Dolly Travels: From Auckland to Rotorua

Author: , September 24th, 2015

Calves in New Zealand - Dolly GoolsbyHello, or Kia Ora,

Oh, there is so much to tell you about this wonderful country of New Zealand, I find that I must write something before I go to sleep tonight.

We had a beautiful drive down from Auckland yesterday. The weather was sunny; just a few puffy white clouds up high, and we had miles and miles to travel. We traveled by way of the motorway, which in the United States we would call a freeway. We drove past field after field of green rolling hills. I had expected to see many flocks of sheep with new baby lambs; however, it has been ten years since my last visit to New Zealand, and the North Island, where we are now, has become more of a dairy country. In fact, dairy products presently are the largest industry in the North Island. Therefore, I did get to see many herds of cattle in the green fields.

Our tour company. Overseas Adventure Travel, had arranged a home-hosted lunch for our group. We were welcomed by Ray and Dorothy to their home on an organic dairy farm. We were told this is the third generation now that has owned this farm. What a delightful few hours we got to spend with these two people. After we had eaten, Ray explained how they originally were certified as an organic farm and what they, as farmers, need to do to keep that certification. Then they took us on a tour of Dorothy’s garden, and we got to see the new farm babies… the calves.

Now here are some of the babies. I just wanted to squeeze these cute little creatures. Ray told me to let one suck on my fingers, but I knew better than to do that, if I wanted my fingers back.

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to visit with both of these friendly people, and I was so happy to get to gently hug one of the babies.

Since the day was still very pleasant and sunny, our guide, Aaron, had the bus driver take us to an area where we could go on a short hike, only about a mile or so, to the headwaters of the Blue Spring, the source of most of the bottled spring water in the North Island. The water is so clear and so blue. The green water grasses were just such a contrast to the blue water.

We followed the stream for another hundred meters or so, then we had to retrace our steps back to the waiting bus. There were some other tourists at the spring. One young man decided he would jump into the water. He did that, we heard a scream, and he jumped right out of the water. The water is freezing cold! Silly boy.

That little trek was such a nice surprise side trip that Aaron had planned for us. As we are finding out, Aaron has such a love for his native New Zealand, and such a passion for these unique experiences, that we know the rest of this two week trip is going to be quite an adventure, with delightful surprises when Aaron can work them into our itinerary.

Finally, in the late afternoon, we arrived in Rotoruta. We checked into this very lovely Waiora Resort, right on the shores of the lake. After a delicious gourmet dinner, we all retired early; a group of some very tired but happy travelers. We knew we had another busy day ahead of us, so I, for one, was not the least bit reluctant to do this. This resort has the nicest amenities. I was not expecting to find a hot water bottle in my bathroom cabinet, but I filled it with hot water, put it into my bed, and went to sleep very happy. I hadn’t even seen a hot water bottle since I was a kid, so this new treat brought back happy childhood memories, and I slept, dreaming only happy dreams.

So I will say goodnight to each of you now, and will continue telling you more about New Zealand tomorrow.

Good night, all.


By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | New Zealand Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Rotorua, New Zealand

Author: , March 10th, 2013
by Peter, Guysers Gaystay, Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand
Email Peter | Visit the Guysers Gaystay Website

Visit the Purple Roofs New Zealand page

Want to Get Married in New Zealand?

Rotorua Geyser - Guysers Gaystay

Rotorua Ziplining - Guysers GaystayNew Zealand – “the land of the long white cloud”. The country at the bottom of the globe that everyone thinks belongs to Australia and has more sheep than people. It is a country that is promoted as ‘clean and green’ with incredible scenery, diverse landscapes and multi-cultural cities. It’s a land of mountains and lakes, volcanoes and beaches, cities and forests.

It’s a country that seems so far away, yet is a country that most people have on their top 10 list of places to visit.

New Zealand is a country that is very liberated, open-minded and accepting, where Civil Unions are common and Gay Marriage legislation is soon to be passed through Government.

Rotorua Kerosene Creek - Guysers GaystayThe main cities of New Zealand offer gay night clubs, saunas, cruise clubs, bars and cafes. There is always something fun going on from gay fairs, leather nights, bears bowling, underwear parties, Pride festivals, naked bike rides, fetish events – you name it, New Zealand’s got it. And the men here are pretty hot too!

But if you are planning a trip to New Zealand, it’s probably because you’ve come to see the beautiful places and scenery rather than its nightclubs and saunas. For this reason it is essential you do your homework for the places you want to visit, how your going to get there and where you are going to stay.

