Roturua….a hot spot for everyone, young and old. Why? It’s the geothermal hotspot for people in the know. You don’t know what a geothermal hotspot is? That’s okay. That’s why you are here reading my blog and I’m your guide. Let’s start the tour in my favorite place in New Zealand…Hells Gate. Hells yeah! It’s probably one of the finest places to receive thermal spa treatments on the planet. What makes this place so special? Let’s list them, shall we?
Roturua is on the North Island, which is full of volcanic activity. Roturua is home to the hottest waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. You can’t stand underneath it, but being there is close enough! There are actual hot mud baths and pools to sink into. I especially enjoy this during the night, when it’s quiet, under the stars. The mud cleanses the pores and the skin with extraction benefits. When you are done, there are cool, natural waterfalls to rinse the mud from your body, the perfect collision of hot and cold remedies. Ahh…relaxation! There are numerous thermal blue and green lakes located throughout the region for your release. There are 50 gorgeous acres of private pools, steam cliffs and mud baths to meet every need. If the spa like environment isn’t for you, never fear! There are other things to do in the area.
For adventurers, check out the Canopy Tour. This tour lasts three hours and includes small, narrow suspension bridges, tree platforms, and gorgeous views of the forest and vegetation in the area. Cool and exhilarating!
Want something more earthly? Keep your feet on the ground and hike the Whakarewarewa Forest. There are endless trails for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians among the Giant Sequoia Trees. The trees in this forest are related to the California Redwoods, for those who have had the pleasure of visiting Northern California in the United States. Maps are available for hikers and bikers. You could spend all day exploring the beauty of this area. Pack water and a picnic lunch, and your day is complete.
For the shopper in you (like me) I seek out what the local culture has to offer. The Maori, an indigenous people of the area, inhabits this part of New Zealand. It’s well worth a visit to their market. You may purchase cultural carvings and other artifacts. But, the best part is to stay for the Hangi. This is a cultural feast of meats and vegetables. Meats are roasted in the earth, developing a rich, smoky flavor and veggies are steamed over the thermal pools. The Maori demonstrate cultural dances, rituals and weaponry if you are interested.
There are so many choices, how do you decide? It’s tough. Bit take my word, this part of New Zealand is magical and special and should not be missed!