Rotorua / Rotorua-nui-a-Kahu
Rotorua is a major-inland city on the southern shores of the lake of the same name, in the Bay of Plenty region on New Zealand's North Island.
The region was named Bay of Plenty by English navigator James Cook after he noticed the abundant food supplies there, in stark contrast to the earlier observations he had made in Poverty Bay.
The area was initially settled by Maori of the Te Arawa tribe. The name Rotorua comes from Maori, the full name being Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe; roto means lake and rua two - Rotorua thus meaning 'second lake'. It was the second major lake discovered by the Maori chief Ihenga, and he dedicated it to his uncle Kahumatamomoe.
A "special town district" was created in 1883 to promote Rotorua's thermal spa attractions. In 1894, the town was connected to Auckland by the Rotorua Branch railway, resulting in the rapid growth of the town and tourism.
There are four main thermal areas in the region, making it a great place to see nature at its most powerful. Bubbling mud, steaming geysers and the rumbling of the earth underfoot make up Rotorua's unique landscape. This geothermal activity is also the cause of the city's distinctive scent.
Visitors can relax with a soak in the healing waters of a hot spring, a therapeutic spa or massage, or a soothing mud wrap. For the more adventurous, Rotorua offers a myriad of thrills - river rafting, mountain biking, jet boating, 4x4 driving or a launching downhill in a plastic ball or luge.
North of Rotorua, the coastal Bay of Plenty stretches from Waihi Beach in the west to Whakatane in the east and includes the major tourist destinations of Tauranga and Mount Maunganui.
The area is known for its golden sand beaches and is a major holiday destination for New Zealanders. With 16 lakes, the region is an aquatic paradise. Fishing, waterskiing, swimming and other water activities are popular in summer. Don't forget to pack a picnic or make use of a public barbeque.
The region is ideally situated near several islands which offer a unique day or overnight excursion: Tuhua (Mayor Island), Motiti and Whakaari (White Island). The islands feature top diving and fishing, and White Island is an active volcano which visitors can explore on a guided tour.
Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty is a major destination for domestic and international tourists, with tourism being by far the largest industry in the region. The region is known for its Maori cultural centres, adventure tourism and geothermal activity, with a number of geysers, hot mud pools and the Buried Village (Te Wairoa) - buried by the 1886 Mount Tarawera eruption. The town of Te Puke is regarded as the 'kiwifruit capital of the world', surrounded by orchards and pack houses. The town hosts an annual kiwifruit festival to pay tribute to the fruit and its role in the town.
The Bay of Plenty has an estimated resident population of more than 269,900, making it the fifth-most populous region in New Zealand. The major centres in the region are Tauranga (110,500), Rotorua (68,100) and Whakatane (34,400). The Bay of Plenty is also one of the fastest growing regions in New Zealand with significant growth along the coastal and western parts of the region.
The Bay of Plenty has a subtropical, temperate climate, with warm, humid summers and mild winters. The region is one of the warmest in New Zealand, particularly along the coastline, and most areas experience at least 2,000 hours of sunshine per annum. Average daily maximum temperatures in the region range from 9-16°C in winter to 21-29°C in summer.
- New Plymouth
- Palmerston North
- Team Bases