Rotorua city is North Island's most popular tourist destination in New Zealand. It has many hot springs, geysers, mud pools, forests, lakes and rivers. Rotorua city has the greatest concentration of Maori residents than other parts of New Zealand. Visitors who come here have the opportunity to learn and appreciate Maori art, crafts, architecture and culture. They can also watch Maori cultural performances and traditional hangi which are held regularly here. There are many popular attractions in Rotorua which include the Government Gardens, Rotorua Museum of Art and History, Lake Rotorua and Whakarewarewa Thermal Area.
The Government Gardens are located in the front of the Rotorua Museum of Art and History. It has croquet lawns, bowling greens, flower beds and steaming thermal pools. The Rotorua Museum of Art and History housed a wide collection of Maori artifacts. This Tudor-styled building was previously a spa retreat. The history of the building is depicted in a section at the museum. The museum has a collection of taonga (treasures) of the Arawa people, which includes handicrafts, woodcarving, flax weaving and jade. There is also a 20-minute film explaining Rotorua's geothermal activity and Maori's history. Ad-hoc exhibitions are held in some of the galleries. There is a café with great views.
Another popular attraction in Rotorua is Lake Rotorua. Formed by an eruption, it is the largest lake in Rotorua. Many visitors come to Lake Rotorua for activities such as fishing, windsurfing and kayaking. There are cruises available at the lake's front jetty. At the center of the lake is the Mokoia Island, which is known to be rich in native bird life and also has the Hinemoa's thermal pool. Lake Rotorua usually has a great number of visitors during summer.
A great Rotoura sightseeing destination not to be missed is the geothermal area at Rotorua. This interesting place, also known as Whaka, has two sections – Te Puia (New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute) and Whakarewarewa Thermal Village. It is the largest and most famous thermal reserve in Rotorua. In Te Puia, there are Maori's art and crafts, and geysers Pohutu and Prince of Wales Feathers. Visitors who come here can learn about Moari's weaving as well as wood and greenstone carving processes. Tomorrowmore, they can have the opportunity to watch Maoris carvers and flax weavers at work. Moari concerts are held daily here. There is a souvenir shop selling wood, paua shell, greenstone carvings, and traditional clothing korowai (cloak). The Thermal Village is located at the eastern side of Whaka. It has a meeting house, hot thermal springs and a cemetery. Thermal water has been used for many years by tribal people for cooking, bathing and washing. The meeting house hold concerts for visitors. Some shops located near the entrance of the village sell sheepskins, fur and handicrafts. There are tour guides to take visitors on group tours at both Te Puia and Whakarewarewa Thermal Village.
Rotorua city is a wonderful place to visit. As described above, there are many popular attractions in this city. Visitors have many exciting activities to do. Apart from Rotoura sightseeing, there are interesting adventure and sports activities available here such as camping, swimming, hiking, water-skiing, yatching and boating. Tomorrowmore, visitors who come here can gain interesting knowledge about Maori history and culture. Truly, Rotorua city has plenty of exciting things to offer. It is indeed a wonderful holiday destination! Visit Rotorua City now and find out more.