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Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

Old Oct 17th 2010, 7:01 am
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Default Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

We're off to Rotorua soon, been before as a 'tourist' from the UK so we've done the luge/tamaki maori tours etc. But now we live in NZ, what else should we do in the area? Is there anything worth doing that's free? - lakes/forests etc?
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Old Oct 17th 2010, 8:18 am
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Default Re: Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

Rotorua for free
I'd visit the Redwoods for starters, followed closely by the Blue Lake...paddle, swim, walk all around it. Stand at the look out point & marvel how blue the Blue Lake is & how green the neighbouring Green Lake is. Have a look at Lake Tarawera...swim again if you like...but be careful...it shelves very quickly & steeply . Sit in the sunshine & enjoy . Lake Okereka has some nice beaches & a nice walkway.
I'd go to Waipa (off SH 5, heading for Taupo) & follow the walk up to the lookout point to see the views of Te Puia from the back. And if you're even slightly interested in Mountain biking I'd strongly recommend bringing your bikes...some fabulous, free, mountain bike trails out there.
Then I'd suggest sight seeing at Government Gardens, then wander out the back of it, past the energy events centre to Sulphur Point. The rotten eggs smell can be a bit noxious out there but has to be experienced, and it can all be a bit other worldly out there, especially in bright sunshine. Then turn to your left & follow the pathway to the lake front.
Kuirau Park is a bit bubbling mud & steam, but worth a visit, in front of the hospital in the City centre.
If you're heading out of town hot & cold (warm thermal waters in a local river...patches of which are hot....or cold ) is off SH 5 towards Taupo & is free. As is a climb up Rainbow Mountain, a redundant volcano with different coloured earth thanks to it's volcanic past. Great views from the top. From the back entrance of Wai-o-Tapu you can see a large bubbling mud pool, really not worth a trip out there just for that, but if you're passing by it's worth stopping off I reckon anyway.
More great views...climb all the way up Mountain Road....you can see the ocean & White Island from there, on a good day of course.
Or travel out to Okere Falls, nice walks (& waterfalls out that way). Lake Rotoiti there is also very scenic.
Cheaper options
Te Puia has NZ residents rates. It's an interesting visit, although tbh I really wouldn't bother in the rain. Check out their website because I can't remember the details (& I'm typing this with difficulty on an iPod & it's too much like hard work finding links on this thing ), & bring id that proves you're living in NZ.
If you want to sample thermal waters I like Waikite Valley Spa much better than the busier, more touristy & much more expensive Poly Spa. Or book a session in the Rachel pool at QE Health..the cheapest option
I'm sure there's heaps more to do that I've forgotten, there's so many lakes out this way & they all have some beautiful sights & sounds.
Also it's worth signing up to Grab One...they've had some great deals for Rotorua recently, costs nothing to subscribe to their emails & I've recently bought less than half price trips on The Lakeland Queen & helicopter flights . They've also had deals on Zorbing & Hell's Gate, so ideal for visitors to grab a bargain
Enjoy
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Old Oct 17th 2010, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

There is The Bird Walk at Katikati that's free


June

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Old Oct 17th 2010, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

Thanks Tomsk and Margaret for the fantastic ideas, much appreciated.
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Old Oct 17th 2010, 9:33 pm
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Default Re: Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

Hi
Can I recommend the skyride. You do have to pay but it was the most fun thing we did in Rotorua. You go up in a gondola and drive these little carts down some windy hills. I haven't laughed so much in years!
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Old Oct 18th 2010, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

Originally Posted by Tomsk View Post
From the back entrance of Wai-o-Tapu you can see a large bubbling mud pool, really not worth a trip out there just for that, but if you're passing by it's worth stopping off I reckon anyway.
We drive up from Taupo to just watch this pool, best thermal pool in NZ my ex bosses wife reckons. Constant surprises, we can spend hours just watching.
Don't bother with Kerosene Creek though.
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Old Oct 20th 2010, 6:31 am
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Default Re: Rotorua -things to do (preferably free!)

Originally Posted by Tomsk View Post
Rotorua for free
I'd visit the Redwoods for starters, followed closely by the Blue Lake...paddle, swim, walk all around it. ....If you're heading out of town hot & cold (warm thermal waters in a local river...patches of which are hot....or cold ) is off SH 5 towards Taupo & is free....
Those were the ones I would have recommended.
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