Rotorua

Rotorua is a popular tourist destination known for being New Zealand's most dynamic thermal area with spurting geysers, steaming hot springs and exploding mud pools. Today thirty per cent of the area's population is Maori, with their cultural performances and traditional hangi as big an attraction as the landscape itself. The Maori revered this place, naming it one of the most spectacular springs Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters).

'Sulphur City' is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the North Island with nearly three million visitors annually. The town has a great energetic atmosphere which is why it makes for a fantastic resort town. If you are looking for a relaxing destination, where you can retreat and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Rotorua is the perfect destination for you!

Population: 68,000

Airport: Rotorua Regional Airport [ROT]

Attractions:

There are so many great things to see and do in Rotorua and it is the perfect place to see how truly amazing mother nature can be.

Take a tour of Rotorua's most popular geothermal parks and colourful lakes on a day trip led by a local naturalist guide. You will see the Lady Knox Geyser erupt and see boiling mud pools and to springs at Wai-O-Tapu. The tour includes a short drive to the Waimangu Volcanic valley where you can learn about how the Mt Tarawera eruption blew open this spectacular geothermal park.

If you're looking for a bit of adrenalin pumping action why not go White Water Rafting at Titea Falls, the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall. The falls feature a five grade rapid and a seven metre drop waterfall! You can't get more fast and furious then that! Although this trip provides the full on experience, it is perfect for beginners; in fact 75% of customers have never rafted before! Prices include all equipment and safety training so you're free to just have a great time!

You can't visit Rotorua without visiting the famous and unbelievable Glow Worm Caves. A tour of the caves is available from Rotorua to Auckland that features a spectacular visit to the caves and includes a buffet lunch at the fantastic new facilities at the underground attraction followed by a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers to view stalactites formed over thousands of years by the constant dripping of water. The tour finishes with a boat ride through the glow worm grotto that is illuminated by thousands of tiny lights emitted by the glow worms.

Transport around City: The best way to commute around Rotorua is by car. Rental cars can be picked up and dropped off in town and at the Rotorua Regional Airport. The town does have a small rail network that runs between major cities.

Recommended Restaurants: Aorangi Peak (Rotorua), Capers Epicurean (Rotorua), Peppers on the Point (Rotorua).

Recommended Bars: Pig and Whistle Bar (Rotorua), Fuze Bar (Rotorua Opotiki).

Recommended Hotels: Accolades Boutique Hotel, Duxton Hotel Okawa Bay, Peppers on the Point, Regal Palms.

Climate: Temperate Climate with Warm Summers [20-27 C/ 68-78F] & around 10-12 C [50-55 F]

Cultures: European, Maori. The area is rich in Maori history and has a range of Maori cultural activities.

Best time of year to travel: All year round. Summer months of January, February & March to enjoy water sports at their best.