Road trip to Rotorura, NZ!

Our Aussie by Air New Zealand adventure continued with a road trip to Rotorura. It was hard deciding where to go next from Auckland, but Rotorura kept coming up as a geothermal wonderland only three hours away.  Once Evan got used to driving on the other side of the road and on the other side of the car, we were on our way! 

One of my favorite parts of the trip was the scenic drive. Every turn was filled with magical views, rolling hills, and sheep and cows forever. 

Sheep at the Agrodome farm. 

Views on views right by the Hobbiton Lord of the Rings movie set. We didn’t do the tour but still appreciated the scenery.

The #1 rated Rotorura activity on Trip Advisor- Wai-O-Tapu geothermal wonderland. We arrived around 10 am the following day for the geyser show. It was raining but the show still went on. We enjoyed walking around the grounds to see the boiling mud, hot springs, and various pools. Be warned it does smell like rotten eggs from all the sulfur! 

Although it was still raining, I was determined to make it to Kerosone Creek after the rave reviews from my New York turned Aussie friend, Julia. Even in the rain these hot springs were still beautiful, amazing, and warm. Make sure you walk through the path and other springs to the one with a waterfall! I was tempted to pay admission for the hot spring spas, but this was a great free off the beaten path option! 

Our hotel, Wai Ora Lakeside spa resort, had gorgeous  lake views, a nice pool, and restaurant. Rooms were spacious but no frills. Hotel options were relatively rustic in the area and many motels. For the price this was a pretty nice option.

The food overall in Rotorura wasn’t as exciting as the other cities on our trip. Hard to compete with Melbourne and Sydney. However, I loved trying the local wine, cheese, and kiwi fruit in NZ. 

Rotorura is known for the Maori tribal culture. We attended the Tamaki Maori Village dinner and performance. We learned all about their unique culture, enjoyed the performance, and overall experience. The food was cooked underground in a stone fire pit. 

My favorite activity in Rotorura was the Redwoods tree walk! We walked along the 115 year old majestic redwood trees over 23 suspended bridges. It had just rained and the forest was breathtaking. 

Stay tuned for the next part of our trip as we journeyed to Melbourne and Sydney…Onward to Oz!

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