What else is Rotorua Good For?
Are you hoping to holiday in Rotorua, but wary of suffering from a case of hot pool overload? Rest assured, there is more to Rotorua than hot springs and sulfur smells! It’s actually a gorgeous part of the country with a unique culture and packed full of interesting things to do.
If you were thinking about an upcoming weekend break, you better start looking into Rotorua hotels, because this is a guide to all the one-of-a-kind experiences Rotorua has to offer that will please even the most discerning and hardened traveller.
Explore Maori Culture at Tamaki Maori Village
One way to get back in touch with New Zealand’s Maori history is to pay a visit to Tamaki Maori Village. The experience kicks off with a quick debriefing on how to behave appropriately at a marae to help clear up any confusion and answer any questions you may have. This is followed by story time with a fascinating introduction to some of the most famous of Maori myths and legends. Next, make your way towards the village grounds, where you will be personally greeted with a pōwhiri or formal welcome dance. Once you are officially welcomed, you have the opportunity to explore the life and ways of the Maori people as they existed before the introduction of European settlers. You will see women weaving, watch Maori tattooing and observe the Maori men training with their traditional weapons. Your experience concludes with a three-course hangi, shared with your hosts. Enjoy succulent meats and delicious vegetables tinged with the slightly smoky flavour that comes with underground cooking.
Water Sport It Up at the Amazing Lakes
The area surrounding Rotorua is home to many stunning lakes, including Lake Rotorua, Lake Rotoiti, Lake Rotoma, Lake Okataina, Lake Rotoehu, Lake Tarawera, Lake Okareka and Lake Tikitapu, just to name a few of the 18 lakes. One of the biggest and the best is Lake Rotorua, which offers particularly awesome trout-fishing October to April and cool paddle-steamer tours all year. You can also hire paddleboards and kayaks for some laid-back and inexpensive family fun suitable for all ages. If you’re up for even more water action, river fun is also on the cards in Rotorua, with grade-V white-water rafting available at Kaituna River. There are a number of rafting companies; browse the Web and select the experience best for you.
Learn Some Important New Zealand History at Buried Village
If you feel as though your knowledge of New Zealand history needs a bit of a refresh, you’ve come to the right place. The village of Te Wairoa was buried in the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera, but the amount of volcanic ash served to actually preserve most of the village. Today, it provides some extraordinary and rare insight into what life was like in New Zealand during the 19th century. The museum is probably the best part of the experience; it is full of items that have been excavated from the site alongside educational displays centred on volcanology. It makes for a fascinating, educational and moving experience.
Make Friends With a NZ Icon at Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park
Get up close and personal with our own native kiwi at New Zealand’s biggest kiwi conservation centre. Set in a 22-acre area filled with native trees and New Zealand wildlife, the Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park is a fun-filled day out for all of the family. Besides kiwi, you can also check out tuatara, trout, Antipodes Island parakeets and native silver ferns — and learn more about our unique ecosystem.
Try Some Real NZ Honey at Arataki Honey
Kiwis love their honey almost as much as their marmite, but have you ever wondered where it comes from? Arataki Honey Limited is New Zealand’s largest honey production company, operating over 20,000 hives across Havelock North in Marlborough and Waiotapu near Rotorua. Visit the on-site Benny Bee Store, where you can sample a range of different types of honey, including comb, manuka and pohutukawa, as well as try out some bee pollen products.
Guest Blogger: Moana Hiller is a Rotorua resident who is set on spreading the word that Rotorua is way more than hot springs and weird smells