The Maori cultural center and the North Island of New Zealand’s tourism hub is Rotorua.

Being situated on the brink of a volcanic fault line, Rotorua does have a rotten egg smell, which is the first thing visitors notice about the city. In actuality, this is what most tourists recall, but they also say there is something for everyone there.

Rotorua is a city unlike any other. It is located three hours by road south of Auckland (40 minutes by flight), an hour north of Taupo, and less than an hour from the Bay of Plenty shoreline. There is truly something for everyone in this city, which is 900 feet above sea level and has 13 freshwater lakes within 20 minutes of the city, a fantastic museum, more hotel, motel, and backpacker beds than any other city in New Zealand, as well as a variety of activities. It all depends on what you’re looking for, though.

In addition to lakes, there are also forest walks, beautiful gardens, and of course, thermal zones for sightseeing. Te Puia and Whakarewarewa Village, which each have its own thermal zones, bubbling mud, and geysers, are located at the top of Fenton Street, which is the major location for the motels and the reason it got the nickname “Rotovegas.” For those on a tight budget, Kuirau Park or Government Gardens both provide free viewings of bubbling mud. The Skyline Gondola ride, which ascends to over 2000 feet, provides the best viewpoint of the area and offers a breathtaking view of Lake Rotorua. After that, you can enjoy the Luge or the lavish buffet dinner at the restaurant.

You can travel to and around the lakes in a WW11 amphibious vehicle, board the Lakeland Queen paddle steamer, or go on a fishing excursion, depending on your preferences.

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