A Collection of Sightseeing Ideas
There is a huge selection of geothermal activity in
our region, but none more beautiful and colourful as
Wai-O-Tapu about 20 minutes South of Rotorua on SH5.
Each morning at 10.15am, Summer or Winter, the Lady Knox
Geyser erupts. Even if this eruption is somewhat contrived it is
still a guaranteed view of Mother Nature and her power.
The walk around the pools and bubbling mud
is excellent and the Champagne Pool is magical.
This natural wonderland is an ideal place to
experience New Zealand flora and fauna. The trout are
huge, the native birds playful, the Tuatara, a direct
descendant of the Dinosaurs, old and a real live Kiwi
can be viewed in its nocturnal habitat.
At The Springs you can visit The Kiwi Encounter where they
are rearing baby Kiwi, nuturing them and releasing them into
safe vermin free environments.There is also a visit to a natural
habitat where the birds are only feet away.
I cannot recall the number of times guests have
visited New Zealand's premiere Sheep & Dog Show as a
courtesy to me and then have truly enjoyed a memorable
outing. This is not your usual farm show rather a
collection of 19 rams strutting their stuff and
performing along with working sheep dogs and various
other animals. Who said sheep are dumb? Not to be missed
even if you are visiting a farm somewhere on your
ROTORUA MUSEUM OF ART & HISTORY
Here you can discover the essence of the local people
and our area. This magnificent Edwardian building was
once the Bath House where people from around the world
came to take the waters. There is a small exhibit of the
former spa operation. The Te Arawa are the local Maori
people and there is a wonderful exhibition and
historical collection of the treasures of the people. In
the theatre there is a dramatic film showing the
devastation of the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886. This
volcano wiped out the then 8th Wonder of the World, the
Pink and White Terraces. The movie plays for 15 minutes
every 20 minutes and a warning that there is some
movement in the theatre during the screening.
The Maori Battalion of WW2 was a fearsome fighting
force who fought valiantly in North Africa and then onto Italy.
There is a static display and a poignant movie about this
There is a cafe for lunch or just a reviving tea or
THE BURIED VILLAGE
Having seen the movie you can also visit the site,
but Pompeii it isn't! The eruption of Mt Tarawera buried
3 villages. Te Wairoa is the only village to be
partially excavated and you can see for yourself the
history of this area. The walk to the waterfall is
steepish, but beautiful.
POLYNESIAN SPA... better than a valium sandwich!
There are several facets to a visit to the Spa. You
can simply enjoy a relaxing soak in the pools, private,
public or the Luxury Lake Spa. Then there's the Aix
Massage, a treat for the weary traveller. This method of
having jets of hot water over the body while it is being
massaged was pioneered in Aix les Bains in France.
I treated myself recently and the massage comes with a
personal recommendation. An appointment is essential
only for the massage. Pools close at 10.30pm. Massages
finish at 8.00pm.
HANGI AND CONCERT
It was not so long ago the Maori
culture was on the wain so it is with a renewed
committed pride and passion the Maori people share with
you the reawakening of their history, language and
traditions. After the Powhiri or official welcome, tour
a reconstructed village and view the way they lived,
played and fought. The Concert Party will describe in
song and dance the migration of their people from
Hawaiiki to New Zealand around 1300 and some of their
myths and folklore. Marvel at the stick games and the
skill of the poi, a tiny ball on string. Then, be
prepared as the warriors perform the Haka, a warlike
dance or challenge. Then eat dinner prepared in the
traditional method. It is covered on white hot stones
and has a smoky flavour. Transport to and from The
Springs is included.
There are 16 lakes and numerous rivers and streams in
our region. Somewhere there is a Rainbow or Brown trout
with your name on it. Remember the only way you can eat
trout in New Zealand is if you catch it. Retailing this
fish is absolutely illegal. We can organise for a guide
and equipment to cater to every need. Trolling, fly or
deep sea. "Clearwater Pride" Fishing and / or Cruising
Half Day or Full Day No fishing experience necessary
There is also a comprehensive folder in your room about
the services of local fishing guide John Hamill. John
comes from a family of famous fisher-folk and knows all
the nooks and crannies where the pesky little trout love
to hide! No equipment is necessary however a little fly
fishing knowledge does help.
MOUNT TARAWERA 4WD TOURS
By now you will recall Mt Tarawera and its
devastation in 1886. Well now you can take a 4WD
escorted tour to view the might of this eruption. You
will require suitable walking shoes and clothing for the
outdoors as there is an opportunity to run down into one
of the many craters. Pick up and drop off at The Springs
There are 5 excellent golf courses in close proximity
to the Springs with 2 of them within walking distance.
Clubs and cart hire are available. Keep an eye out for
those interesting geothermal hazards!
Visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and see
craftsmen hand on their skills to the carvers of
tomorrow. As you tour through the thermal activity of the Whakarewarewa
wonder at the power of nature as mud boils and geysers
shoot boiling hot water skywards.
ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES OR WAYS TO DIE HAPPY!
There is a myriad of death defying activities for the
young, the young at heart or the down right crazy of us!
WHITE WATER RAFTING
The world's highest commercially rafted waterfall in
WHITE WATER SLEDGING
A crazy way to make your way down rapids. Hold on to
the boogie board and scurf at speed.
Down the hillside at the Gondolas and if the
beginners is too tame try the advanced.
Free-fall in a huge clear plastic ball down the
uneven hillside terrain.
Say no more. If you are attached to your retina then
this may not be for you. This wonderfully crazy activity
is a New Zealand invention. If your interests are not
covered in the above list please just ask and we will be
happy to help.