Rotorua, New Zealand: More Than Just Another Pretty Place

Author: , May 5th, 2010
by Ann, Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel, Rotorua, New Zealand
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Pohutu Geyser, New Zealand

Pohutu Geyser - New Zealand

Carlos Spencer

Welcome to beautiful New Zealand! New Zealand is famous for it’s Anti Nuclear policy, green pastures, blue sea, crystal clear night skies, fjords and sheep.

But we mustn’t forget the Kiwi (the fruit), Carlos Spencer (at left), Daniel Carter, Jonah Lomu and Ritchie Mc Caw (All Black Rugby players),

Xena‘Xena’ – Lucy Lawless (obviously), Russell Crowe(Gladiator) , Crowded House (terrific band – now disbanded) and having had the most famous Minister of Parliament in the world; Georgina Beyer.

Russell CroweMy place – Rotorua claims Cliff Curtis (‘3 Kings’), Tem Morrison (‘Star Wars’) and gorgeous All Blacks; Richard Kahui (born 20 mins out of town) and Liam Messam as their own.

But back to nature….

Rotorua is a volcanic wonderland on the Central Plateau of the North Island and the Lake District of the North Island of New Zealand. Anticipate staying a minimum of 2 nights.

Rotorua is dimpled with thermal parks. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is situated 17 km south of Rotorua City and is awe inspiring. Internationally graded ‘A’ as a protected environment; Waimangu has been protected since the eruption of the Tarawera Volcano in 1886. My favourite – Waimangu is a beautiful park of steaming volcanic craters created by the Tarawera eruption in 4 and ½ hours, one terrible June night.

Down the road a little, is Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland. The pretty coloured pools and the daily eruption at 10.15 am, of the ‘Lady Knox’ Geyser make this are one of the most popular thermal areas to visit.

At Te Puia in the Whakarewarewa area, you can watch Pohutu Geyser ‘play’ (erupt) almost every 40 minutes. The mud plops and bubbles and there is a Maori Cultural performance at 10.15am, 12.15pm and 3.15pm every day of the year.

Slide into a pool of mud at Hell’s Gate and therapy becomes fun!

Zorb - New ZealandAdventure fanatics take a deep breath – Rotorua is home of the ZORB. Have you ever thought you’d like to roll down a big grassy hill in a huge ball of bubble-wrap? Great! You are going to be so happy when you get in this crazy kiwi invention.

Wet or dry? This is my simple explanation; Wet – you will stay sitting almost upright as the ZORB rolls down the hill…you will be wet. Dry – you will roll with your ZORB over and over til you reach the bottom- but…you’ll be dry.

Rotorua is the only place on earth where you can take a 5+ rafting trip over the Okere Falls on the Kaituna River. The highest grade in the world. You are picked up from your accommodation and delivered back about 3 hours later. Short, sharp and thrilling! Wetsuits are provided, along with a crash helmet and a life jacket.

Whitewater Rafting - New ZealandAdventure bunnies will also love to bungy, kayak, swoop or shweeb. It sounds like gibberish now but you’ll be speaking the language before you leave Rotorua.

Rotorua is the heart of Maori culture…so don’t miss enjoying a Maori Hangi and Concert.

You will enjoy a concert performance and learn a lot about the Maori People of New Zealand.

The hangi is a feast. The food is cooked underground and is just mouth watering! A buffet meal of ground vegetables like potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, carrots, and greens …spinach or peas.

There is beef, lamb and chicken and usually a fish dish. Vegetarians are well taken care of too. A steamed pudding follows with yummy fresh whipped New Zealand Cream.

Make sure you visit the Agrodome Sheep show – performing sheep 3 times a day… hard to believe isn’t it? You’ll have seen sheep all over the fields in New Zealand but these sheep are special. The ‘littlies’ get to bottle-feed the lambs and the farm tour will get you into a rural frame of mind.

Don’t miss Rainbow Springs. There is a kiwi (the bird) breeding programme and you can see kiwis bolting around in their natural environment at night in the bush (once again-the bird).

The ‘kiwis’ (New Zealanders) are bolting around in their natural environment at night too.

Visit the pub – ‘The pig and Whistle’ is a popular haunt and the food is really good. They have a band on the weekend. ‘Henneseys’ is fun too…with a pretty good Irish ‘knees-up’ on Thursday nights and the food is classic Irish and nourishing.

For breakfast or lunch I go to the ‘Fat Dog Cafe’ or ‘Abracadabra cafe’ . The ‘Fat Dog’ has great fish n chips (fush n chups) with a beer batter and ‘Abracadabra’ has Morrocan food and my favourite is the Calamari salad.

After a hard day holidaying, the best stop of all, is the Polynesian Spa. Wonderful to ease the tired limbs and is open til 11pm every night. You can have an ‘aix’ massage; massage under warm mineral water, or a mud wrap, or choose from a variety of therapies. Half hour or full hour treatments are available .

And after a full day …come home to Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel for a quiet and relaxed stay. I’ve been listed on Purple Roofs since 1997! World famous Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel and Serviced Apartments has been featured in the Lonely Planet Guide Book for 13 years & has been the ‘Author’s Pick’ since 2006 til now.

We are also featured in the French Guide Book – oh la la… ‘Petit Fute’ since 2007. Also a NZ Tourism Award Finalist in the season 2001-2002; Ann’s Volcanic has accommodation ranging from standard to fabulous! We have organic vegie gardens and fruit trees. Rotorua is gorgeous, scenic and active.