Rotorua: A city of thermal geysers and SPAs
A warning first, if you are planning to visit Rotorua, organize your schedule for at least one week. Rotorua is not for seeing only, it is all about experiencing the place. There is so much to do that even a week may not be sufficient to do everything. The place is very well connected with all major cities on New Zealand. We went to Rotorua from New Zealand's capital Wellington and we decided to drive. And the decision was not bad as when you drive on desert road, you feel as if your are not planet earth but somewhere else in the galaxy. You pass through Mount Ruapehu which is actually a live volcano. Well, I will not write in detail about this scenic drive as this post is about Rotorua, but I have created a gallery for you if you wish to see the pictures of this picturesque road journey.
We reached Rotorua late in the evening. We had booked VR Rotorua lake resort which is about 10Kms from the city center. I prefer to stay in the hotels outside the city limits whenever I am not traveling for business. These hotels are cheaper and also normally they provide better scenic views than the hotels in city center. See a few of the pictures that I have shot in and around the hotel, and I am sure, you will agree with me.
Polynesian SPA in Rotorua has been voted to be in the top ten best SPAs of the world and it is must visit place in Rotorua. there are a group of 4-5 natural thermal SPAs and once you enter these SPAs, you literally have to force yourself to come out. The feeling of being in these SPAs is so divine and therapeutic that it transform your mind and body to different level. I even did my evening Transcendental meditation session in one of these pools. Composition of sulfur and other minerals are different in different pools. Where one of them are good for muscles, others are good for your skin, arthritis etc. One of the pools is called Priest pool, because many decades ago a priest from Denmark had come to this pool and he got rid of his chronic problem of arthritis. And the view of lake Rotorua from these SPAs makes the whole experience truly magical.
They also have various kind of therapeutic massages which provide heavenly feeling after you come out of these pools. We went for 45 minutes of relaxation massage and came out of Polynesian SPA center all refreshed and at least 5 years younger than when we entered this place.
Redwoods Tree Walk
This place is approximately 10Kms from the city center but worth a visit. Here, you will find New Zealand's oldest and tallest trees. They have interconnected many of the trees with narrow hanging bridges at an height of 8-9 meters. You literally see the jungle from above and it is a marvelous experience. You can visit this place in the day as well as in the night. The place is beautifully illuminated with very innovative large lamps which have been hung on the trees. Unfortunately, it was raining when we decided to go there. But then we read in its leaflet that the forest is so dense that it is alright even if it starts raining. We found it very correct.
We missed this one. Hells Gate is 7-8 Kms from City Center and we went there just before we left for Wellington and could not enjoy this great mud pool SPA. Anyway, we did enough research and left it for our next visit.
And I made this small video (Opens in a new tab) at the Hells Gate just to show that at times at what pressure the hot water comes out like a fountain. Seismically this place must be very very volatile beneath the earth.