New Zealand
Rotorua

Here you’ll find travel reports about Rotorua. Discover travel destinations in New Zealand of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

345 travelers at this place:

  • Day30

    Rotorua - mountain biking Mecca?

    December 13, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    Well, according to what Dave’s heard it is! We left Napier around 9am to head for this “Mecca” 😜! Stopped along the way at Lake Taupo - a lake created by a volcanic eruption over 26,000 years ago, which is about the size of Singapore and actually more of an inland sea than a lake! We continued on to Rotorua, in an area known as the Bay of Plenty, but before making it to town, stopped at Mountain Biking Rotorua so Dave could check out the trails and get some information for the ride he’s booked tomorrow. Chatted for a while with a very helpful local named Zac, who passed on lots of his knowledge and pointed out some of the best tracks (trails) for Dave to ride! We then drove into town and found the city centre and tourist info to get some maps. Walked around the pretty downtown area for a while, had a quick lunch and by the it was time to check into our hotel. We have a lovely view of Lake a Rotorua from our room.

    After settling in, we took off on foot to explore the nearby park and lakefront area. Rotorua is a town created by another volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, and is known for its major geothermal activity, including geysers and hot mud pools. Walking along the lake, we witnessed bubbling, steaming pools and the distinct smell of sulphur, due to the hydrogen sulphide emissions. As we walked along further, the smell diminished and the lake became clearer with more bird life and lovely tree lined trails.

    After a long walk, we came back to the hotel to get ready to go downtown for the weekly Rotorua night market. We got down there just after 6pm, and.... nothing!! No street market, no crowds - hmmm! We asked a lady who was just closing down the Starbucks (yes, they close at 6 here??!!), and she said the market was cancelled because of the threat of heavy rain and lightening storms! 😳. It was a little cloudy, but warm, and not a raindrop or lightening bolt in sight, but, oh well! We continued down the road to a place called Eat Street - a whole covered city block chock full of restaurants and bars - and an amazing vibe! We stopped at Macs Steakhouse for dinner, and after that, went across the road to a brew pub where Dave had a great dark beer and I had a glass of wine. Walked back through town to our hotel - Dave will be mountain biking tomorrow so wants to get a good sleep. Me - maybe some shopping and a manicure!! 😂😂😜
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  • Day31

    Dave's excellent adventure!

    December 14, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    So Dave was up bright and early this morning to head for the hills and fulfill his bucket list dream of mountain biking in Rotorua, New Zealand. He drove out to MTB Rotorua, rented his bike and took to the slopes for 3 hours, riding intermediate and advanced trails and thoroughly enjoying himself. Some interesting trail names along the way (of course, the spelling snob in me picked out an error, but maybe that’s how they spell lobotomy here - 😂😂😂!). So glad he got to do this as the weather was looking iffy for today, but it turned out to be a lovely sunny morning and perfect temps for his ride!

    While he was gone, I had a bit of a leisurely morning - cup of coffee, feet up, catch up on news, then took myself off to my 9:30 nail appointment in downtown Rotorua! After that was done, I browsed some of the stores along the many side streets, and shocker - bought NOTHING!! LOL!

    I got back to the hotel around noon and Dave was back at 1, so we went for some lunch and more wandering around the stores - got Dave’s Christmas present at one of the bike shops, then back to our place for a rest.

    We decided to go back to Eat Streat (again, their spelling 😜) for dinner, and when we got there, there was a brass band playing Christmas Carols, which was really nice. Such a cool place down there, and we had a really nice dinner, walked around a bit more, then back to the hotel for some well deserved rest!
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  • Day272

    At Xerox's Again

    March 2 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 66 °F

    Helen and I made it to Xerox's home on Lake Rotorua without issue. Since X was at work, another hasher collected us in town and took us to the grocery store and then he house. We made a nice salad, cheese, and fruit, then waited for X and the kids to get home.

    Later that evening, since it was Friday night the three of us and the fourth who picked us up went to the pub. We picked up a nice curry dinner on the way home, then X and I broke out the music books. We had another great musical night.

    Today, we made breakfast then popped up to the hospital to visit Jubes. She's the hasher who let me drive her campervan back from the south island because she badly broke her leg. Anyway, she's much better although still not able to put any weight on her leg. We just happened to be with her for the noon selfie. Yay!!

