Base Hot Rock Rotorua

1140 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand

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Forum Posts

Te Puia vs. Whakarewarewa Maori Village

by Paulaann12

Are Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa Maori Village the same place?? If not, is one better to see than the other? Thanks.

Re: Te Puia vs. Whakarewarewa Maori Village

by lifeisatrip

We went to Whakarewarewa Maori Village but I didn't think it was referred to as Te Puia. I can be wrong, however. Whakarewarewa was fun. The show was fun to watch and the "hange" was good, although the line for the feast was quite long. We were still happy with the experience.

I hope this helps.

Re: Te Puia vs. Whakarewarewa Maori Village

by Kakapo2

This is nearly a tourist rip-off...

Until the end of the 1990's Te Puia and Whakarewarewa were still one attraction for which you had to pay one entry fee. Then there was an argument and the geothermal site was divided, even "Whaka" itself, and since 1998 you have two tourist attractions side by side. So it is up to you to make a choice as nearly the same things are offered, geothermal wonders and Maori culture.

Whakarewarewa is only a third of its original size and features bubbling mud holes, hot pools, steaming and sulphor stinking flats, as well as Maori carvings, a meeting house and stage where you can twice daily enjoy a cultural show. It is now known as The Thermal Village which really has kept its original village feeling. You can explore the place on your own or join a guided tour, and I clearly prefer it to Te Puia - and it is cheaper ;-)

However, the main attraction of "Whaka", the very active Pohutu geyser, is now on the other side of the fence and belongs to Te Puia. But it can still be seen from the "Whaka" area, and it erupts several times a day and does not need to be fed by soap to erupt like the famous Lady Knox Geyser at Wai-o-tapu.

Te Puia did not only get Pohutu but also the other two thirds of the original Whakarewarewa. Officially it is The New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute. You can watch Maori artists carve and wave houses, canoes, weapons, jewellery and clothes and also buy the very expensive products. They also have a Kiwi House with two or so kiwis, and offer guided tours and cultural perfomances with song and dance, including a hangi which is the traditional Maori meal from the earth oven.


If you have time and a car my suggestion would be to skip both places and go to Wai-o-tapu instead, the colours are much more spectacular, and it has it all, including a soap-fed geyser named Lady Knox ;-) If not, I would - as said - go to the Thermal Village. If you are interested to see Maori at work, go to the other place.

Travel Tips for Rotorua

Something stinks here!

by batgirl1001

Everywhere you go around Rotorua, you will notice a distinctively funky smell. Its the smell of sulphur as Rotorua is known as the Geothermal Capital of NZ.

Honestly I don't know why people complain about the smell of durians. The durian smell is strong but it is sweet.

Rotorua smells like rotten eggs happily rotting in the sun. When we asked the locals, they were already used to the smell and thus see nothing to fuss about.

We on the other hand never quite smell a town like Rotorua. In some parts the smell was quite strong and pervasive and in others, quite faint.

The smells seem to be strongest in the morning and quite near the lake. We also saw (in winter) a lot of escaping gases from the drains around the streets in Rotorua reminding us about this geothermal town.

Again the smell is strongest in summer and many locals who can't take the heat (not the smell) retreat somewhere cooler to escape.

The Blue Baths

by kiwigal_1

The Blue Baths are recently restored thermal pools. They were built in the 1930's in the Spanish architectural style but fell into disrepair and was closed until it was restored. The building is now protected by the New Zealand Historic Places trust. There are tearooms inside that are also a sight to behold.

Indulge yourself at the Polynesian Spa

by allikat

When in Rotorua, you really must experience bathing in a natural hot spring, and the Polynesian Spa (which, incidentally, has been voted as one of the top 10 spas in the world!) is a great place to do just that.

They have arranged things so that if you want to be thoroughly pampered and spoilt, choose the Lake Spa Retreat, which is for adults only and offers a landscaped lakeside garden with hot pools as well as a therapy area, relaxation lounge and a bar. Sumptious fluffy robes provided!
Then you have the Priests Spa area, also adults only, and refurbished in October 2004. Again, the rock pools are overlooking Lake Rotorua, and there is also a large hot mineral swimming pool.
Got kiddies? No worries, mums and dads have their own hot pools near to the children and toddlers freshwater pools.

The Polynesian Spa also has a great gift shop (go on, you know you want a Rotorua Mud Mask!) and a good cafe. The spa makes a great way to end a day taking in the sights of Rotorua, and is open until 10pm.


by kiwigal_1

Paradise Valley is one of two places to see the Rainbow Trout that the Rotorua and Taupo areas are famous for (amongst other things!). There is also a Lion Pride that has a feeding time at 2.30pm daily. The Valley is a nice place to walk around leisurely looking at the fish and other animals. I recommend buying the little pellets at the reception desk before you head off if you do want to feed the animals.


by I-Believe-I-Can-Fly

The only thing that we overlook while visiting Rotorua is its lake. Lake Rotorua is pretty with dark color water. It is a large volcanic lake. Mokoia island which lies at the center of the lake can be seen from the shore. And Rotorua itself lies on the shore of Lake Rotorua.


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