Rotorua is the most recognised place for tourists visiting the North Island due to its geothermal parks, hot springs, World Top 10 Spa, and its extensive array of recreation, scenic and adventure activities. There is just so much to see and do in Rotorua that any stay shorter than 3 days does not do it justice.

Rotorua Rafting - Guysers GaystayBut like all tourist towns around the world, activities often come with a price, so bring plenty of pocket money as some things are not cheap, but they are well worth the money and they will be experiences unique to New Zealand.

Rotorua is rich in Maori history and culture and has the highest population of Maori in New Zealand. So no trip to Rotorua is complete without experiencing a Maori cultural show and indigenous hangi dinner (a hangi is a pit in the ground where meats, potatoes and vegetables are wrapped in tin foil or gauze and placed over hot stones, covered, and left to steam until cooked).

For the budget traveller Rotorua does offer a lot of free things to do. Geothermal activity such as mudpools and steaming fumaroles can be seen for free in Kuirau Park which is right in the city. Kerosene Creek and Wai-O-Tapu Stream are hot thermal water rivers where you bathe (and skinny dip) just a short drive from Rotorua City. There are plenty of free walks you can do as well around lakes, through redwood forests, or along rivers and fresh water springs.

Rotorua Thermal Pond - Guysers GaystayRotorua has weekly markets and night markets offering some very tasty and cheap food, as well as stalls selling crafts, homewears, clothing, hand made soaps, jewellery, bric-a-brac and more.

For thrill-seekers, Rotorua offers some of the best white water rafting experiences in the world including the Grade 5 Kaituna River which has a 7m waterfall! Try and overcome any fear of heights with Canopy Tours – these are ziplines as long as 220 meters in length and some 22 metres high in the trees above untouched New Zealand native forest.

For the gay traveller, New Zealand offers some wonderful gay hosted B&Bs. has a list of over 60 gay owned B&Bs, homestays and farmstays throughout New Zealand. By staying in a ‘gaystay’ you get to experience real New Zealand hospitality at its best and will come back with far better memories than if you had booked into motel units.

Rotorua Guysers GaystayGuysers Gaystay is in the heart of Rotorua City, so guests can wander into town to the restaurants, bars, clubs and shops and leave the rental car behind. Our B&B is comfortable, homely and stylish, our beds are luxurious and our facilities offer guests all the comforts they would expect when on holiday. Relax with your hosts or your travel companion(s) in our 5-person spa pool, sit with a book or a glass of New Zealand wine under our covered pergola or get an all-over tan in our clothing optional patio/garden area (summer time). In winter time take advantage of all the geothermal activities and hot pools that Rotorua is famous for, and don’t forget to try a mud bath!

So get saving, and make your next holiday one to remember! Come and experience New Zealand and don’t forget to spend a few days with us at Guysers Gaystay, Rotorua. Your hosts Mike and Peter look forward to your arrival. For more information on Rotorua and Guysers Gaystay visit

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Birchwood Spa Motel – Rotorua, New Zealand

Author: , July 18th, 2011

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Gay Friendly Bay of Plenty, New Zealand Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Birchwood Spa Motel, Rotorua, New ZealandWelcome to Birchwood Spa Motel… a Rotorua Qualmark four star motel that offers seventeen modern motel units:

  • Studios (w/private spa pools or spa baths)
  • 1 and 2 bedroom Spa Pool Motel Units
  • Large 2 Bedroom Executive Townhouses with internal garages
  • Wheelchair accessible room also available

Our Studio Spa Bath units are perfect for weekend getaways, for business travelers, or for guests who like to eat out during their stay here in Rotorua. Located upstairs on the first floor, each of these suites offers a great corner spa bath, perfect for a relaxing soak after a day working or sightseeing.

Birchwood Spa Motel’s ground floor Studio Spa Pool Room is great for couples or singles looking for luxurious Rotorua accommodations. The room has a private courtyard with a wonderful spa pool. Bubble bath for the spa pool, outdoor furniture and quality towels are all provided for guest use – all you need to do is fill up the pool, sit back and relax!

See the Birchwood Spa Motel Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Rotorua, New Zealand: More Than Just Another Pretty Place

Author: , May 5th, 2010
by Ann, Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel, Rotorua, New Zealand
Email Ann | Visit the Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel Website
Visit the Purple RoofsBay of Plenty, New Zealand Page
Want to Get Married in New Zealand?
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.