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️
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  • Day276

    Last Time in Rotorua (This Trip)

    March 6 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    After leaving Mount Maunganui, we headed back to Rotorua. On the way, we stopped at Boyes Beach on Lake Okareka at my suggestion for a better place than Blue Lake/Lake Tikitapu. Short Planks (see Day 239) lives there, so I knew how beautiful it was. The gang loved it.

    We hung out for about an hour, then drove into town where Helen picked me up and took me back to Xerox's. He and the kids got home around 17:00, then we all went to a Hasher couple's house for dinner and laughs.

    You've probably noticed that my hair is a different color. Lexy had a great time doing it and she did very well. Even Leon helped by holding my shirt when I bent over to shower out the goop.

    It was a short night, though, since the kids had school and X had work. Helen and I stayed up chatting, but eventually succumbed to sleepiness.

    I woke very early, so I took some pictures of the magnificent sunrise. I will miss this beautiful home in a beautiful if slightly stinky city. But X and the kids I will miss desperately. Leon gave me double hugs when they made their way out the door to school. Little man.

    Around 11:00, Helen took me into town to get back on the Stray bus, and we grabbed a light lunch at a cafe, where we are now.

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish.✌️
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  • Day32

    Lazy day in Rotorua!

    December 15, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

    After a good nights sleep, we took our time getting ready this morning and decided to drive around Lake Rotorua. Stopped at McDonalds (yep, they’re everywhere!) for a coffee and breakfast sandwich, then hit the road, heading for a hilltop lookout. Drove up a winding road till we reached Aorangi Peak, and were greeted on one side with sheep and deer roaming the mountainside, llamas on the other, and a large fence blocking any type of view over the valley!! The reason for this is that someone has built a large restaurant at the top of the peak, and in order to enjoy the view, you have to dine at the restaurant!! 😳. We went inside and said we were thinking of coming for dinner, but were told the whole place was booked for tonight for a private function! We asked if we could take a look around anyway in case we could come back tomorrow, took a few pics, then scooted out of there! Bummer that the amazing view has been obliterated for the sake of $$$!

    We drove back down the hill and our next stop was Skyline Rotorua on Mount Ngongotaha, where gondolas take people up the side of the mountain and once at the top, you can mountain bike, luge or zip line down. There is also a bungee type “sky swing” at the top, as well as wine tasting and a Jelly Belly Gallery! We proceeded to the town of Hamurana on our trip around the lake, the next town was Mourea, then we turned down the road to check out Hells Gate, which is a geothermal village with mud baths, a spa and more bubbling ponds - but again, a big fence around the whole area and not much to see from our vantage!

    After a lovely drive around the lake, we were back in the downtown Rotorua area and headed to the local mall to pick up a few groceries, wine and snacks, then headed downtown on foot for a beer and cider at a local brew pub. Back to the hotel, where Dave had a rest and I went down to the pool to read my book for an hour! Went back to Eat Streat for dinner - yes, we really like it there - and had a nice meal before turning in for the night! Off to Tauranga tomorrow!
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  • Day214

    Our 10th anniversary

    April 8, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 64 °F

    Today Laura and I celebrated our 10th anniversary together. Solana joined in the celebrations too, including making us a card and randomly saying "Happy Anniversary" to us throughout the day. We spent most of the day doing volcanic/geothermal activities, so the Earth moved for us on our anniversary! This morning in Taupo we went to some natural hot river pools - free for anyone to access and just at the side of the mighty Waikato river (1st photo). They were fantastic - geothermal hot water runs into the river, so it is like pools of hot bathwater but you can swim directly from them into the freezing cold river to cool off - a special place. After that we went up to Aratiatia Dam, a dam on the same river, that is opened every few hours - we timed our visit for one of these openings and it was quite an impressive sight, seeing thousands of litres of water rushing through to make white water rapids and many new pools in the river beyond the dam (2nd photo). Unfortunately, Solana and I had a fall when we were scrambling down to the viewpoint - it was minor but I now have 2 scraped knees, like a 4-year-old, and a ripped pair of trousers! We had a picnic lunch and then did a walk in the "Craters of the Moon" geothermal area (photos #3 & #4), where we saw many fumaroles (steam vents) and bubbling mud pools - it did look like an other-worldly place... We called into the honey centre on our way out of Taupo and got to see bees in their hives and learn some interesting facts - my favourite of which was that it would only take about 30g of honey to fuel a bee to fly all the way around the world!

