Tauranga's (Rotorua's) Top 10
Collected by Erin Levi, AFAR Contributor
3/201 Waiotapu Loop Rd, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand
Choose a 30-, 40- or 75-minute path from which to explore the geothermal wonderland that is Wai-O-Tapu. This protected area offers a kaleidoscopic experience with chromatic pools that can reach temperatures of 75 Celsius (167 F) and high-spraying...
State Highway 30, New Zealand
New Zealand's only Maori-owned thermal park, Hells Gate belongs to the Ngati Rangiteaorere, a tribe that has used the geothermal waters of this land to cook, bathe and heal for more than 700 years. Alongside observing Hells Gate’s attractions like...
Hemo Rd, Tihiotonga, Rotorua 3040, New Zealand
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...
126 Broadway, Matamata 3400, New Zealand
Welcome to Middle Earth in the South Pacific, and an ideal stop for traveling fans of the author J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movie trilogies. Near the rural town of Matamata—itself a destination for its LOTR-inspired...
39 Waitomo Caves Rd, Waitomo 3977, New Zealand
Arachnocampa luminosa is a glowworm—technically, a species of fungus gnat—that is unique to New Zealand. Although they’re found throughout the country, the premier place for viewing them is at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, located two hours west of...
17 Tryon St, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Though it enjoys expansive views of the Pohutu Geyser, Whakarewarewa is more than just another thermal area: It is home to the Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao people. As residents of the only geothermal Maori village, they perform the haka war dance as...
178 Fairy Springs Rd, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand
You could take the gondola up to Skyline Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha simply to enjoy expansive views of the region's lakes and steaming geothermal areas. But if you're game, a plethora of adventure activities also await at this...
If you were simply walking through the hushed and protected six-hectare (15-acre) stand of California redwoods, or were riding a horse or mountain bike along one of the well-maintained paths through other areas of the 5,585-hectare (13,800-acre)...
It's a little confusing: At Nelson Lakes National Park in the South Island, the two main lakes are called Rotoroa and Rotoiti; but the North Island has Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti, important natural assets and taonga (valuable treasure) for the...
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