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2 1/2 days in Rotorua

Sydney, Australia
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2 1/2 days in Rotorua

Planning for our forthcoming trip to Rotorua. Arriving in the afternoon of Day 1. We'll be there mainly for the thermals and culture. I'd like to know how much time I should allocate to visit Whakarewarewa. Do I need the whole day if I stay on for the cultural show and hangi? Or should I give the hangi a miss and go to Mitai or Tamaki at night.

I have read a few of TA's write-ups regarding Waitapu and Waimangu but still unsure whether to visit all of them. Are these 3 thermals totally different?

We'll be going to the Polynesian Spa and the public mudpools in the park.

Also, probably walk along the lakeside. Are there any attractions by the lake within walking distance from Rotorua town centre?

We're arriving by Intercity bus and don't plan to hire a car while in Rotorua, will most likely take the geyser link if we are to visit Waitapu.

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Rotorua
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Polynesian Spa
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1. Re: 2 1/2 days in Rotorua

Are you talking about Whakarewarewa Maori Village or Te Puia? They are both located over the Whakarewarewa geothermal field.

Personally I would do Whakarewarewa Maori Village, do the tour(90mins) it's a wonderful insight into Maori life and is the most authentic Maori culture you'll see because it is actually a living village. There are a few geothermal boiling pools and mud but I would add Waiotapu to the visit as it has far more variety. You will also see a cultural show at the end of the Whakarewarewa tour, very small numbers of watchers and intimate. I would then book Mitai for the evening, which will give you a great hangi and a very polished large cultural show plus take the bush walk afterwards. Make sure you take warm jackets..

Waiotapu- 3-4hrs plus 1hr total transfer time, Whakarewarewa village- 2-3hrs.

Visit the Government Gardens from town and the museum located within the gardens; great history on the local Maori Tribes and also the eruption of Mt Tarawera. Also visit Ohinemutu village(just below the hospital and between Kuirau Park(mud pools) and the waterfront)- beautiful St Faiths Church and two marae and meeting houses to see.

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2. Re: 2 1/2 days in Rotorua

From the lake front you can walk to Kuirau Park and look at the hot mud pools and hot water foot baths. I would also look at the Government Gardens and the Rotorua Museum all located walking distance from central Rotorua.

Also you should consider Rainbow and Fairy Springs, the luge ride and the Agredome but these three activities are not walking distance from town but a must to see and do when in Rotorua.

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3. Re: 2 1/2 days in Rotorua

If you choose Mitai Maori Cultural evening you are able to take the Combo tour. This will include a night tour of Rainbow Springs where you would be extremely unlucky not to see kiwi. Visiting Te Puia later in the afternnon will enable you to include the Te Po Maori Cultural Show and the menu there includes seafood and other indigenous foods.

Have a look at www.experiencerotorua.co.nz for guided tours.

The Agrodome provides a shuttle service from the I site as do other local attractions. You could take a ride on the Duck and visit three lakes in the area.

Taking a Riverjet ride on the Waikato River to Orakei Korako is another great experience. There is a shuttle service from Rotorua provided.

Lakefront attractions within walking distance from the city include float plane & helicopter scenic tours and boat trips. If you are planning your trip for winter months these services may not be as frequent.

The Redwood Forest is a great area for walks of varying lengths and there is a local bus to the area. You can also hire bikes if you would like to bike some of the tracks.

The two and a half days will pass so quickly you will wish you had stayed longer.

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Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: 2 1/2 days in Rotorua

Thanks Zappers, crafty weasel, ValGee, for the info you've provided.

Much appeciated.

5. Re: 2 1/2 days in Rotorua

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