Feel the Spirit of Rotorua
While New Zealand boasts an array of beautiful and dramatically contrasting landscapes, nowhere in the country are the strange quirks of nature more evident than in Rotorua. A walking holiday in New Zealand will lead you through a raft of diverse encounters: from rugged coastlines and windswept beaches; to trekking through the verdant, lush mountainous forests behind the coast. However, the spa city of Rotorua, on the North Island, attracts countless tourists each year for a very unique reason – to witness the bizarre thermal mud pools.
As far as cities go, Rotorua is quite relaxed, although it would be wrong to describe it as sleepy. In accordance with the welcoming and friendly culture of New Zealand, Rotorua is simple to navigate and provides a sizeable selection of activities for tourists of every age and ability. Walking trails zigzag almost every part of New Zealand, and the same holds true for Rotorua, which has several forest trails that begin from near the city centre. Nonetheless, apart from the biking, fishing and walking (and the delightful lakes), the majority of people visit Rotorua for the sheer curiosity value and famed healing properties of its’ thermal mud pools.
All around the city, there are several places where you can visit the thermal pools. Certainly, it is impossible to ignore them, due the sulphurous smell that envelopes the city. Initially, this smell is rather unpleasant, however after you have been in the city for a few hours, you will be so intrigued by the pools that you will become accustomed to it. This video gives you an idea of what to expect:
The geysers and thermal pools are relics from the volcanic origins of Rotorua, and they originated from the picturesque Lake Rotorua. Indeed, this lake’s serene appearance belies its’ dramatic and volatile history. In this area of New Zealand, wherever you walk – even in the gardens and parks of the city – you will notice random emissions of steam from sulphur vents and open pools. These pools are not dangerous, but be aware that they are extremely hot.
On Rotorua’s outskirts, a trip to Whakarewarewa village will take you to one of New Zealand’s most intriguing areas. This village subsists entirely by leveraging the amazing energy of the thermal pools. Thus, a walk through the village will give you an incredible insight into the power of nature. Although it is a bustling tourist attraction, Whakarewarewa is still a working and living village. The traditional Maori locals live there in harmony with the splendid force that sustains them, in a communal existence.
If you want a more indulgent method of enjoying Rotorua’s thermal pools, then you could visit one of the city’s many indoor mineral spas. You can spend a day relaxing in the waters that are reported to have some fantastic health benefits. Indeed, for many years, these waters have been a resource for medical practitioners to help with some alternative therapy treatments.
Now a museum, the Rotorua Bath House makes for a fascinating visit. In the past, this bath house administered more than 70,000 baths and 30,000 special therapies per year. Rather alarmingly, these treatments included electric therapy. However, nowadays, there is none of that. Thankfully, the only shock that modern tourists will get from the thermal baths and spas of Rotorua, is when they have to climb out, get dry and return to everyday life.
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