New Zealand Highlight: Rotorua
Rotorua is the heartland of the New Zealand Maori culture where visitors have the opportunity to experience the warm spirit of the Maori. From the moment of arriving in Rotorua you will know this is somewhere quite different. There is a scent of sulphur in the air from the nearby geothermal hotspots, where spouting geysers shoot, boiling mud pools and warm geothermal springs. Silica terraces are naturally decorated with a kaleidoscope of colors.
The Rotorua region is also one of New Zealand’s prime trout fishing spots, especially if you hire a local professional guide. Many of the volcanic crater lakes are home to a plentiful stock of trophy-sized rainbow trout.
For keen travelers looking to get out and start exploring right away we recommend the farm show and the animal parks with trout feeding and viewing: Rainbow Springs has a great “Kiwi house” where the flightless native bird (and the New Zealander’s namesake), the Kiwi, resides.
Be sure to make time for a Maori cultural show. This unique cultural experience starts with a powhiri and wero (welcome). Enjoy stories relayed through beautiful performances of songs and dance. Following the entertainment where audience participation is encouraged, you may indulge in the traditional Maori hangi feast where the food is cooked below the ground in earthen ovens.