Travellers going to the top part of New Zealand's North Island will find a lot of places to explore. One of them is Rotorua which can be easily reached through its own airport, Rotorua International Airport. The airport is only around 9km from the city centre, which makes it easy to commute between these areas. This port of entry opened in 1963 as a replacement of the old Whakarewarewa Aerodrome which became a suburban area of the city after some years.
The administration of the airport is determined to develop the facilities for better public transport. The extension of the two runways has faced opposition from various people in the community, however. Many see this growth as a factor that can endanger their way of life due to an increase of noise levels and the destruction of the trees and natural forest. This makes it difficult to expand, as the airport continuously faces legal action against the clearing of land and other related environmental issues.
What to see & do
Rotorua and other surrounding cities have one thing in common – breath-taking natural views. Biking is especially popular here due to the large number of biking trails going through the Whakarewarewa Forest and Rainbow Mountain. Rivers and lakes can also be found here with the fishing boats waiting to take tourists to the spots where trouts are abundant. Mud pools and hot springs can also be found here, as Rotorua is within the Pacific Rim of Fire.
The Maori, New Zealand's indigenous people, also live here. They welcome visitors who want to learn about their culture on a marae or tribal meeting grounds. There is also a hangi feast which the people cook in their earthen ovens. After a day of immersion in their village, one can enjoy with friends a trip to leisure parks nearby. There is Skyline Luge, where a group can thrill themselves as they go on a wheeled gravity ride down a track.
Nature at its best can be found in Taranaki where one can enjoy a variety of activities such as river rafting and winter sports. The towns in between the rugged natural views also make nice stopping places to rest in between adventures. Those who want a quiet vacation can also indulge in going to the art trails and visiting galleries and museums. One can also participate in the festivals to interact with the locals over a cup of coffee in one of the shops.
Those looking to exert themselves more can turn to Manawatu which has a challenging landscape. Horse trekking, rock climbing, kayaking, and hiking are the major attractions here. It can also be very relaxing here, as one can find here farms where one can experience the quintessential country life in New Zealand. More unique sights also await here, such as the Dugald Mackenzie Rose Garden, Owlcatraz Native Bird and Wildlife Park, and the Rugby Museum.
How to get around within Rotorua
There are various ways to get around Rotorua. One can ride the coaches to see different points of the city and the region. Scheduled transport and shuttles can also be arranged in advance to make it convenient for those following a strict itinerary.
Those who want to see various sights in a short span of time can also go on a guided tour or schedule a scenic flight or transfer. This is suitable for those who want to get the most out of a short vacation. Leisurely forays to the cities and the countryside are also possible, as one can rent a car or flag down a taxi to go around various areas.
How to get there
Travellers who want to visit the sights in and around Rotorua can look for connecting flights from Auckland Airport to Rotorua International Airport. The flights going to Rotorua mainly come from Air New Zealand or Air New Zealand Link. There is also Sunair, a small airline, transporting passengers to the area.