Rotorua Facts: Culture
- The name Rotorua is a Maori word that means ‘second lake’ which is derived from the original name Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe, “The second great lake of Kahumatamomoe”.
- Just over one-third of Rotorua’s population is Maori, the highest proportion of any city in New Zealand.
- Experiencing some of the many aspects of the Maori culture, their legends, music and arts, is one of Rotorua’s biggest draws.
- With over 35 Maraes, live Maori shows and cultural attractions, Rotorua is the best place to experience Maori culture in New Zealand.
Maori Words you need to know:
- Kia Ora: Hello, You’re welcome, Thank you
- Kai: Food
- Aotearoa: This is the Maori name for New Zealand. Translated directly as, Land of the long white cloud
- Aroha: Love
- Whanau: Immediate and extended Family
- Mahi: work or activity
- Pākehā: New Zealander of non-Māori descent, usually European
- Pounamu: Greenstone also known as jade found in New Zealand
- Tāne: Men, husband
- Wahine: Women, wife
- Wai: Water
- Waka: Canoe
- Hangi: This is an authentic Maori feast cooked in an earth oven which traditionally used hot stones and wet ferns to create steam.
Rotorua Facts: Rotorua Lakes District
- The Rotorua region has 17 lakes, known collectively as the Lakes of Rotorua. water activities such as fishing, waterskiing, swimming, kayaking, and other water activities are abound.
- The Rotorua region has some of New Zealand’s best fishing waters. Lake Tarawera is famous for trophy rainbow trout.
- White water rafting is also very popular in Rotorua which was home to the world rafting championships in 2014. The nearby Kaituna River features the world’s highest commercially rafted seven meter waterfall.
- Rotorua Duck Tours is the best way to see and Learn about the Rotorua Lakes district on land and water
- To see a list of all the lakes in Rotorua visit RotoruaNZ.
Rotorua Facts: Geothermal Activity
Tourism in New Zealand started in Rotorua with the famed pink and white terraces – considered one of the eight wonders of the world.Tourists came from around the world to see the wonder once found on the shores of Lake Tarawera. Unfortunately they were reclaimed by Mount Tarawera when it erupted late in the 19th century.
Since then Rotorua has been, and continues to be New Zealand’s premiere tourism destination.
- Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the youngest geothermal system on the planet. The valley is a wildlife refuge and protected scenic reserve.
- The Lady Knox Geyser at Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, erupts just once a day at 10.15am. As well as geysers, Waiotapu is home to the most colourful geothermal attractions in New Zealand.
- The Pohutu Geyser violently erupts every 15 minutes at Te Puia and in the Whakarewarewa thermal Reserve.
Rotorua Facts: Adventure Activities
- Zorbing, the adventure that involves rolling down a hill in a large inflatable ball, was the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
- The Shweeb Ride at Velocity Valley Adventure Park Rotorua, is the world’s first human-powered monorail racetrack.
- Rotorua is a well-known mountain bike heaven, home to an extensive network of tracks in the Whakarewarewa Forest (also known as the redwoods forest). Rotorua also has a mountain bike park with Gondolas to take you and your bike back to the top after every run.
- Rotorua Canopy Tours 3 hour eco-adventure through native New Zealand bush just minutes outside of Rotorua.