Rotorua Journals

5 days in Rotorua

A November 2002 trip to Rotorua by superpurd

Quote: Rotorua is a city of about 60,000 located in the centre of the Northern Island of New Zealand and is the centre of geo-thermal activity in New Zealand. It was our favorite stop on our five week tour and appears to have something for everyone.

5 days in Rotorua

Overview

Quote:
Huka Jets is a jetboat ride that provides lots of thrills while right next door is a commercial prawn farm where you can eat and enjoy their product either inside or outside. Taupo also is the site of hot springs and other geothermal activity which can be seen at the Volcanic activity centre Quick Tips: We only made a three hour stop passing through, so don't have too many tips other than it seemed like a nice little town and appeared to be a nice place to relax for a day or two as well as having a reasonable number of touristy things to do.Best Way To Get Around: While the town itself is fairly small, most of the tourist sites are out of town. Having your own vehicle would appear ...Read More
Quote:
Above price is in NZ$ (about $70US) The place is rated as 5 star by Qualmark, the NZ rating service and we thought it was great. We believe we had the nicest room (#2) In addition to the front door to our suite, we had sliding glass doors in the back which led out to our private parking space. Our main room was large and included a kitchenette area with all the necessities to prepare any meals you wished. Supplied as part of the room cost was tea, coffee, hot chocolate and a couple of cookies. Our bathroom was large and had a shower. The room had a hair dryer, ironing board and iron. The motel also supplied free use of their washing machine. $2NZ for the coin op dryer. The bathroom led to a cov...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 24, 2002

Silver Fern Motor Inn
326 Fenton Street
Rotorua, New Zealand
07 346-3849

Quote:
Above price is in NZ$ which are about $.50 US. I have paid three times the price in North America for lesser quality food than we had here. The restaurant was the top choice of our guide book (Frommers) and of the owners of our motel (see separate review) and lived up to all expectations. It is located on a small sidestreet just off Fenton Drive (the main drag) It is located in an old Edwardian Villa refurbished into a very nice restaurant. It is quite large and organized so that you have a fair amount of privacy at each table. It holds various awards in Rotorua and New Zealand. I had one of the award winners (Lamb rack Canterbury) while my wife had a dory (fish of the day) Both were excellent...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 24, 2002

Poppy's Villa Restaurant
4 Marguerita Street
Rotorua, New Zealand
347-1700

Agrodome Leisure Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
There are two main features at the Park, the Agrodome Show and the Farm Tour. The combined price is $20NZ, the Agrodome show only is $12NZ. The Agrodome show is a well-organized professional show which displays 19 different breeds of sheep now in New Zealand and explains their basic differences and uses (meat vs wool etc.) There is a humerous aspect to the show as audience members are involved. There is also a professional sheep-shearer giving an explanation of what he is doing while he shears a sheep in about 45 seconds. The world record is about 22 seconds. This indoor show last about an hour and then you are led outdoors to a fenced area where local sheepherders demonstrate how sheep dogs wor...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 24, 2002

Agrodome Leisure Park
Western Road, Ngongotaha
Rotorua, New Zealand

WAI - O - TAPU Thermal Wonderland

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Attraction

Quote:
As the name indicates there is a lot of geo-thermal activity in the area. You walk along prescribed trails and view a spectacular array of colours in the thermal waters caused by sulphur and other chemicals in the water. You have to see it for yourself to believe the variety of colours and the bubbling gases. There are hot springs, streams and small lakes of varying sizes with water temperatures from near boiling to fresh cool water. There are also continuously bubbling mud pools and a geyser that erupts daily. The geyser is fed soap to coax it to erupt each day @ 10:00 AM. We were told it would erupt about once a day in any case, but by forcing it, they are able to attract a crowd at the set ti...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 27, 2002

WAI - O - TAPU Thermal Wonderland
20 Miles south of Rotorua on Highway 5
Rotorua, New Zealand

Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
The Waimangu Volcanic Valley was the location of severe volcanic activity in 1886. At the large visitor centre at the entrance there are pictures and well-written commentary about what happened at that time. There is also a restaurant at the centre. If you are combining this trip with WAI-O-TAPU (see separate journal) you may wish to have a snack here. There are three options you can choose at the ticket centre. (1) The trail walk down into the valley and the bus trip back. (2) The Lake Rotomahana boat tour or (3) the combined package. We purchased the combined package for $40NZ (about $20US) Each component was roughly the same. The walk is mostly downhill and divided into 3 stages...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 27, 2002

Waimangu Volcanic Valley
15 - 20 minutes south of Rotorua on Highway 5
Rotorua, New Zealand

Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve & Maori Arts & Craft

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve & Maori Arts & Craft"

Quote:
The location is at the south end of Fenton St. which is one of the main North / South streets of Rotorua. It is easy to spot because of the almost continuous geyser activity. There are two parts to this location, the thermal reserve and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. The thermal reserve has prescribed paths leading you through hot springs, mud pools and other indications of geothermal activity. The highlight of the thermal reserve is the Pohutu Geyser which erupts almost constantly to heights of up to 50 to 60 feet. Great photo opportunities here. At certain times of the day there are guided tours through this area which may add somewhat to your enjoyment, but it is easy to make your ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 27, 2002

Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve & Maori Arts & Craft
Hemo Road
Rotorua, New Zealand

Tamaki Maori Village

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
In all we travelled five weeks in New Zealand and in our opinion the Tamaki Maori Village is the ultimate Maori experience on the two islands. It combines good fun, good food and presents the maori culture in a very positive way. The experience starts when you are picked up at your motel or hotel. En route to the village our bus driver (a Maori) told us what to expect on arrival and helped us elect a chief to meet with the local warriors. He kept up a constant combination of information and comedy which got everyone in a good mood. On arrival we are formally welcomed by the tribe after a ritual showing how the Maori tried to intimidate their enemies. Our elected chief makes the appropriate respo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 27, 2002

Tamaki Maori Village
1220 Hinemaru Street
Rotorua, New Zealand

Skyline

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Attraction | "Skyline Skyrides"

Quote:
This is a gondola ride to the top of Mt Ngongotaha just outside of Rotorua. It provides a great view of the area. The thrill of the ride is minimal (depends on the number of rides of this type you have been on) We have been on lots. At the top, there is a lot of room to walk around, both inside and outside. You can stay up as long as you like. At the top there is the standard restaurant, snack bar etc. We had lunch there and the quality of food was good for this type of outlet. At the top, there are a few other things to do including a luge ride which can also be your method of getting down the hill. You can however, get a chair lift back up from the bottom of the luge track to the top...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 26, 2002

Skyline
Fairy Springs Road
Rotorua, New Zealand

Huka Jets

Attraction

Quote:
The tourist park is located just off State Highway 1 just north of Taupo. The cost was $58NZ for about a 35 minute thrill ride up and down the river and to sit right below Huka falls to get pictures of the falls. While waiting for our boat an employee took us down to the docks. Take pictures with your camera if you like. The well-trained drivers do several 360 spins in the boats, which among other things, tends to get you a little wet, so don't refuse to take the rain gear offered at the start of the ride. During one of these 360 degree spins taking place right by the docks, the company has a camera set up to take a picture which you can buy at the end of your ride. The drivers also ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2002

Huka Jets
Wairaki Tourist Park
Rotorua, New Zealand