CHEAP CAR RENTAL ROTORUA AIRPORT
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Cheap Car Hire Rotorua Airport
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A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Rotorua and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions around Rotorua you might like to consider checking out. The letters on the map match those on the tabs below, where you'll find information about each attraction. For more ideas, check out the Destination Rotorua website.
Geothermal geysers and Maori culture are practically synonymous with Rotorua, and you’ll find both at Te Puia, one of the town’s top drawcards, and often described as a living cultural centre.
Nestled in the Te Whakarewarewa valley - which the Te Arawa people called home for generations - the complex spans 70 hectares. Within it lie a multitude of natural geothermal wonders: hot springs, mud pools and fascinating silica formations. A must see while you’re here is the world famous Pohutu Geyser, renowned as the most reliable geyser on earth. It erupts constantly throughout the day to a height of 30 metres, usually for a few minutes at a time. Navigate around the steamy, sulphuric thermal valley yourself, or take a guided tour. Amid the native bush are many native birds. There is even a kiwi centre, which is part of a national breeding project. Inside the nocturnal kiwi house you’ll have an opportunity to see this unique native bird up close and in the flesh.
The national schools of Maori carving and weaving are found at Te Puia. You can watch masterful artists and their students at work, learn about the history and processes involved, and buy their handiwork at the gift shop. It is truly incredible to see what they can achieve with wood, stone and bone. Nowhere is this traditional aspect of heritage better preserved than at the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.
Guided tours allow you to experience the best of Te Puia, from a traditional welcome to a delicious hangi feast and live cultural performance, complete with poi dancing, haka, stick games and melodious singing. Hospitality is key to the experience and Te Puia’s Maori guides are proud to share their ancestry and pass on stories handed down for generations.
Te Puia can be found on Hemo Rd, which is less than 10 minutes’ drive in your rental car from downtown Rotorua.
Billed as the most colourful volcanic area in the country, the Wai-o-tapu geothermal landscapes were thousands of years in the making. Here lies one of the most extensive geothermal systems in all of New Zealand.
Today there are clearly defined tracks to follow which guide you through the full gamut of diverse attractions here. It’s truly a surreal experience, with craters, terraces, steaming vents, bubbling mud and vivid springs and pools, all set against a lush backdrop of native bush. Follow one, two or all three of the walks, with the options taking between half an hour and 75 minutes.
Don’t miss the Mud Pool (a former mud volcano which has eroded away) or the beautiful and unique Champagne Pool, a striking sight with its vibrant green and orange hues.
The other must see attraction here is the Lady Knox Geyser. Lady Knox erupts daily at 10.15 am to explosive heights of up to 20 metres. It is actually set away from the main Wai-o-tapu visitor centre in a separate area, however walking there is advised against (for safety reasons). Instead, it’s a short and easy drive of just a few minutes to the geyser in your rental car. It’s recommended to plan to arrive at Lady Knox geyser by 9.30am to prepare for the main event. Directions there will be given to you when you purchase your entry tickets to Wai-o-tapu.
On your way out you may like to stop for a bite to eat at the onsite cafe or pick up a souvenir. There are picnic areas across from the visitor centre as well.
The geothermal wonderland of Wai-o-tapu lies almost directly south of Rotorua, a half hour drive away in your hired car.
Located on the edge of the lake in central Rotorua, the historic Government Gardens have seen many significant battles throughout time. Today some enormous trees remain - a Californian redwood and some Japanese firs - but the manicured formal gardens are a later addition.
Nestled in these grounds is the Rotorua Museum, inside an Elizabethan era, Tudor style bath house building that once drew guests from all over the world. It was the government’s first big investment in tourism; the promise of luxurious therapies in an equally opulent setting of grand gables, towers and staircases were a lure for well heeled visitors from the northern hemisphere.
There is also a Mediterranean style spa building, the Blue Baths, which was one of the first in the world to permit men and women in the same pool - and today you can enjoy a game of bowls or croquet in front of both structures.
