The Geothermal Wonderland of Rotorua, New Zealand

Sponsored by New Zealand Tourism Board

If you’re looking for an adventure filled vacation, Rotorua sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire is sure to keep you busy. From crystal-clear streams and magical forests, to epic biking trails and explosive geysers, Rotorua has it all.

When the mood strikes to go exploring, rather than simply staring at the beauty around you, these are our top must have experiences.

Fascinating Geothermal Eruptions

Rotorua doesn’t have just one or two geothermal spots, they’re everywhere creating an unforgettable smell of Sulphur, steam clouds and volcanic activity throughout the day.

Close to the city center, you’ll find a few easy to access options like the free thermal reserve which features beautiful public gardens, bubbling mud pools, colorful hot lakes, and free thermal foot pools.

One of the more unique options is the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, which is a brilliant rainbow of colors. The Champaign Pool is bright orange and blue, while other nearby hot springs are emerald green or yellow.

Healing Hot Pools

After witnessing the eruptions and of course getting curious about those bubbling waters, it’s time to slide in to your own mud bath or mineral pool.

Whether you choose to enjoy the all-day Polynesian Spa with heated pools, spas, spectacular views and drinks or head to the famous Hells Gate for an afternoon of Mud Baths and Sulpher Pools, you’ll leave feeling more relaxed than ever.

The Sulphur pools have been touted as heeling waters since the 1800’s, while the combination with mud provides a gently exfoliation.

Experiencing Māori Culture

There are many opportunities to dive in and experience Maori culture which is alive and present throughout the country.

While Hells Gate is owned and protected by the Maori and offers a cultural experience, Te Puia is another immersive cultural attraction that is sure to awaken the senses and provide a unique cultural journey.

When visiting Te Puia you’ll find demonstrations of Maori life, traditional dinner options, cultural performances and the legendary Pohutu Geyser in Te Puia, which erupts to a height of 100 feet up to 20 times a day.

Finding Adrenaline

If a faster paced day is what you have in mind, the options abound.

Agreoventures Park is the place to start for a wide variety of options. You’ll find jet boating, swooping, bungee jumping and a Shweeb, which is a monorail bike you race around a track and is only found here.

For a slightly more relaxing day, you can enjoy the Skyline Gondola which will provide you with breathtaking views of Rotorua and allow you to truly see how it sits inside a crater.

And for a middle of the road adventure and relaxation day, grab a bike. You’ll find numerous guided tour options (including wineries) or maps to explore places on your own like the Redwood Forest. Or you could haul your bike up in the Gondola and enjoy a fast paced ride down through Skyline Gravity Mounting Biking Park.

Rotorua may seem small in size, but it’s big on experiences that will make lasting memories.

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