Amber Motor Lodge

1296 Hinemaru St.,, Rotorua, New Zealand
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Travel Tips for Rotorua

Zorb - this has nothing to do with Greeks!

by M0B1US

Zorbing is a phenomenon sweeping the World like wildfire (Uh, yeah right!)! So why not try it out at the original Zorb site in the World at Rotorua!?

Where else are you going to find yourself inside a giant plastic ball that looks like some kind of US military experiment on bubblewrap gone horribly wrong, rolling down a steep grassy hill for 250m?

I guarantee this will be like nothing you've ever done before. You have the option of being strapped in for the 'dry' mode - or you can find out just what it is to be like your clothes when you put them in the washing machine, as you tumble and slosh about in the 'wet' mode...

Prices are NZ$40 for one ride, or one of each NZ$65. Children can try the mini-zorb on flat terrain for around NZ$15.

After you've done a Zorb or two, why not check out the Agrodome for a sheep talent show/beauty pageant (only in NZ!)??? Tip coming soon! ;-)

And yes, you can buy the T-Shirt too!

Word of warning: don't try this on a full stomach - I did this just after breakfast and felt a bit queasy for about an hour afterwards, though that could have been from getting up so early! Mandatory: One Giant Inflatable Plastic Bubble.

Optional: Two Buckets of Cold Water (Warm in Winter!)

Change of clothes (maybe underwear?) and a towel if doing the 'wet one'!

Fancy an Curry?

by allikat about Lovely India Tandoori Restaurant

Sometimes, only an Indian will do, and after an evening lazing in the hot waters of the Polynesian Spa, a nice chicken Korma was just what I needed!
The town was busy, but Lovely India have great staff who managed to squeeze us into an already packed restaurant and serve us promptly.

My only criticism: grated cheese does not belong on a chicken korma, and neither does a glace cherry!

Ride in the Zorb can be a wet Experience

by Kakapo2

I must admit that I did not ride in the Zorb. I was there but could not get what I wanted. And that was a dry ride. As it was a very cold day and I had just overcome a bad flu and bronchitis, I had not wanted to roll down 200 metres on a hillside near the Agrodome in one of these huge inflatable plastic balls, filled with me and 50 litres of warm water, and then get out of it, soaking wet, at just some degrees over zero. So I just watched the scene.

The dry rides can only be operated in safe wind conditions, so clearly not every day in windy New Zealand. If the wind blows from the wrong direction the ball which has a diametre of 3.40m could fly too high and the ride could become too bumpy, rough and dangerous. What a pity!

From the base the people are transported to the top of the hill where they climb into the Zorb, and boing - it rolls down the hill, and upon arrival they are allowed to call themselves Zorbonauts. They slip out of the ball like a baby through the birth channel. Then the house photographer urges them to jump sillyly into the air from the joy of having just finished the fun of their lives, and then the big dry-up begins.

If you are into the Rotorua activities, you can combine the Zorb with the Agrodome which is just some hundred metres across the road, also the wildlife park Paradise Valley Springs is in the wider area, and finally on the way back to town the gondola at Mt. Ngongotaha.

Open all year round except Christmas Day
Apr - Nov 9am-5pm
Dec - Mar 9am-7pm

Prices:
Wet and dry rides $45
Wet ride also available for 2 at $35pp
Clothes and towel hire $2

Polynesian Spa for a treat.

by kiwi

Wow! 35 hot mineral pools to chose from, ranging from family bathing to adults only etc.
Something for everyone here, and a really nice café and souvenir shop in the foyer.

Treat yourself to this and spoil your weary traveller bones and muscles. You won't regret it!

The Colourful Thermal Wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu

by Kakapo2

This really is a place to go if you are interested in geothermal activity. Wai-O-Tapu - which means Sacred Waters and is only 30kms from Rotorua - has some unique features like The Lady Knox Geyser and the Champagne Pool.

But be prepared to meet loads of tourists as everybody tries to be there at 10.15am. This is the time of the guaranteed daily eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser which was discovered in 1901 by prisoners who had to clear the area. Those prisoners also found out that the geyser could be made to erupt by throwing soap into the bubbling water. By coincidence, of course. They were just washing their clothes in the hot water. Soon the place was transformed into a tourist attraction and named after the daughter of Lord Ranfurly, the 15th Governor of NZ, Lady Constance Knox.

At the start rocks had been placed around the base of the spring, and within the past 100 years silica from the eruptions built up a white cone which makes the spring look like the vent of a volcano. A ranger throws a cake of soap into this opening, and soon after the geyser erupts, the hot water reaching heights of up to 20 metres, and the eruption can last for an hour.

Whereas in Rotorua you have the rotten egg smell of sulphur in your nose everywhere Wai-O-Tapu offers the full palette of colours geothermal activity can create. The Artists's Palette displays spots of different colours and shades, depending on the minerals the water contains.

Yellow: sulphur
Orange: antimony sulphide
White: silicon sulphide
Green: arsenic sulphide
Purple: manganese
Red and brown: iron oxide and iron oxyhydrate
Black: sulphur and carbon

The most impressive feature is the 74°C hot Champagne Pool with green water, and striking orange rocks all around the pool. On the water surface you see big bubbles which are created by carbon dioxide. It is the biggest pool in the area. The mud pools are also fantastic.

Other formations have the promising names Devil's Home, Rainbow Crater, Thunder Crater, Devil's Ink Pots, Opal Pool and Inferno Crater.

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