The museum itself features ever changing art galleries, informational exhibitions and cinematic experiences. Discover the science and mythology behind Rotorua’s fiery and fascinating geological landscapes, including the eruption of Mt Tarawera and the famous pink and white terraces. Other highlights are the fine arts and photography, as well as Maori cultural exhibits.
Make the most of your time there with a guided tours; they run on the hour from 10am and are included with your entry fee, no need to book ahead.
The Bath House Building can be explored from bottom to top, and is one of the few heritage buildings in New Zealand where this is possible. Start from the basement, where the baths remain largely preserved from the early 1900s state. You can then go all the way up to the attic and out onto the roof, to see spectacular views of the surrounding gardens and Lake Rotorua.
The best way to describe Agroventures is as an adventure hub. Part of the Agrodome - a family friendly complex packed with farmland related sights and activities - there’s an array of adrenaline pumping activities to be had all in one location and just 15 minutes from downtown Rotorua, an easy drive in your rental car.
The Agrojet is a high octane jet boat ride, accelerating to 100 km per hour before you can say ‘go’! You’d be hard pressed to find faster jet boats in New Zealand. The experienced drivers lead you through a thrilling sprint course, wrapping the ride up with a dizzying 360 degree spin.
Bungy was invented in New Zealand and a jump at Agroventures, overlooking the bucolic Paradise Valley, is hard to top.
If you enjoy rope swings (or secretly harbour a desire to be Tarzan) then the Swoop is the ride for you. This supercharged swing will see you secured into a body harness (either alone, or with one or two other people simultaneously) and elevated to 40 metres high. From there you release your ripcord and plunge back down to earth at speeds of up to 130 km per hour.
For the feeling of freedom that comes with flying through a tunnel, you can’t go past the Freefall Xtreme. Don a flight suit and get atop a wind column, which enables you to do spins, twists and barrel rolls.
Finally, the Shweeb is a unique Kiwi invention for those with a love for speed and a bit of muscle. You will climb into an aerodynamic pod and race around the track, pedalling as fast as you possibly can. Race against the clock, or against friends, at up to 50 km per hour. You can even team up for tandem races. There are prizes for age or country records, and a Rail of Fame to be immortalised on. Beat the world record and you could rake in a cash prize to take away! (Or if you’d rather simply take it slow, lie back and pedal slowly around the track, you can of course do that too.)
Supremely tranquil and beautiful, the 5600 hectare Whakarewarewa Forest is known for its mix of native and exotic forest, in particular its majestic Californian redwood trees. It is one of the oldest exotic forests in the country and it has a rich history with local Maori. Nearly 200 tree species were originally planted here in order to determine which types could be cultivated for timber, and the forest continues to play a role in the wider industry today.
There are no predators in the forest, but there are many animals, insects and birds to be found among the canopies of ferns, shrubs and trees, all part of the greater forest ecosystem. Located 5 km from central Rotorua, it’s just a short drive away in your rental car.
Locals refer to it as The Redwoods, and it’s a mecca for outdoor leisure in all forms. The park is ideal for picnics, for one. Walking and hiking are also popular pastimes; tracks range from quick half hour jaunts to full day endeavours. Most of the walking trails begin at the Redwoods i-Site. Venturing further will lead to view of the city and countryside, including the Blue and Green lakes. There is also the commercial Redwoods Treewalk, which takes you on an ecological journey through the forest, with a bird’s eye view from 12 metres above ground. It is made up of 21 suspension bridges, which traverse from tree to tree. Over the course of a half hour you’ll come to truly appreciate the grandeur and serenity on display here.
Whakarewarewa Forest is also renowned as a mountain biking mecca - the trails have been rated among the best in the world. Created in partnership with pro bikers, the 160 km of trails cater for all skill levels. And with names like Check It Out and Be Rude Not To, they’re bound to make you smile. You can hike a bike in town or at the trailhead off Waipa State Mill Road across from the forest.
Great value - thanks! Definitely will recommend you to my friends.
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Great for backpackers like us on a tight budget. Got to do more of the amazing things NZ offers with the money we saved. Awesome!
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