The tourist attractions at Rotorua have drawn in tourists for more than a century. Known as New Zealand’s thermal wonderland, it is filled with several interesting natural features and landmarks.
The area is along the shores of Lake Rotorua. It is three hours away south from Auckland. The main route is Hamilton. You begin at State Highway 1 and join up at State Highway 5 by Tirau. An alternative route is Matamata via Route 27.
What to See
Some of the more interesting landmarks include the Government Gardens park, the Motutara Walkway and the Redwoods. This site has several hiking trails and bike trails, plus stunning views of nature. There are more than a dozen lakes in the area.
The Waimangu Volcanic Valley is one of the major tourist attractions at Rotorua. There are guided walks here and boat cruises and treks. The valley was born out of the 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera. Okere Falls is where you can go kayaking or water sledging.
The Rainbow Springs Natural Park is known for its sculptured ponds. Some of the most beautiful native birds of New Zealand can be found here. The Tourist Information Center is located at Fenton Street. You can get more info about the site there.
The whole place is set over a geothermal hot spot. Due to natural processes, the city is surrounded by hot pools, vents and other geothermal features. Eruptions of hot water and steam still occur. It is set in the center of Taupo Volcanic Zone. The name is taken from Lake Taupo.
Apart from those mentioned, the area is home to many other volcanoes and lakes. It is this spot that generates the heat required for geothermal activity to continue. Due to its importance, the commercial activity here is closely monitored by the government.
The typical costs of a guided tour to the site is 259 NZ$. This will include transportation and payment to any entrance fees needed.
Another interesting site here is Te Puia. It is where the bubbling pools and geysers can be found. You can go on a guided tour here and get up close with the Maori. You can get a taste of their meals and see the traditional dances.
Another one of the tourist attractions at Rotorua is the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, with its natural scenery and Maori elements. With the Skyline Skyrides, you will get a scintillating view of the mountains.