Fun things to do in Rotorua

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    A Good Show
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Rotorua

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    The Redwoods - Whakarewarewa Forest

    by Sylva Updated Jun 26, 2006

    Just next to the thermal area is situated Whakarewarewa Forest Park, called mostly with a shorter version - Redwoods.
    About a hundred years ago "the Kiwis" conducted an experiment, they planted various kinds of plants and trees to find out which ones would be effective for commercial use. Well, RADIATA PINE won the first place and has become the most important commercial specie in NZ.
    Anyway there are 170 tree species in the park and the most favourite walk goes through the huge Californian Redwoods - Sequoia.
    In the visitor center you get a map of the park with various tracks, the distances vary from 1,5 to 34 km. It depends on you and your physical shape which one you choose... :-))

    The Redwoods in Rotorua
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Cycling

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    Get Closer to Kiwi

    by allikat Updated Mar 26, 2006

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    I thought Rotoruas Kiwi Encounter was just superb! We visited by chance really - the weather was awful, and it is an indoors attraction, and I am so glad we decided to duck inside out of the rain instead of heading back to Auckland.

    New Zealands iconic flightless bird, the Kiwi, is an endangered species. There are a few varieties, and the Brown Kiwi is only found in the North Island. The Kiwi encounter (supported by the Bank of New Zealand and public donations, but receiving no state funding) is focused on breeding programmes, public education, release schemes and generally protecting this adorable little nocturnal creature.

    You are taken on a guided tour and get to see the hatchery, the nursery, a run with birds in a recontructed native habitat, and an information area. The tour guide was brilliantly informative, and we were fortunate enough to see an egg in the process of hatching (this can take up to three days) and a new chick being hand fed.

    The chicks are generally self sufficient once they are born - the female bird has nothing to do with the egg once she has laid it. This is not surprising really, as the kiwi has the largest egg-to-body-size ratio, and a kiwi laying an egg is the equivalent of a human giving birth to a 34lb baby. She is probably relieved to see the back of it! The male incubates the egg, but abandons the chick once hatching takes place. In the days when kiwis numbered in their millions, this wasn't a problem, but nowadays they need all the help they can get. The birds are released in areas where predation from stoats, rats and cats is miminal.

    Definitely worth a visit, I can't recommend this one enough. I have been in a couple of 'kiwi houses' and you see very little. The Kiwi Encounter is very probably your best opportunity to not only view the birds but learn a lot about them in the process.

    A brown Kiwi (stuffed, I should add) Kiwis need at the help they can get to survive Inside the information area
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Zoo

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    The Blue and Green Lakes

    by allikat Updated Mar 25, 2006

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    Not far from Rotorua, along the way to Lake Tarawera and the Buried Village, you will pass by the Blue and Green Lakes. Well, maybe you won't just pass by, but will stop a while and enjoy!!

    The Green Lake is undisturbed, as it is sacred (tapu) to the Maori people. Its Maori name is Rotokakahi because of its plentiful shellfish, and its waters flow into Lake Tarawea via Te Wairoa Falls (which you can enjoy at the Buried Village). It is known as the Green Lake because of its emerald colour when seen from the air, although you don't get that effect from ground level.

    Next to the Green Lake (and in fact the first of the 2 you will see) is the Blue Lake, known in Maori as Tikitapu, or "the place where a cheif's daughter lost her greenstone treasure". It is very deep, and is actually a collapsed volcanic crater. A popular watersports spot, its shores can be quite busy and it is a favourite for families with young children. It is known as the Blue Lake because from the air it is a turquoise colour due to deposits of white rhyolite and pumice on the lake bed. Again, you don't get the effect of the colour from ground level.

    View of the Blue Lake A glimpse of the sacred Green Lake
    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Orchid Gardens

    by keeweechic Updated Feb 27, 2006

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    Visit the Orchid Gardens to see the Water garden show, fountains dancing and playing to music. Walk through the butterfly enclosure and view the beautiful display of rare orchids which are set in two large enclosures in naturally landscaped surroundings.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    Wairere Falls

    by ATXtraveler Written Aug 6, 2005

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    Located within the Te Wairoa Buried Village complex is one of the nicest falls we saw on our trip to the North Island, and it was Wairere Falls.

    This set of falls is started by a small creek, but has quite a drop of about 30 meters, one in which a ten to fifteen minute walk is required from the museum that holds the information at Te Wairoa. Also, you will have to take a fairly steep walk back up the hill to the village, so be prepared for some heaving breaths.

    I guess you could call that a breath taking waterfall then!

