Rotorua, New Zealand

Rotorua is a town on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua in the Bay of Plenty region of the North Island of New Zealand. Rotorua is well-known for geothermal activity. There are a number of geysers, notably the Pohutu geyser at Whakarewarewa, and hot mud pools located in the city, which owe their presence to the Rotorua caldera. Thermal activity is at the heart of much of Rotorua’s tourist appeal. Geysers and bubbling mud-pools, hot thermal springs and the Buried Village – so named after it was buried by the 1886 Mt. Tarawera eruption – are within easy reach of the city.

Rotorua is nicknamed Sulphur City, because of the aforementioned thermal activity. The sulphur gives off an odor unique to Rotorua that adds to the visitor experience. In fact it’s funny because it is nearly unbearable to breathe without gasping for air as it smells like someone let off a stinkbomb throughout the city. We basically walked around a lot of the time with our faces buried in our shirts trying to avoid the odor. It made eating difficult with that smell constantly creeping into your senses.
Rotorua is also home to many outdoor activities and even an indoor climbing wall, botanical gardens and interesting historic architecture. Known as a spa town and major tourist resort since the 1800s, there are many spas including a huge Polynesian spa that we went to in town that was really great and relaxing with tons of different temperature geothermal soaking pools and of course Polynesian style massages.

I am glad that I was in Rotorua but I wouldn’t go there unless you are prepared for the smell and I certainly wouldn’t spend more than a day or two there as you might pass out. It tends to make you a bit nauseous but it is a cool place to see and worth a look.

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  1. Rotorua does reak! I couldn’t even stay there for more than a day if I wanted to.

  2. Cool pics but doesn’t seem like an ideal place to visit

  3. Christopher says

    I didn’t like Rotorua much, it rained the whole time I was there and it really smelled awful. Luckily Taupo wasn’t far away.

  4. Hey I like the information but I would like to know were the exact location of the pictures are?

  5. Hi Samantha, the pictures are from the sulphur pits (I think that’s what you call them) right outside the city proper where they are all located.

  6. Rotorua, wonderful and nice city. Nice and polite. Great place to do various trips (Nothern Island) faboluus site and atmoshhere. Visit Whakarewarewa (1 day) and relaxxxx.

  7. It looks great…Rotorua…it’s the smell that gets you though. ­čÖé

  8. I find it really funny how all this talk about the overwhelming smell! My god harden up you get the occasional whiff if your in a highly active thermal area of the city, but to say only stay 1-2 days or you may pass-out, or makes it difficult to eat food?? What the heck people!?
    I’m from Auckland and moved to Rotorua for business, can say the smell is not bad/unpleasant, and does ADD to the experience if your a tourist..
    Not to mention it is a beautiful city with surrounding attractions that resemble middle earth, unique.

  9. i have been to Rotorua twice and i love this place. this place is having beautiful lake and thermal activity areas. whakarewarewa is just out of this world; and the people are also very nice.this place is must visit place of New Zealand

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