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A day and a half in Rotorua with a car

by Kara87 Online Now Aug 11, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Hi there, my partner and I are travelling to Rotorua from Auckland and will have a night and full day to explore before leaving for Wellington. We will also have a car and we are trying to find the best way to spend our time? Does anyone have any recommendations or itineraries for that short time?

Thanks!

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5 Answers
  • unaS's Profile Photo

    Re: A day and a half in Rotorua with a car

    by unaS Online Now Aug 11, 2009 at 11:52 AM

    I enjoyed the Tamaki Maori Village and Hangi.
    maoriculture.co.nz/Maori%20V...

    I can recommend is the motel I stayed at: The Six Union motel:
    http://www.sixonunion.co.nz/

    Full details on both on my NZ pages

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    Re: A day and a half in Rotorua with a car

    by Kakapo2 Online Now Aug 11, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    Of course, Rotorua is the place of thermal wonderlands.

    The best and most colourful one in the vicinity is Wai-o-tapu. Waimangu is also fabulous.

    If you go to those two places there is no need to go to the two thermal places in Rotorua.

    I agree with Una, the Tamaki Village is - despite being very touristy - a great place for a Maori show. Best you do this in the evening, this has a very special atmosphere and leaves you with the days free for other activities.

    What you should not miss is the Buried Village. It was buried during the eruption of Mt. Tarawera. (The mountain would be another great place but you can only get there on organised tours which is very annoying.)

    I do not know your interests, so can only list what else - other than thermal activities - is possible in Rotorua:

    Mt. Ngongotaha area: Gondola, luge, Rainbow Springs (great Kiwi encounter), the Agrodome (spectacular sheep show - great although it is annoyingly touristy LOL), the Zorb (rolling down a hill in a huge ball).

    In Rotorua you should not miss to visit the Government Gardens. You can chill out in the Polynesian Spa. (Also at Hell's Gate, if you want.)

    There is a lot more on offer, like boat tours, whitewater rafting, heli tours, mountain biking, etc. But you will hardly find time for all that during your relatively short stay.

    Great places a bit further down south are Orakei Korako (another thermal wonderland) and the Huka Falls - the latter with the possibility of a jetboat ride.

    You find info about (nearly) everything on my VT page and on:

    http://www.rotoruanz.com/

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  • GrumpyDiver's Profile Photo

    Re: A day and a half in Rotorua with a car

    by GrumpyDiver Online Now Aug 11, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Maori show is very touristy and very tacky. When we were in Rotorua, the lady whose B&B we stayed at's son was the general manager of the company that ran the centre / show. She told us all about the awards the show had won. We went and thought is was a total waste of time and money.

    If you are into tacky tourist shows, go ahead and enjoy. If you are like us, avoid it at all costs!

    The geothermal areas - those are worth going to - mud pots, the smell of sulphur, hot springs and pools - now those we enjoyed very much.

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  • vtveen's Profile Photo

    Re: A day and a half in Rotorua with a car

    by vtveen Online Now Aug 12, 2009 at 1:04 AM

    We liked strolling around Ohinemutu, situated more or less at the end of the main shopping street on the borders of Lake Rotorua. A perfectly normal Maori village with (of course) a Marae and the wooden St. Faith's Anglican Church, built in 1910, with many woodcarvings and weaved panels inside.
    Several little streams of hot steaming water are streaming through the village. If you are lucky you can see Maori women cooking meals in one the pools.

    Happy travels
    Jaap

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    Re: A day and a half in Rotorua with a car

    by Kakapo2 Online Now Aug 12, 2009 at 11:46 AM

    Just to clarify:
    Ohinemutu is the core of historic Rotorua - no commercial Maori village like the one in Whakarewarewa where you have to pay an entry fee.

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