    Mark and Sarah
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Kiwifruit Country

    by dimanche Written Aug 5, 2005

    Kiwi fruit orchard......with a ride on the "Kiwi Kart"! the guide gave an interesting talk on the history of the kiwi fruit.... and took us around the orchard to show us the different types of kiwi fruit. we got to taste the kiwi fruits and other fruits at the end of the tour.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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    New Zealand Farm Show

    by dimanche Written Aug 5, 2005

    this is quite a nice place to visit especially if you travelling with little children and young kids. they'll get to see a wide variety of animals for example, one of new zealand's endangered fish, the trout, birds, cows, sheep, and there is a special show put up to show the prowess of the dogs which help to round up the sheep. pretty cute things!

    cute fella!
    Related to:
    • Aquarium
    • Zoo

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    The Gardens of Rotorua

    by CanadianFlower Updated Jul 17, 2005

    In Rotorua there are some wonderful greenhouses full of tropical plantsm orchids and sometimes even sulphur crested cockatoos! Go to the Government Gardens and look around. A name to watch out for is the Tamaki Sacred Maori Gardens. For an interactive map of the area where the gardens is located, click here...

    http://www.rotoruanz.com/rotorua_museum/panoramicviews_1.htm

    Don't pass up this opportunity for a wonderful experience, along with all others that Rotorua has to offer, such as the Blue Baths, on the same grounds. http://www.bluebaths.co.nz

    Rotorua is one of my favourite places to stay in New Zealand. You have to allow 2 days minimum, but you can't see everything properly without setting aside at least 3 or 4 days. Have fun! There is also a pretty good brochure of Rotorua's delights and activities at http://www.rotoruanz.com/downloads/2005_Rotorua_Visitor_Guide_Map-Part2.pdf

    Write to the Rotorua Tourist Centre if you want more information- info@tourism.rdc.govt.nz . Their office is located at 1167 Fenton St. in Rotorua, and there are often shuttle buses going from there to the other hot spots. Check out their web site at http://www.rotoruanz.com

    Government Gardens
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture

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    The language of boiling mud....

    by vtveen Written Jun 3, 2005

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    … is simply: blub, blub, blub.

    Everywhere in thermal areas in and around Rotorua we found pools of mud.

    It is very fascinating to look to the ever lasting bubbling and to hear these ever lasting ‘mud language’.

    blub, blub, blub, .............

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    Government Gardens: a green oasis

    by vtveen Written Jun 3, 2005

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    This is just one of the places you don’t really expect in New Zealand. This park, on a peninsula in Lake Rotorua, is situated just a block from the crowds on Fenton Street and around the Information Centre. We walked around the peninsula and enjoyed the views over the lake.

    The hart of this park is a part close to the city, which we entered through gates with beautiful maori art. Here are (in summer) lots of flowerbeds, rose gardens and lawns. We have been here twice and both times there were ‘white dressed people’ playing bowls. They match perfect with this more or less typical English scene.

    In the park is also The Bath House, a Tudor style building, in former days a spa resort; nowadays housing the Rotorua Museum of Art & History (www.rotoruamuseum.co.nz) with lots of maori art and highlights about the history of the town. It is an ideal starting point before exploring Rotorua.

    The Blue Baths, in an art deco building, do have some renovated historic heated swimming pools, a museum and a 1930s tea room (www.bluebaths.co.nz).

    gate to the Government Gardens
    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort
    • Museum Visits

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    Information Centre Tourism Rotorua

    by Kaynisa Written Apr 27, 2005

    Information Centre Tourism Rotorua is located at 67 Fenton Street on the corner of Haupapa Street and is open in summer between 8.00am and 6.00pm daily. There is also a bureau de change which opens between 8.30am and 5.30pm daily, a luggage storage area, public telephones, a café and showers. In winter the hours are 8.00am - 5.30pm. The Information Centre is also the depot for the national bus and coach services, and a regular pick up and drop off point for the tours and shuttle services operating in and around Rotorua.

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    Visit the Jade Factory

    by Lozza_9 Updated Feb 7, 2005

    You must visit the Jade factory and purchase atleast one piece of Jade. They mainly sell Neclaces with different shapes that mean different things.

    Fiah hooks represent strength and determination and brings peace, prosperity and good health. Also provides a safe jorney over water
    I HAVE ONE OF THESE

    Spiral represents Depicts new beginnings, growth and harmony
    I HAVE ONE OF THESE

    Triple Twist represents a bonding of friendship, two lives becoming one of all eternity

    Manaia
    The carrier of supernatural powers. Traditionally depicted with the head of a bird, the body of a man and the tail of a fish - representing sky, earth and sea, and the balance beyween them.

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    Water Organ

    by grets Written Sep 15, 2004

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    Within the Orchid Gardens is New Zealand's only water organ. I have only once perviously - a very long time ago in Hamburg - seen a water organ, and am very keen to experience this.

    To clarify - the music is not produced by the water, over 800 jets are choreographed to "dance" in tune to the music.

    The music is lovely and the 15 minute show very well produced with sprays of water lit in various colours and producing different shapes. Very nice indeed. "First" number six.

    The water organ plays once an hour on the hour every day from 09.00 until 17.00.

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    Orchid Garden

    by grets Written Sep 15, 2004

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    The hothouses in the Orchid Gardens in Hinemaru House, ensure that there are always orchids in bloom at any time of year. As well as the beautiful exotic flowers, there is a display of living reptiles and insects in the Microworld!

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    Another "first"

    by grets Written Sep 15, 2004

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    In a day of "firsts", the floatplane was fifth, but so far probably the most amazing. I would recommend it to anybody who loves flying like we do, and who would like to see a totally different perspective of the Rotorua area. The scenery really is mind-blowing and you cannot appreciate the enormity of the volcanic craters and activities until you see them from the air! Awesome!

    We took the route shown in green on the map

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