Renowned for its geothermal activity, Maori culture and it’s smell of rotten eggs! Rotorua is a must do destination for any traveller in New Zealand.
♦ Maori Experience. A Maori experience is a must, in order to understand New Zealand’s native culture. It will take you on a journey back in time to experience cultural rituals (like the famous haka), powerful performances, an understanding of their way of life and the best part – The hangi feast.
There are many to choose from in Rotorua but we would recommend going to the Tamaki Maori Village which has been awarded the best cultural experience in New Zealand. Most tourists go for the evening experience as this is a cheaper option and well worth its money. However if you have the time and extra pennys, the overnight stay here was sensational from beginning to end.
With the overnight stay you will learn about Maori greetings, gods, customs, protocols, myths songs, games on a very personal, one-on-one level. We were taught songs that we performed in the evening which was a great experience and a good laugh. At the end of the night you will enjoy an evening in hot tubs and a few drinks at the bar with the Maori guides and are able to ask all the questions thought up throughout the experience. If your really interested in the culture like we are it would be worth thinking about the overnight stay.
♦ Skyline Gondola & Luge. We would say that Rotorua has the best Luge in New Zealand due to its length and speed! There are three tracks for different ability levels, twisting down through the gorgeous Redwoods Forest. If its your first time, grab a few passes so that you can try out all three routes. Night Luging is also available over summer, which makes for a awesome evening out.
♦ Wai-O-Tapu. Welcome to New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse volcanic area! Check out this incredible landscape through a series of different walks ranging between 30-75mins depending on what you fancy. We really took our time here as we’d seen nothing like it before. At 10:15am every morning you can experience the Lady Knox Geyser erupt up to 20metres high! Be sure to get there early to grab a great spot at the front.
♦ Whakarewarewa Forest. This place is great for a stroll in order to see huge Redwoods. Theres also some great tracks for mountain bikers and horse riders.
♦ Government Gardens. Looking for something to do for free? Then take a stroll around the Government Gardens. You will come across the Blue Baths, Rotorua museum and see the thermal atmosphere in the little lakes throughout.
♦ Rotorua Museum. The Museum has exhibits on the culture and history of Rotorua as well as displaying many Maori artefacts. At $20NZD per entrant, its a great plan for a rainy day in Rotorua.
♦ Accomodation. For hostel prices you are looking at around $15 – $30NZD per night and around $50 – $70NZD for a double. Hotels are a lot more costly in Rotorua, averaging around $100NZD for a double room.
♦ Transport. Rotorua is a really small town -It takes roughly 20 mins to walk end to end, however some of the board walks around the lakes can take a couple hours.