After our extra excursion to the Coromandel we only had a half-day to check out Rotorua. That ended up being a bit of a blessing as the first thing you will notice is that, thanks to the local geothermal springs, the whole place smells like bad eggs – we’re talking a whole town that stinks of fart pretty bad! However there is still some cool stuff worth seeing. We went to try and get a hot spa at the local Blue Baths but it was shut until the late morning so instead we took a walk around the grounds and the edge of the lake.
Round here the volcanic activity is very close to the surface and if you can take the smell the bubbling mud pits are really cool to see. There is also a marked walkway around the Government Gardens at the southern edge of the lake where the spring activity is at its highest. It’s really nice and scenic with the added bonus of potentially falling into boiling mud should you stray off the path!
Once you are away from the caustic muddy areas the scene opens up to a huge lake over 12km long surrounded by lush scenery. There you’ll find a plethora of bird life too, including some amazing black swans. They were all pretty tame and we were able to get pretty close without spooking them.
On our way back into town we began to stop in a few shops and look for hats and gloves. We were planning a 12 mile mountainous trek a few days down the line and would need to keep as warm as possible. I managed to find a cheesy tourist NZ beanie hat but suitable (cheap) gloves were a bit harder to come across. Eventually we had to admit defeat and get on the bus to our next stop, Taupo.