Fun things to do in Rotorua

  • A Good Show
    A Good Show
    by rabbit06
  • Te Puia
    by elpariente
  • Ohinemutu Maori Village and War Memorial
    by elpariente

Most Viewed Things to Do in Rotorua

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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
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    Lakes

    by grets Written Sep 15, 2004

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    As we fly inland, the pilot points out the various places of interest below. There is a lot to see, but one of the things that really captures my imagination, is two lakes side by side - one green and the other blue. That is something you really wouldn't be able to see from the ground.

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    The Colourful Thermal Wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu

    by Kakapo2 Written Feb 7, 2007

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    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.

    The bubbling Champagne Pool is 74��C hot. The Lady Knox Geyser erupts daily at 10.15am.
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    Hours and Admissions for Whakarewarewa + Te Puia

    by Kakapo2 Written Feb 6, 2007

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    Whakarewarewa - The Thermal Village

    Open 8.30am-5pm, 12 guided tours from 9am, Maori shows 11.15am and 2pm, admission $23/children 11.50 (includes all this).
    Hangi (meals) 12noon-2.30pm, $50/26.50; hangi taster only $15, full hangi $30; interactive package (you prepare your hangi, make a food basket from flax etc.) $60/39.

    Contact:
    Whakarewarewa Thermal Village
    9a Tukiterangi Street
    Whakarewarewa Village, Rotorua
    Freephone (0800) 924 426, Tel. (07) 349 3463
    Website: www.whakarewarewa.com
    E:Mail: info@whakarewarewa.com

    Te Puia

    Open 8am-6pm (in summer), guided tours hourly 9am-4pm, concert at 12.15pm and 3.15pm, admission NZ$28/children 14 includes all this.
    Song, dance and feast 6.15pm (lasts 3 hrs) - NZ$85/50.
    Combo of Admission and evening show $101/57.50.

    Contact:
    Hemo Road, Rotorua
    Tel. (07) 348 9047
    Website: www.tepuia.co.nz
    Book online or by Fax (07) 348 9045

    Maori performance at Whakarewarewa.
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    Jambalaya Festival

    by MLW20 Written Aug 17, 2006

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    If you are in Rotorua Easter Sunday there is a performance at night called Jambalaya. There are performers from all over the world (many from Brazil). There is lots of drumming and dancing. The performers wear cool costumes and some even juggle fire.

    We happened to find out about the parade when we were walking back to our hotel. It was really worth watching. The whole procession took about 30 minutes.

    The parade took place at night and started near the water on Tutanekai Street.

    Young chicas dancing Parade Banner Drumming Dancers Funny face-she must be really into the dance
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    Realm of Tane

    by jag17 Updated Mar 24, 2007

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    As part of the Maori hangi and concert, we were given the opportunity to purchase tickets to the Realm of Tane. At the time, I wasn't really sure what I was signing up for. It turned out to be a seperate performance that we attended earlier in the day. An interactive story in which a grandmother is passing down the culture/stories of her childhood to her grandaughter. Part guided tour, character theater, and story telling. My friend and I were the only one in attendance which seemed a little odd at first, but the cast did a great job of performing, and it was very touching. We really felt like we had attended something special as we lef the theater.

    Theater Entrance
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    Geothermal springs

    by b1bob Updated Feb 23, 2004

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    Because of the volcanic activity, geothermal springs are all over the area. The water, whether it comes from the taps or in the swimming pool, has a sulfuric odour. Native Maoris used the springs for cooking.

    geysers

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    Agricultural Shows

    by b1bob Updated Feb 21, 2003

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    The audience was from all parts of the world: New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and China. They sheered a lamb in front of everybody, giving each audience member a small piece of sheered wool Next, they asked for volunteers for the next thing. The Lamberts, especially Jonathan, volunteered me to ride a bull (without horns, of course). After the show, Jonathan and I rode the bull together. For folks wondering how I got that piece of wool back to the United States: I stuck it in my shoes.

    My friend and me on a potential steak

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    The Challenge

    by keeweechic Updated Nov 29, 2003

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    When you arrive, you will be taken outside (usually) to see the Maori Challenge - this is a welcome performed by a lone Maori warrior. At the end of his challenge, the warrior will lay down the 'peka'. Someone from the group will be asked to pick up the challenge, the 'peka' to signify a peaceful meeting.

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    The Poi's

    by keeweechic Updated Dec 27, 2002

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    Poi balls are implements used by New Zealand women for telling stories, imitating natural sounds and motions for teaching purposes. Long ago they were used by young warriors to help with coordination and reflex training. Today women perform rhythmically twirling poi balls at the ends of long flaxen strings. There are long poi, usually about 3 feet long, or short poi that may be up to one foot long.

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    The Costume

    by keeweechic Updated Sep 10, 2006

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    The Maori costume is called a kakahu. It is woven from the fibres of the flax plant. Usually a tiki pendant is worn by both women and men around the neck. The tiki is made of green stone, or New Zealand jade, and is in the shape of a foetus. The women can also wear mako, or shark-tooth earrings.

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    The Stick Dance

    by keeweechic Updated Dec 27, 2002

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    Maori stick dance called "E aue". The stick dance was used by the Ancient Maori's to build eye-hand coordination in preparing young warriors for battle. At the end of the performance, males volunteers from the audience will be asked to try the Haka and women volunteers to try their hand at the poi's. Its a fun night to participate in some of the local culture.

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    Corn like you've never had it before

    by keeweechic Updated Dec 27, 2002

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    Join a guide and have various areas explained to you as you walk around. Be sure to try some of the corn cob cooked in the steaming pools, its delicious.

    They put it in a plastic bag with a little butter for you but it will take about 25 mins for it to cool long enough to eat it

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    Waikite Valley

    by dutchboycalledjan Written Jan 31, 2013

    The trip to the valley (we came from the direction of Taupo) is already worth the detour. What a views. Then there are the clouds of steam coming from a crack in the mountain side, covered in bush. We decided to have a swim and ended up in one of the private pools. Well worth the visit: the water is continuously refreshed, you can mix it as hot as you like. The water is clear, a bit soapy. Relaxed while looking over the trees and ferns.

    After that, we walked the "eco" trail to the spring, boiling water rising from the depths.
    The pool features a small cafe.

    Paradise in clouds Hot tub So called Cooling down
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    • Eco-Tourism

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    Maori Cultural Show & Hungi Dinner

    by rabbit06 Updated Sep 23, 2011

    A must attend is a Maori Cultural Show with Hungi Dinner with many villages and hotels providing a memorable evening. We attended this one at Sudima Hotel were we were staying. It started with a Hungi (Maori style cooking) dinner including NZ lamb, the meat just fell apart with an assortment of fresh vegetables, you will not go away hungry and Rabbit had seconds lol. Also included in the desert's was Shirley's favourite, the famous NZ Pavlova...omg she was so happy!! Followed by a Maori Cultural Show with traditional singing and dancing which was very very good, even having audience participation at the end...lmao. A good time was had by all!

    A Good Show Great! Our Table Famous Pavlova! Audience Participation...LOL
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    • Family Travel
    • Food and Dining

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