Rotorua, with its unique and fascinating geography, has been attracting visitors for more than one and half centuries and is one of the most important tourist resources for New Zealand. The town is located on the banks of Lake Rotorua, set deep in-land in the Bay of Plenty on New Zealand’s north Island. The town is nicknamed “Sulphur City” due to the presence of numerous volcanoes, hot water springs, geysers and boiling mud pools. Upon arriving at Roturua, the visitor immediately finds himself in a place unlike any other, wisps of steam are evident everywhere, in the parks, paths and roads and the smell of sulphur in the air is an indication of what is to come.
A few minutes from the town centre and geysers spurt from the ground and boiling mud gurgles at the visitors feet. The steam, rising from the ground, comes from underground lakes and rivers. The various minerals dissolved in the water, leave a kaleidoscope of colours and shades. The enormous volcanic peaks,now dormant, are a sign of this region’s turbulent past. The volcanic craters are now home to beautiful crystal-clear lakes. Whakarewarewa, situated 3 km from the town on the banks of the river Puarenga, is the best place to admire this geothermal exhibition. Whakarewarewa boasts more than 500 hot springs and is the site of Pohutu, New Zealand’s largest geyser, which erupts on average, 15 times a day, reaching an altitude of 90 feet.
In addition to the excellent natural characteristics of the area, the tourist development in Rotorua, owes much to the Maori culture and tradition, which had a large presence in this area, in particular during the 14th century. Rotorua’s Maori exhibitions are the most interesting and accessible in New Zealand.
In addition the area of Rotorua, offers a wide variety of past-times, with more than 16 lakes, numerous rivers, mountains and canals, the possibility for adventure is uncountable. Kayaking, sailing and jet-skiing are among the most popular water sports in the area, with many visitors also opting for bungee jumping and hikes up the surrounding volcanoes. Those curious to try something new can have a go at “zorbing”, where upon being strapped into an inflated plastic ball, the thrill- seeker is launched down a 150-metre slope.
Many private tour companies operate a service to transport visitors around the area. One of the most popular agencies is Pink Bus, which operates between Waiotapu and Waimangu. Information and a booking service are available at the Rotorua Tourism Office at 67 Fenton St.
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Lake Rotorua, of volcanic origin, is the largest of twelve lakes in the area. Various cruises are organized on the lake during the summer and depart from the quay at the far end of Tutanekai St.
The Rotorua Museum of Art and History is testament to the importance of the Maori culture in this area. The museum,also known as Bath house, is located in Government gardens, in a Tudor style building dating back to 1908. The museum houses a collection dedicated to the Araw tribe, the first people to settle in the area, together with information and records of the devastating eruption of the Tarawera volcano in 1886 and an account of the legendary Second World War deeds of B Company of the 28th Maori Battalion. The museum is open from 9am to 6pm during the summer and from 9:30 am to 5pm during the winter.
Maps and transportationEdit
Getting to RotoruaEdit
A twenty-minute car journey from town and the visitor arrives at the departure point for an interesting trip through the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, an important thermal area, formed following the eruption of the Tarawera volcano in 1886. An easy walk takes the visitor to the Waimangu Cauldron, a volcanic lake with an average water temperature of 53 °C. Continuing along the trail, the visitor arrives at Lake Rotomahana ( Hot lake), where it is possible to take a boat trip and explore the waters. Waimangu volcanic Valley is open all year round from 8:30 to 5pm.
Visitors should not miss Tikitere, another area of volcanic activity, sometimes referred to as Hell’s Gate, this area is also the site of Kakahi Falls, the highest hot water falls in the Australian hemisphere. The falls are located approximately 16 km east of Rotorua, on the road to Whakatane.A 2.5 km trail leads visitors through the area, passing other interesting sights on the way. The park is open every day from 8:30 to 5pm
Practical information and resourcesEdit
Currency : New Zealand dollar
Electric supply: 230V, 50 Hz. Australian round three- pinned plugs are used
Climate : Rotorua enjoys a temperate climate less windy than other areas of new Zealand. The summer temperature from November to February varies from 20 °C to 27 °C, in winter from10 °C to 12 °C. The warmest months are January, February and March while the coldest are July and August.
Language : English, Maori
Opening hours : offices are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, while the banks are open from 9am to 4:30pm. The shops are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5:30 pm and Saturday morning from 9am to 1pm. There is also late night shopping on Thursday or Friday until 9pm.
Telephones : to call Italy, dial 0039 followed by the area code without the initial zero and the private number of the person. To call from Italy to New Zealand dial 0064 followed by the area code without the initial zero and the private number of the person, The national prefix is 03.
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