10 FABULOUS FREE THINGS TO DO IN ROTORUA Enter email for instant access
Rotorua Thermal Attractions
The Big 8 - Wondrous to Behold & All Unique
Evidence of Rotorua thermal activity is everywhere you look. Steam rises lazily out of storm water
drains accompanied by the pungent smell of sulphur - in the central business district.
Walk on for a couple
hundred meters and you're tripping over (not really but you could)
boiling hot springs and mud pools playing their merry little games, just
like in this video below taken at Waiotapu.
A lot of visitors can't stand the rotten egg smell of the Rotorua thermal sulphur and
can even get physically ill. For me, and a lot of other locals, that
smell means we're home (truly).
It can have its drawbacks though. The sulphur plays havoc with our electrics by eating into the wiring and components on TVs, stereos, underground cabling etc.
For this reason, we can have trouble
getting warranties so it doesn't pay to go too
expensive. A lot of it depends on how close to the thermal areas you live as to how much trouble you tend to get.
And don't get me started on
screws and nails, outside door knobs, light fittings, outdoor furniture etc.
That aside, each of the thermal areas on this page are marvels of nature and whichever you choose to visit, it will be well worth it. They are all unique in their own way so I've tried to capture the essence of each place in order to help you out with your decision-making. Bonus: Some are free!
Whakarewarewa Living Thermal Village
Whakarewarewa or Whaka as we call it, located in the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, is very much like a māori village of old.
Here, the Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao people live amidst an area of intense thermal activity, totally at one with it.
Something different for golfers to try. The Arikapakapa Golf course, across the road from Te Puia, has all sorts of little thermal
lakes and mud pool hazards. I bet there are a few golf balls buried in the murky depths.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Craters filled with hot thermal water, others with steaming walls have
names such as Echo Crater, Inferno Crater, Black Crater, Fairy Crater
and Raupo Pond Crater.
Waimangu Valley was born when Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886 and it's the world's youngest geothermal system.
"We are a family of four from Sydney Australia and love nature - bush to beach. We love your website and found your tips on things to do in Rotorua very valuable - exactly what we look for in destinations." Anita —Sydney
"Thank you Karen! I think you site is wonderful. We followed your ideas today for blue lake and green lake, and went to the Landing Cafe first, brilliant we would have missed Lake Tarawera otherwise and it is so beautiful and peaceful." Rosie
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"Awesome website all about Rotorua. Well done Karen Shelford." Amiria Tomoana - Global Traveller
"Yes, really worthwile information for those visiting Rotorua. Take it from someone who used it. Thank you, so much easier." Karen Hubbard - Sydney, Australia
your website is the best resource for planning a trip there that I have
encountered! It answers all of the questions you end up having after
reading other sites, and presents information in such a clear and
concise way. ... wish I'd encountered your site before printing off reams of info that will probably be whittled down to one page. ... hope the local government and tourism people realise what a great asset and ambassador they have in you! :P" Vicky Fairchild - Auckland, New Zealand