A hotbed of geothermal activity, Rotorua is famous for its seething mud pools, hot springs and picturesque scenery, which attract visitors from around the globe. Equally prominent is the area’s thriving Māori culture, which is showcased through tribal performances, ta moko tattooists and traditional cuisine. A balanced holiday means excitement and adventure mixed with a dose of decompression, and Rotorua offers exactly that.
The city’s position within the Pacific Rim of Fire has riddled the landscape with active geothermal sites, ranging from temperate hot pools which visitors can bathe in, to boiling lakes and explosive geysers which flood the air with the smell of sulphur. Particularly spectacular is the folklore-shrouded Pohatu Geyser, which sprays up to 30 metres into the air multiple times a day, making for an incredible photo opportunity. There’s a number of trails and walking routes which let you get up close and personal with varicoloured pools and ponds of smoking mud, while inner-city thermal spas will relax you after a hard day of exploring.
The Whakarewarewa Forest is another great natural attraction – thankfully, there’s no sulphur polluting the air, and the silence of the majestic redwoods is deeply soothing. You can explore the forest on foot via walking trails, or ascend to the Treewalk, a canopy boardwalk that stretches for over half a kilometre between 100-year-old trees. Other recommended areas include the Okere Falls Track, the forbidding Mount Tarawera, and the multi-hued beauty of the Haumurana Springs.
Rotorua is also famed for its status as a Māori cultural hub. In places like Te Puia, Tamaki Village and Mitai Village, you can experience fierce, inspiring performances grounded in centuries of tradition – singing, dancing, and the globally-renowned haka. Māori tattooists are also plentiful, as are modern Māori artists and fashion designers; even if a tattoo is a little permanent, you can still leave Rotorua with some amazing pieces of art. At Whakarewarewa village, you can see how the native peoples originally used the geothermal waters to cook, wash and bathe – it’s a beautiful example of humanity living symbiotically with the land.
Are you ready for Rotorua? Book today with Wyndham.