The Redwoods - Whakarewarewa Forest
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... :-))Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Get Closer to Kiwi
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.Related to:
The Blue and Green Lakes
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.Related to:
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
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!Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
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
New Zealand Farm Show
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!Related to:
The Gardens of Rotorua
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...
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- firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.comRelated to:
- Budget Travel
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
The language of boiling mud....
… 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’.
Government Gardens: a green oasis
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).Related to:
- Spa and Resort
- Museum Visits
Information Centre Tourism Rotorua
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.
Visit the Jade Factory
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
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.
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.
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!
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 (3 of us) spent 5 weeks in Australia and New Zealand. The Silver Fern was by far the nicest...more
We discovered this motel online, price per room is reasonable for a big group so we gave it a go....more
AMAZING!!!! lovely cusotmer service.. the lady even took some photos of us.. great price very...more
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