand, Rotorua boosts many natural landscapes of great beauty but beyond that… intriguing myths and preserved heritage mark this sacred land unique!
Surrounded by three major rivers, this “aquatic paradise” contains 18 sparkling lakes and a 5600ha Whakarewarewa forest that is known to the locals as “The Redwoods”. While you are there, why not check out the different Maori cultural villages and gain greater insights on the aboriginal tribes in New Zealand?
If you enjoy history like I do, then you must visit the Rotorua Museum! Possibly the only museum in New Zealand to charge an admission fee (NZD20 but well-worth it!), this old Bath House building features innovative exhibitions and cinema experiences! Learn about the rich culture, volatile landscape and legendary figures that have shaped this fascinating region.
#Tip Make the most of your admission ticket and take note that it is possible to return to the Museum on the following day if you are unable to complete the tour in one day! Check with the Museum staff for a return “chop” on your ticket.
The museum lies within the grounds of the historic Government Gardens! Enjoy a visual feast of an ornate Mediterranean-style public swimming pool, ancient bubbling geothermal pools and heritage plaques amid pretty flowers!
How does rotten egg or vomit jelly bean sound? Located at the top of the Rotorua Skyline Gondola, you can stimulate your taste buds at the first specialty Jelly Bean Store & Gallery in New Zealand! Beyond yucky innovative flavours, there are countless normal delicious candies to satisfy your sweet tooth! Visit for an explosion of taste or simply to indulge in the happy atmosphere!
Beyond innovative snacks, head on down to the town for some nice, warm meals! Look out for signboards that advertise lunch specials (the savings are substantial!). To our great fortune, the food in Rotorua seems to be of relatively good standard. Here’s my top three choices (in order of preferences): “Kia’ Ora Japan” (Japanese cuisine), Hennessy’s Irish Bar (delicious clam chowder!) and Wild Rice (Thai Cuisine).
#Tip Be sure to check out the Tripadvisor for other good recommendations!
Wait! That’s not all about Rotorua!
Our stay in this fun town was short but fulfilling, so do stay tuned for more!
The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, please visit: http://www.rotoruanz.com/Home/