Rotorua, North Island
Just got back from NZ and Rotorua, I agree with the reply about the Sheep Shearing demo at the Agrodome being great. Just the Host's greeting to the crowd is a show in it's self. Take your video camera.
Also spend some time in the Polynesian Spa, for $20 NZ you can soak in 7 pools of varying tempetures from 37 to 42 degrees with a view of the Lake. You can rent swimsuits for $4NZ a session.
An amazing English Tudor style building with local folks playing cricket outside. It housed the museum which showcase local tribal arts and crafts. There is also a vivid film with audio effect of the famous 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption which destroyed the largest and most beautiful hot spring flow in New Zealand.
Worth a visit to see the beautiful building.
This is a first-visit thermal park of geysers, hot spring and mud bath. If a local relative or friend is taking you there, that local is entitled to a free entrance.
Be prepared for the strong smell of sulfur and steam as you experience this volcanic hot spot of New Zealand.
There is a Moari cultural show at the cultural center with a traditional hangi dinner thrown in if you are interested to pay for it.
Rotorua is on New Zealands North Island, and is a major tourist attraction due to the geothermal attractions within it's vicinity.
The first thing to say is that Rotorua does pong a bit, due to all the sulphur in the air, but don't let that put you off as it is totally unique, although you may want to skip the eggs for breakfast !
The town itself is very touristy, but with the lake at the end of the high street it's quite a picturesque place.
There are grassy areas at the side of the road where you can see the steam rising up through the ground, and even some boiling mud pools, but generally most people go to one of the Geothermal parks in the area, and the thermal pools are said to have therapeutic value.
We went to the WAI-O-TAPU Thermal Wonderland which sounds a bit crap but was excellent, and is about 20 minutes from Rotorua itself.
Here there are bubbling mud pools, yellow sulphur lakes, exploding geyers, bubbling lakes, volcanic craters and plenty more. You really feel as though you are on another planet as you walk around the boardwalks inbetween the attractions.
In order to prevent the geyser from exploding over customers there is a controlled eruption every day at 10.15am.
The whole park is well managed and excellent value for money.
It sure is the gate to Hell -hot and steamy! But fantastic and very interesting. Someone once said 'anybody who lives in Rotorua needs a gold medal' Earthquake country here - and its all bubbling and boiling on the surface!!
Set in the heart of Rotorua this steaming geyserland has Pohutu geyser as its central focus point. The sulphur makes it smells like rotten eggs but the smell is peculiarly nice!