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Rotorua, New Zealand: Land of Spirit

Updated on February 6, 2017
Visit Rotorua, New Zealand - The Land of Spirit
Visit Rotorua, New Zealand - The Land of Spirit

Spirit lives in Rotorua, NZ

With its geothermal activity, 16 lakes, extinct volcanoes and numerous parks, it’s easy to see that Rotorua, New Zealand is indeed a Land of Spirit.

You can sit in a natural mud pool, go mountain biking, see the sights by foot, public transit or plane, or fish for trophy trout. The natural beauty is awe inspiring.

Rotorua (pop. 70,000) is the heart of the Maori culture on the central north island, a three hour drive from Auckland. If you prefer to fly, Rotorua Airport is one of the busiest in New Zealand. Services are offered to various points on the mainland and are expanding to include other destinations in.

The weather here is terrific. Highest temperatures range from 21 to 29 degrees Celsius throughout the year.

Map of Rotorua, New Zealand

Rotorua Thermal Area.  Photo credit:
Rotorua Thermal Area. Photo credit:
Fishing is plentiful in Rotorua's 16 lakes.  Photo credit:
Fishing is plentiful in Rotorua's 16 lakes. Photo credit:

Discover Rotorua’s Spirit

The citizens of Rotorua proudly share their island’s spirit of nature and living culture with visitors.

It is a place of incredible beauty and geothermal wonders that are worth the visit alone. Sulphur-y steam rises from the ground, geysers erupt, mud pools boil and bubble. These sites, along with inactive volcanoes can be found mere minutes away from the city centre.

You can enjoy one of the spas in Rotorua. They use all the natural elements – mud and therapeutic waters of the earth.

If you prefer something to do that is more active, you can go biking, hiking, rafting, fishing, golfing or sightseeing. There are fun things suitable for all ages and families.

You say you're really up for adventure? Check out the mountain biking video below, see if that will satisfy your inner thrill seeker.

Mud Bath at Hells Gate

Watch Out for that Tree!

More Facts About Rotorua

  • It is the home of the largest tertiary education institution in New Zealand outside of the University towns and cities. The school is called, Waiariki Institute of Technology.
  • Rotorua gets, on average, more than 2100 hours of sunlight each year and averages a whopping 82.5% humidity, year round.

Rotorua Trivia

Did you know....

  • That the Maori translation of Rotorua means The second great lake of Kahumatamomoe?
  • That the permanent city population is approximately 56,100? When you include the outlying regions, the numbers are closer to 70,000
  • That Pohutu Geyser is Rotorua's most noteable? See below for more information.
  • That a number of Olympic and professional athletes, entertainers, writers, and actors are from Rotorua? You can read the list on Wikipedia.

Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve

Looking out over Pohuto Geyser and Geyser Flat, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, New Zealand. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License
Looking out over Pohuto Geyser and Geyser Flat, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua, New Zealand. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License | Source

Pohutu Geyser

The Pohutu Geyser is the main, most notable geyser among the 65 in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. It is not only the largest active geyser in New Zealand, but also in the southern hemisphere

Meaning "big splash" or "explosion", Pohutu erupts up to twenty times per day and can reach heights of up to 30 metres (100 feet).

Guided tours of Pohutu Geyser have been conducted since the 1800s.


After a long day of taking in the beauty and wonders of the area, you need a place to lay your head for the night.

It doesn’t matter what your preference or budget is, there are plenty of places to stay in Rotorua. Whether you’re on a backpacking adventure, want a cheap place for the night, or are looking for a luxury hotel, you’ll find it here. There is something for every taste.

There is a general Rotorua accommodation site, which may be helpful to you. Gorgeous photography aside, this is where you can check out hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, luxury accommodations, campgrounds, motels, hostels, apartments and holiday homes. You can also read up on things to do, places to eat, etc.

Would You Travel to Rotorua?

The sheer beauty and adventure of this locale has me putting it on my bucket list. When given the chance, I won't even think twice about it. I really want to see the forests, parks and geo-thermal areas. I also want to sit in that warm mud, see if it improves my already stunning good looks. :-)

Meantime, I will have to settle for being an armchair traveller.

© 2009 Herald Daily


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    • Herald Daily profile imageAUTHOR

      Herald Daily 

      10 years ago from A Beach Online

      Thanks, Pearldiver. It looks and sounds like one of the most beautiful places on earth and I can't wait to see it myself. I love visiting places that have remained unspoiled. There are so few left now.

      Glad you enjoyed it.

      Cindy, I'm going to have to check out Taupo. Thanks for the tip!

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 

      10 years ago from Cape Town

      Pearldiver, I have to say I prefer Taupo. Love hotwater beach as well.

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 

      10 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Well writen HD, yes Rotorua is a special place and certainly one which Tourism NZ has promoted as an icon for many years. There are dozens of things to do off the tourist trail if you talk to the locals and most of those places are still in pristine condition. Enjoyed this, thankyou.

    • Herald Daily profile imageAUTHOR

      Herald Daily 

      10 years ago from A Beach Online

      TOF, what's a little sulphur stench compared to such natural beauty? :) I suppose it would be surprising if there wasn't some sort of odour from a geothermal site, though in all honesty, I hadn't thought about that. Glad that you enjoyed the visit despite the smell.

      Thanks for coming by, I really appreciate it.

      Oh Cindy, that sounds great! Not sure if the bubbling mud pools you saw are part of one of the natural spas, but I think that hot mud would feel really good on my sore feet and back today.

      Hope you had enough time to try out some of the spas while you were in Rotorua.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting, Cindy.

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 

      10 years ago from Cape Town

      I loved that area close by on the way to Taupo, with all those bubbling mud pools. Not Whakarewarewa, the other one you have to walk quite a bit to find.

    • The Old Firm profile image

      The Old Firm 

      10 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

      It takes a few hours to get used to the all pervading stench of sulphur dioxide, then you don't notice it. Well worth the visit.

    • Herald Daily profile imageAUTHOR

      Herald Daily 

      10 years ago from A Beach Online

      Wish that I knew first hand, Agvulpes! This is one of the places on my travel wish list. It sounds incredible! After reading your comment, I want to go even more.

      Thanks for coming by.

    • agvulpes profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      G'day mate, I visited Rotorua about 50 years ago and found it fascinating then. I would suppose it is even better now. eh ?


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