Rotorua shows Sydney’s travel industry why it’s the best place to visit this spring
Sydney’s travel industry were treated to a night of fun and fashion last night at Doltone House on Jones Bay Wharf learning why spring is the perfect time to experience the wonders of Rotorua in New Zealand.
Known as ‘New Zealand’s coolest hot spot’, Rotorua is renowned for its geothermal activity and spa facilities, pristine natural surroundings, countless adventure tourism experiences and as a heartland of Maori culture. As the birthplace of New Zealand tourism the city has greeted visitors for over 150 years, but there is a lot more to experience now than ever before.
Destination Rotorua Trade Manager Patrick Dault says that every year they bring a group of local Rotorua tourism operators to Australia to get face to face with the influential people selling offshore travel.
“Australians are still our largest international visitor group so we like to remind the key travel decision influencers that Rotorua is one of the most spectacular destinations on the planet,” says Mr Dault. “Rotorua is gearing up for an incredible spring and summer with a number of new experiences and festivals like Mudtopia and Crankworx. Off the back of Tourism New Zealand being declared ‘Best Tourism Office’ and Air New Zealand taking the title of the most reputable company in Australia, there has never been a better time to come and visit.”
While traditional Maori culture has always been a big drawcard for the region, this year’s event included a pop-up fashion show by local Rotorua designers Mereana Ngatai and Kharl WiRepa to showcase some of the more contemporary elements.
“This year we wanted to give the crowd a taste of fashion and flair and showcase some of the local designers that are putting Rotorua on the map for the contemporary art and fashion that our visitors can take home with them,” says Dault.
The crowd of two hundred in attendance were treated to true glamour with an indigenous Maori flair. The models walked the catwalk in a variety of designs influenced by Te Arawa culture (local Rotorua tribal group) and the natural beauty of the region.
Rotorua designer Mearana Ngatai says that she absolutely loves watching people fall in love with and take her work back home with them.
“I come from a haka and performance art background, so everything that I do and create is a reflection of that performance. I’m here to share the love and the spirit of our people and our land, expressing those concepts through the movement of fabric, texture and creation.”
The event included a prize-draw for a $5,000 trip to Rotorua, including airfares, accommodation and activities, all courtesy of Air New Zealand and Roadshow participants. Runner-up prizes included a myriad of goodies from across the Tasman.
Listicle: Ten things to experience in spring In Rotorua, New Zealand’s Coolest Hot Spot:
Māori culture and history infuse Rotorua life. Home to the Te Arawa iwi, one of the largest Māori tribes, they have been welcoming visitors for over 150 years. It’s the best, if not only place to learn their traditions and experience authentic Māori culture.
Rotorua’s network of more than 150km of mountain bike trails are not only the best in New Zealand, they are the best anywhere south of the equator. Find out why Rotorua was declared one of only six Gold Level Ride Centres in the entire world.
Spa and Wellness
Rotorua is New Zealand’s home of natural hot springs and spa treatments. There’s no better way to relax than soaking in a natural bush-lined thermal stream or indulging in a full day at a luxuriously appointed spa complex.
Rotorua is surrounded by some of New Zealand’s most incredible rainforests. Best known for its awe-inspiring trees, the Whirinaki is a true dinosaur forest. Rotorua Canopy Tours also provide one of the country’s best eco-tourism experiences while ziplining through the Dansey Scenic Reserve.
Volcanic crater lakes, spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and colourful sinter terraces; Rotorua is alive with geothermal activity. Hell’s Gate is New Zealand’s most active geothermal park, and when you’re finished exploring you can soak in the geothermal mud.
There must be something in the water in Rotorua. It’s home to the world’s first and best luge (part go-cart, part toboggan), the original OGO (rolling downhill in a giant orb) and is the only place in the world to experience the Shweeb at Agroventures (suspended aerodynamic racing pods).
Rotorua might be known as the best place in the world to witness the earth’s power, but that’s not all that’s powering up this city. With go-karting, off roading, monster trucking, 4-wheel-driving and jet boating, it’s also the best place to put the pedal to the metal.
Water Lover’s Paradise
With 18 sparkling lakes and three major rivers, Rotorua is a water lover’s paradise. Conquer the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall Tutea Falls with River Rats, or drive right into the lakes in a World War 2 landing craft with Rotorua Duck Tours.
Fish and birds
The fishery of Rotorua should be part of any fisherman’s travel itinerary. Hire a guide and voyage out in search for a trophy sized trout. Not to be outdone, Rotorua is also a haven for birders. Go in search of species, or visit Rainbow Springs, NZ’s most successful kiwi hatching facility.
Channel your inner child and embrace three days of mud, music and entertainment at the inaugural Mudtopia Festival in Rotorua. If you’re after something slower paced the festival also includes authentic health and wellness activities like mud massages, day spa treatments and group yoga.