The first thing you might notice about the New Zealand town of Rotorua is the smell. Yup, this town on the North Island stinks. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a bad thing; it’s in part to what draws thousands of people here every year.
You see, Rotorua lies along a geothermal area with rushing geysers, active volcanoes, and sulphur vents-these last ones giving the place its, ah, distinct aroma. Don’t worry about it, you’ll get used to it; especially if you’re traveling along the Thermal Explorer Highway, or to enjoy one of the city’s spas that offers massages, and mud wraps. Here’s your chance to try a traditional Maori Massage, while you’re at it.
Wait, it might be better to save the relaxation bit until after you’ve done the rest of Rotorua, you’ll need it. While Rotorua might be small compared to some American cities, it’s filled with all sorts of cultural events and outdoor recreation. It’s a place the whole family can love.
Your younger ones might like the idea of a New Zealand farm stay, where they have the chance to milk a cow; the older ones might jump at the chance to try white water rafting or kayaking. Moms might appreciate the shopping at places like the Saturday Weekly Market, filled with bargains, souvenirs, and street food. The Hot Lakes Rotorua Craft Market is a monthly event where you can treat yourself to more street food after buying some wonderful homemade goods. Here’s your chance to pick up some Maori made wood carvings and woven goods, too.
In addition to the spas and shopping, Rotorua is a cultural city with lots of Performing Arts events if you’re interested. It’s also very eco-friendly, with eco-sailing tours for those who try to be “Green”. For some, the thought of taking a Volcanic Air Safari or a paddleboat ride on the Lakeland Queen (a 2-hour breakfast, lunch, or dinner cruise) might be their idea of Heaven.
There’s no bad time to come to Rotorua, the weather is fantastic just about all year-round. Winter highs average in the 50’s, with lows only in the 40’s; summertime temps aren’t all that hot either-averaging in the 70s during the day. And if you’re looking to escape the snowy winters of the Northern Hemisphere, keep in mind it’s summer in this part of the world. Just think about it, Dads, while your buddies back home are shoveling snow, you can be hitting the links-even if it’s going to be a bit smelly while you do it.
A small price to pay for perfect, don’t you think?