You might keep wondering why Rotorua is called the 'Sulphur City' until you visit this amazing city in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand. The hot thermal springs and boiling mud pools of the city have contributed immensely to the spread of a pungent smell in its various parts, but have also managed to attract a large number of domestic and international tourists. You can also witness some amazing natural landscapes while exploring different places in the city. Here we’ve compiled some of Rotorua’s best offerings:
1. Geothermal Spots
Of course, it is the thermal activity that the tourists are mostly interested in when they plan their holidays to rotorua. Among the most popular places to witness the geothermal activity is the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. This area has a huge geyser housed in the inferno crater, which is one of the smoke-filled craters that you'll get to see in this volcanic region. Another famous area to view the steaming mud pools and terraces is Waiotapu, which is also home to the Lady Knox geyser. It erupts every morning and sends the water up to a height of about 20 metres in the air. Other areas to witness these natural wonders are Te Puia and Hells Gate Geothermal Park.
2. Maori Culture
After the New Zealand Europeans, it is the Maoris that make up a significant number of the total population of Rotorua. You can familiarise yourself with their culture by visiting Whakarewarewa, which is a Maori village. There are hourly guided tours available for the tourists that allow them to experience the rich cultural heritage of the Maori people. You'll get the chance to watch some impressive cultural performances by taking any of these tours. They also give you the opportunity to see how they utilise the geothermal geysers for heating and cooking.
3. Rotorua Museum
Located in the old Bath House building is the Rotorua Museum, which would give you some insights into the cultural history of the city dating back to the pre-European period. The Bath House building was opened in the early-20th century and was the government's first major investment in the tourism industry of New Zealand. In the year 1969, the Rotorua Museum opened in the Bath House's south wing and in 1977, the Rotorua Art Gallery opened in the north wing. The Rotorua Museum of Art and History was created by combining the two of them.
4. Helicopter Tours
The helicopter tours offered by the tour operators in Rotorua help you in exploring the volcanoes and thermal springs. You'll get to savour the awe-inspiring aerial views of the volcanoes and get to photograph several lakes on the way, such as Lake Rotoiti and Lake Rotorua. Some of these tours take you to White Island, which is the only permanent active volcano in the country. During your flight, you'll get the opportunity to watch the fascinating geographical features of the island as well as the mining ruins that have been abandoned long ago. While returning, you can also savour the majestic views of the Bay of Plenty.
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