    We drove on towards Rotorua, an area famed for its geothermal activity. On the way we visited Wai-O-Tapu, another volcanic area, with some pretty big and impressive sights. There, we saw some larger bubbling mud pools (5th photo), rocks and pools coloured in many different colours and shades by the minerals, more fumaroles (some only a couple of feet from the walkway!). Our favourite was the "Champagne Pools", so-called because of the many bubbles of carbon dioxide they contain (you can see the water actually fizzing), with amazingly striking colours around the edges of the pools (last photo). We arrived in Rotorua around teatime and immediately noticed that what people say about the whole place stinking of sulphur is entirely true! We went out for a delicious Japanese meal for dinner, then finished our celebrations by opening and enjoying the bottle of pink Pelorus fizz that we bought at the Cloudy Bay winery. Our motel room here also has a pool outside the bathroom that you can fill with geothermically heated water - so we made use of that too. It is a bit odd - you climb into it out of the bathroom window(!) but all 3 of us fitted into it easily and it was great to have our own private hot pool.

    Here's to many more adventures during the next 10 years and beyond...
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  • Day215

    Rotorua

    April 9, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 52 °F

    We spent today inhaling the smell of sulphur and soaking up a bit of Maori culture. We visited Whakarewarewa, a Maori village on the outskirts of Rotorua, that is still home to a couple of dozen Maori families today. The village is all built around a highly geothermally active area, with fumaroles, bubbling mud and geysers dotted around! It doesn't seem like the safest of places to build a community but there are definitely some advantages. The geothermal hot water is used for bathing, homes effectively have natural (and free) underfloor heating and the hot water pools and underground chambers are used for cooking food. We got to eat some corn-on-the-cob that had been cooked in one of the pools - tasty. We also saw a Maori cultural performance, including a traditional welcome song, dancing and of course, a haka (traditional pre-war display, designed to scare away the enemy), and also had a tour of the village by one of its residents. It was all pretty touristy but I think a bit less so than some of the other tours on offer, as at least this one is still a living, working village.

    Afterwards we went for lunch. I am not usually one for visiting the same restaurant twice when we're travelling but we all enjoyed the Japanese meal so much last night that we couldn't resist returning today! We enjoyed a great sushi platter, all prepared right in front of us by the chef. Solana ate prawn and rice, so it seems she has deemed marine crustaceans not to be animals! Then we went to Kuirau Park near the town centre, a natural park with yet more geothermal pools and fumaroles, including some foot baths where you can soak your feet after a walk around the park. There were quite a few areas that looked like they had recently been cordoned off - it looks like there are new steaming vents opening up quite regularly here. Once again there was a kids play park, which Solana loved, but which was situated right next to one of the cordoned off areas - I'm not sure health & safety has gone as wild in NZ as it has in Britain!
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  • Day123

    Zorbing

    February 9 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Zorbing wurde in Rotorua erfunden, also lassen wir es uns nicht nehmen auszuprobieren, wie es ist im Ball mit ein bisschen Wasser gefüllt den Berg runtergeschubst zu werden. Fazit: Gefährlich, weil Kimo fast einen Hörsturz erleidet von Connys Geschrei.

  • Day86

    Rotorua

    December 26, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Von Taupo geht es gegen Mittag nach Rotorua, in die Stadt in der es immer nach Schwefel riecht und es an vielen Stellen aus dem Boden blubbert. Wir warten dieses Mal ziemlich lange auf eine Mitfahrgelegenheit. Allerdings wird dann für uns extra ein Umweg von 40 km eingelegt, denn eigentlich möchte unser Fahrer nach Auckland, sodass unser Ziel nicht wirklich auf dem Weg liegt. Als Dank laden wir ihn zum Eis ein und erkunden danach die Stadt. Abends gehen wir dann lecker Essen- es ist ja schließlich Weihnachten. :)Read more

  • Day238

    Preparing to Hit the Road

    January 27 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    Today, Xerox and I are at Bunnings (like Home Depot) to grab a couple of extension cords for Kiwi Nash Hash. We're on our way to the airport to collect two hashers from the States. We hit the road tomorrow for hashing on the South Island as we make our way down to Hanmer Springs and the main event. Yay!

    So long [for now] and thanks for all the fish. ✌️
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Rotorua, روتوروا, Роторуа, רוטורואה, ROT, Distretto di Rotorua, ロトルア, როტორუა, 로토루아, Rotorua-nui-a-Kahu, ضلع روٹوروا, 罗托路亚

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