Rotorua is a city on the North Island in New Zealand. The city is famous for being the cultural centre of the Maori people. The city has been built around a lake also known as Rotorua. The city is mostly on the southern side of the lake with some 57.000 citizens. The biggest industry in Rotorua is tourism and here are some of the well-known attractions.
Tamaki Maori Village
If you are unfamiliar with the Maori culture and history, the Tamaki village is an excellent place to visit. There are several activities, cultural shows and the highlight of the night is the Hangi dinner. This is typically an organized tour so book in advance with some of the operators around the area.
Te Puia geysers and mud pools
The scenery around Te Puia is very unusual and the geyser “shows” are nothing short of amazing. The geysers go off quite regularly, usually every hour. Te Puia also has a wealth of Maori culture information. Be sure to catch the Haka performance.
Redwoods, Whakarewarewa Forest
The trees in the Whakarewarewa forest are so tall that you might fall over trying to catch a glimpse of the top. The redwood forest is an amazing place to visit and spend an afternoon. There are not much of organized activities in the forest, but you should just choose any of the trails to experience the tranquillity and beauty of the area.
For a more formal museum experience, you should head to Rotorua Museum that houses excellent exhibits of the Maori culture. The museum is quite extensive so it is a perfect backup plan for a rainy day. The building is beautiful and the surrounding gardens are equally picturesque.
Lake Rotorua is what is left after the volcanic eruption more than 240.000 years ago. The lake was formed over the crater and still to this day has very high sulphur content which gives the lake it’s unusual colour. Other than that, a first-time visitor will notice the smell of sulphur on the lake. The lake and the rivers feeding it are popular among fishermen and people have picnics on its shores.
Eat Street is not an attraction in the most traditional sense, but it is a well-visited spot in Rotorua. The place is a collection of bars and restaurants conveniently under one roof. You will find a wide variety of cuisines on Eat Street as well as several bars that offer craft beers. It is a good idea to plan your eating early, or at least make a reservation because the place gets crowded on most days. The pricing, in general, is more towards upscale, but it is a spot you cannot miss when visiting Rotorua.