Recently Ben and I went to Rotorua to celebrated one year of marriage! Okay, I know what your thinking - Rotorua?? That does not sound like a romantic destination at all! But let me tell you, after spending four days there I was blown away by not only how beautiful the place is but how much there is to do! When I initially started doing research on what to do I was overwhelmed. From hot springs to tree walks, you will NOT be bored there!
These springs will blow your mind! You can take a beautiful 15minute walk around the stream, through a forest filled with Red Wood trees! It's really hard to do a place like this justice. I made sure I just stopped and took all the beauty in (and breathed in the super fresh crisp air)!
Redwoods Forest Tree Walk
This walk exceeded all my expectations! I wondered if it would be too touristy/overhyped but it was beautiful, I can't recommend this walk enough! The walk consists of 21 suspension bridges between 22 Californian Coastal redwoods. It is 553m long and took us about 35minutes to complete - which I felt was the perfect distance!
Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland
Rotorua, also known as 'Sulphur City' is known for its interesting smell. A trip to Rotorua would not be complete without visiting some sort of thermal valley. Ben and I spent awhile trying to decide between Te Puia, Whakarewarewa and Waiotapu. We ended up choosing Waiotapu as it was the most colourful geothermal area (see below for the green pool!).
There is a series of different walks ranging from 30 to 75 minutes. If you choose to do all the tracks you will see 25 amazing geothermal sights!
This place is seriously beautiful - but be prepared for the smell!
Rainbow Mountain to Crater Lake
As the name suggests, this mountain has beautiful shades of red, orange and bare brown. A short fifteen-minute walk will lead you to an amazing crater lake, with this mountain and geothermal vegetation as a back drop! If you feel adventurous, you can continue walking for another three hours to get to the summit.
I can't quite describe the feeling of standing underneath a waterfall that is hot! This little gem is 35 minutes south of Rotorua and is surrounded by lush, native bush.
The day we came here the track was extremely muddy - like I am talking knee deep, people were getting stuck and falling over everywhere! And yes, I was one of the people that fell over in the mud! (Photo included for your entertainment below). It ended up being easier to just walk through the stream, rather than on the pathway. It was quite the experience!
Blue Lake (Tikitapu) and Green Lake (Rotokakahi)
Rotorua is surrounded by many magnificent lakes. These two I found pretty fascinating, as you can view them both from the same lookout. As the name suggests one is a blue/aqua colour, and one is a quite emerald colour due to it being more shallow than Blue Lake.
Blue lake is easily accessible and popular for swimming and fishing, while Green lake is not open to the public as it is owned by the local Maori tribe.
Yet another incredible lake, with the volcanic Mount Tarawera as the backdrop.
I have to say I was pretty impressed with the foodie scene here! There is a street in central Rotorua called 'Eat Streat' that is just a whole row of really good looking restaurants.
Atticus Finch: A restaurant that's menu is based on sharing platters? Yes please! This is the home of the best garlic bread I have ever had and the most delicious fried chicken! Also, how cool is it that it is To Kill a Mocking Bird themed! (We were to hungry to stop and take any photos!)
Capers Cafe: We chose to come here for our anniversary breakfast because it won the 2017 Cafe of the year award. There are a lot of amazing cafes in New Zealand so I had to see for myself! I have to say it definitely lived up to its award. Amazing coffee, good vibe, great food - in fact, Ben said it was the best eggs benedict he has ever had!
Copthorne Hotel - Jimmy Cooks Kiwi Kitchen: Hands down the best service we had ever received from a restaurant!
Le Cafe De Paris: A Paris Cafe, of course, I had to go! (I have a slight obsession with anything Paris related). I have to say it was quite an authentic experience with the owner being the cutest little french man EVER and talking to us in French. Not to mention the Nutella crepes were incredible!!
Rotorua really does cater for everyone, couples, families, thrill seekers - it has it all! If you have been here before please comment and let me know what your favourite spot was!