The many attractions of Rotorua, New Zealand
For most people, the thought of luxurious lifetime holidays conjures up visions of Caribbean beaches. There are, however, many other dream holiday destinations. Rotorua, New Zealand is one of them.
Nestled alongside Lake Rotorua’s southern edge, Rotorua district is situated south-east (approximately 105 km/ 65 miles) of Hamilton. Enjoying around 2,000 hours of yearly sunshine, the district has a pleasant climate with only approximately 140 cm of rainfall each year. Average temperatures range from winter lows of 13 C (55.4 F) to summer highs of 25 C (77 F).
Available accommodation ranges from well-kept camp-sites to luxury hotels, some of the most luxurious of which include five star hotels like:
• Nicara Lakeside Lodge
• Peppers On The Point
• Regal Palms City Resort
• Solitaire Lodge
• Treetops Lodge/ Estate
There is very little Rotorua leaves to be desired with its abundance of spectacular views, cultural experiences, luxurious spas and exciting outdoor adventures. Featuring a volcanic landscape with spectacular, constant geothermal activity, Rotorua is home to some of the world’s most amazing, colourful silica terraces.
The most famous of these terraces were destroyed, together with the nearby village of Te Wairoa, by a massive Mt Tarawera eruption in 1886. The excavated remains of Te Wairoa now serve as a living museum telling the story of the Pink and White Terraces and the village.
Whakarewawera Thermal Village is steeped in Maori history, legends and culture, still very much part of daily life, and offers samples of local food prepared with thermal water in traditional hangi ovens. At Te Puia, an important cultural centre of Rotorua, visitors are treated to authentic Maori performances, storytelling and visits to traditional art form (carving/ weaving) schools.
Then, of course, there are thermal parks like Kuirau Park, Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, where visitors can discover geysers, unique vegetation, silica terraces, fumaroles and more.
A total of 16 lakes make the area an angler’s paradise, often with the opportunity to cook freshly caught fish in thermal beaches’ hot sands, while Whakarewarewa Forest’s towering Redwoods hide 70 km (43.5 miles) of mountain-biking tracks with spectacular views. For adrenalin junkies, Rotorua offers body flying, rafting and sky-diving; luge, sledging and world-firsts like Zorb (rolling – inside huge balls – down hills).
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