Your eyes might not know what to take in first at Te Puia, a 60-hectare (148-acre) cultural center in the Whakarewarewa geothermal area. You could look at ground level to spot kiwis—Te Puia is dedicated to the conservation of New Zealand’s national bird—or you could watch for an eruption of the Pohutu Geyser, which shoots a column of steam up to 30.5 meters (100 feet) as many as 20 times per day. In addition to 500 natural geothermal marvels, including the Te Tohu and Kereru geysers, Te Puia is also home to the important New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, which aims to promote and advance Maori culture.
Thermal Landscapes and Native Arts & Crafts in Rotorua
Co-located with the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley - which is like a piece of artwork itself with all the different natural pigments, the Te Puia Arts & Crafts Institute is a wonderful place to shop for beautiful artwork and green stone pendants to bring home.
And just for the record, you might hear things about the smell of Rotorua - it's the sulfur from the all the thermal activity in the area but it's really not that bad at all. Don't let those stories steer you away from a visit.