Rotorua is in the heart of the
North Island, and is famous for its geothermal activity in and
around the area.
The Rotorua district, or
county, encompasses a large area in the central
heartland, and the city is located on the southern shore
of Lake Rotorua, and is the local government seat for the
district. It is part of the larger Bay of Plenty District,
which stretches from Waihi Beach on the northern
coast, just north of the city of Tauranga, to Lottin Point in the
east around the horseshoe-shaped Bay, and south as far as
the town of Rangitaiki and the top of the Rangitaiki River.
With around 56,000
inhabitants, the city of Rotorua is big enough to offer
everything you might need or want, without being so big that
you can be overwhelmed and get lost! It is approximately
3.5 hours drive, 148 miles (237km) south of Auckland, 1.5
hours, 67miles (108km) from Hamilton and just over an hour to
the Bay of Plenty coastline.
Outside of the main city, like most
areas in New Zealand, the scenery is stunning! The natural
surroundings of beautiful lakes, dense, lush forests, imposing
volcanic mountain peaks and verdant, green valleys and
farmland, compliments the region's main attraction of the
geothermal active areas. At several sites and parks, such as
at the Waitapu Thermal Wonderland, Kuirau Park and
Whakarewarewa, you can find bubbling mud puddles, spouting
geysers and multi-coloured hot spring pools, all set amongst
stunning scenery. This natural wonderland offers the
ideal locale to experience so many different other outdoors
activities, from walking/hiking, moutain biking, water sports,
river rafting, fishing, off-road safaris and excursions, to
helicopter and floatplane sightseeing tours, bay and lake cruises,
museums and Maori village tours and Heritage experiences.
Travelling around the area is easy,
with an expansive, well-maintained and uncongested road and
highway system, making self-driving a pleasurable experience.
If you don't want to drive yourself, there several coach and
rail operators offering numerous itineraries to various
destinations, and within the city, and in some local towns, taxis
Accommodation in the area is huge
and varied, from boutique hotels and lodges, motels, and serviced
apartments, to holiday homes, farmstays, caravan, camper and
camping sites and small and personal homestays and bed &
breakfast properties. This offers a huge choice for every
budget and itinerary.
Elsewhere within the Bay of Plenty
District, you can visit the seaside town of Tauranga, with
its miles of golden sand beaches, many parks and outdoor
activites, walk around and see amazing views from Mount Maunganui,
several off-shore islands to explore, rivers and waterfalls to
visit, and miles and miles of uncrowded roads through
breathtaking scenery and friendly villages and charming towns.
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