There are plenty of great places to visit in New Zealand, but for the most attractions packed into the most compact area, nothing can hold a candle to Rotorua. Located in the heart of the North Island, Rotorua punches far above its size when it comes to tourism opportunities, consistently ranking as one of the most popular destinations for international and local visitors alike. Whether you’re planning on just visiting for a day, or would prefer to book a couple of nights in a hotel for the full Rotorua experience, your time in this city is sure to be full of explosive excitement – courtesy of the thermal activity taking place below your feet. The best way to get to Rotorua is by road, a journey which takes a little over three hours if you’re driving from Auckland. While renowned for its natural beauty, the region has a lot to offer to adventurous travellers looking for a thrill. So what are you waiting for? Get on down to Rotorua today!New Zealand’s ‘Sulphur City’ Rotorua has a pretty impressive range of nicknames, but the most relevant are ‘Sulphur City’ and ‘New Zealand’s coolest hot spot’, both of which illustrate just how intense and amazing the city’s geothermal activity is. The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive in Rotorua is the smell – a relatively pungent scent, but one that you’ll quickly get used to. This is by virtue of the countless mud pools, geysers and hot springs dotted around the place, and all provide an avenue for the gases beneath to escape from with impressive regularity. Two of the best places to get up close and personal with Rotorua’s natural wonders are Wai O Tapu Thermal Valley and Waimangu Volcanic Valley, both featuring a wide variety of different things to see. The highlights are the geysers, some of which can erupt over 30 metres into the air. There are also technicolour lakes, indigenous flora and you might even get the chance to see a kiwi in the wild at nearby Rainbow Springs.Rotorua’s manmade attractions Of course, not everything that Rotorua has to offer can be put down to the work of Mother Nature. There are plenty of manmade attractions, both new and old, that are well worth checking out. One of the most interesting is Te Wairoa, aka the Buried Village. Te Wairoa was submerged under an enormous pile of ash after Mount Tarawera’s 1886 eruption, and much of the settlement has been preserved. You can wander through the museum and examine recovered artifacts, or even take a guided tour through the excavated ruins. It’s a fascinating glimpse into New Zealand’s past, and an experience not to be missed. There’s plenty of modern features too, with adrenaline pumping expeditions a particular highlight. Jetboating and white water rafting are both very popular, but it’s the ZORB that rules the roost. Strap yourself into the inflatable ball (water optional), and roll your way down a giant hill to get a spinning view of Rotorua that’s pretty spectacular. Other local attractions include sheep shearing shows, hangi feasts and if you’ve got a bit of extra time, a quick hop over to Matamata where you can visit the set of Hobbiton from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ films. Matamata is only an hour away from Rotorua by car, so it’s the perfect pit stop if you’re driving back to Auckland after a weekend in Sulphur City. For more information on visiting Rotorua, or any other places in New Zealand’s North Island, get in touch with the team at East Coast Car Rentals today.
Aug 2, 2015 at 2:59am PDT
Jan 5, 2015 at 8:15pm PST