If you’ve never been to Rotorua it’s a town with beautiful scenery, tourist destinations, and hot weather! My partner and I finally visited the place. Of course, the first thing you may notice is an egg smell, which is from the geysers and hot springs. You might get used to it, and it’s stronger in some places. Or just hold your breath occasionally.

When we arrived the weather was much hotter than expected. With lots of sunblock on, we tried to fit as much as possible into our three-day schedule. Check out some of the best spots below!

Whakarewarewa Thermal Village

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This Maori village, Whakarewarewa, is truly extraordinary, not to mention people actually live on this geothermal landscape. As you’re greeted and shown around by the tourist, young children swim below in the water asking for coins. Then when tourists throw the coins, the children dive below to get the money with their mouth. Apparently, some makeup to $100 a day. Not a bad day job if you ask me.

You’re then shown around where the community is able to cook under the ground and use nature to bathe in as well. They must save so much energy and power by living a simple lifestyle.

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It’s almost like a village which has preserved history without changing to modern life. It’s amazing to see tradition and culture all in one place. Walking around the place there’s rarely any bugs or animals near the hot springs. The day finished with a great traditional Haka, and a performance on stage.

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As you can imagine it was very hot around here, so make sure to bring some water and I highly recommend purchasing the meal with the tour it’s beautifully cooked. The sweetcorn is put in the hot water to boil. Delicious.

I made the mistake of wearing new trainers I hadn’t worn in yet which meant blisters. It hurts to look stylish sometimes. So definitely, bring some good shoes.

Polynesian Spa

What better way to relax than in a private deluxe spa? It was a stunningly hot day and it was interesting to read about what minerals are in each pool. While I thought I was protecting myself from the sun with sunblock on I still got burnt. Make sure to slip, slop, slap and wrap. You can go for the adult pools or private pools, check out prices here.

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Government Gardens Rotorua

Unfortunately,  the museum was under construction and closed while I was visiting. On the bright side, the rose garden is beautiful and the grass is very satisfying to look at. There are some cool signs floating around about the history behind the gardens and when they were made.

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GLO Festival

We happened to be in Rotorua just before New Years, which meant a pop-up fairground, fries, and bumper cars. My favourite of course. Plus, there was a free new years festival happening. It’s free to attend and the New Zealand rock band, Elemeno P, were playing along with some great local talent. It was nice to relax and enjoy bringing in the New Year with music and food. The best part is always the fireworks though.

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All in all, it was a fun trip and a nice romantic one with my partner. Aside from my dinner I ordered which was too spicy, which it didn’t say on the menu, the trip was a blast.

Sadly I didn’t have enough time to see Hobbiton or some of the trails and forest walks.  There is so much stuff to do in the town and tourist destinations I will have to put it on my to do list. Until next time Rotorua!

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