On our women's weekend getaway we take in the highlights of the incredible town of Rotorua. Built on a geothermic area, mud bubbles in the street, the local park steams, and it is literally full of incredible sights! A must for every Kiwi!
Rotorua: soak away winter blues in our hot pool-filled fun long weekend away!
Day 1: Friday
Arrive in Rotorua (see notes below). We'll take a stroll around the lake to the Government Gardens to see beautiful formal gardens and several very old trees, including a multi-trunked Japanese fir and an unusual Californian weeping redwood. Admire elaborate architecture, including the Elizabethan Tudor style mansion which now houses the museum and the ornate Mediterranean style Blue Baths. Just around the corner is the iconic Polynesian Spa, New Zealand's original geothermal bathing experience. Let's do it: Our deluxe lake spa pass gives us access to five hot pools overlooking Lake Rotorua. After a relaxing soak, we'll head back to our rooms to freshen up before heading out for drinks and dinner along trendy Eat Streat.
Day 2: Saturday
Today we journey out to Wai-O-Tapu and explore the area by foot. With 18 sq km of
colourful geothermal elements sculptured by thousands of years of boiling hot volcanic activity, you
will most certainly come away with a plethora of photos. You will also have the opportunity to see
the famous Lady Knox geyser erupt.
Another opportunity for a soak in mineral waters awaits us in the picturesque Waikite Valley. Pure
hot spring water pours from the Te Manaroa Spring into several pools simply perfect for relaxing in
with new friends.
Later this afternoon be prepared for an imaginative experience in New Zealand's one and only 3D
Trick Art Gallery. Let's see how creative you can be....
This evening we travel by gondola up Mount Ngongotaha to enjoy a wine tasting and dinner. There
are no grapes grown in the area but the clever people from Volcanic Hills bring together the best
grapes they believe each NZ region has to offer and make their wines in Rotorua. In a special Tasting
Room with views overlooking Lake Rotorua, they promise not to bamboozle you with wine talk, but
help you learn which wines you like and why. Their mission is to inspire the world to drink better
wine! From here we wander across to the Stratosphere Restaurant for dinner.
Day 3: Sunday
This morning enjoy a 5km walk around pretty Lake Tikitapu aka the Blue Lake before driving past
Rotokakahi (the Green Lake) and on to Te Wairoa Museum. The eighth wonder of the world once
graced this area - the Pink and White Terraces were certainly world-famous and widely visited up until
June 1886 when Mt Tarawera erupted and totally obliviated the landscape. The Museum is
extremely interesting, and we will spend a good amount of time here taking in the exhibits, walking
through the archaeological site and learning about the history and legendary locals before driving on
to Lake Tarawera for lunch.
This afternoon a different type of bathing awaits us. Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese practice of bathing in
the forest atmosphere and taking in the surrounds through your senses. The sounds and scent of
the trees and sunlight playing through the leaves help you to relax and ease any stress and worry.
Towering Redwoods and other exotic trees stand tall over a mix of native undergrowth. Let the
serenity of the majestic Whakarewarewa Forest wash over you as we enjoy shinrin-yoku.
The Forest continues to beckon and this evening we have a magical night walk through the treetops
on eco-suspended bridges and platforms. If you thought the forest was enchanting in daylight, wait
until you see it in the dark lit up by fabulous David Trubridge designed lanterns!
No doubt we will have seen other restaurants we'd like to try along Eat Streat so we'll head back
there to dine out for our final night together.
Day 4: Monday
Our refreshing break ends after breakfast as you bid farewell to newfound friends and journey
home. Ask about optional visit to Hobbiton (see below)
To bring:To bring: your togs and a towel, comfy but warm clothes for walking, daypack, drink bottle, snacks, toiletries, sense of fun!
Included: driver/tour hostess, accommodation, daily cooked breakfast, transportation, entry fees, wine-tasting, gondola and dinner
Not included: lunches and 2 dinners, items of a personal nature, optional extras
Getting to Rotorua
There are direct flights from Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington to Rotorua. Depending on the
time of arrival, Marie will provide airport transfers.
If you would like to visit Hobbiton on the final day, Marie can take you here and then deliver you to
Hamilton Airport for your flight home. Entry to Hobbiton not included in tour price.
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