Rotorua

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As at Dec 2009, Air New Zealand have started direct flights from Sydney to Rotorua, which will be a convenient landing point to the Central North Island ski areas [Whakapapa] and [Turoa].

Overview

Population 55,000. Rotorua was New Zealand's first tourist destination, and it remains one of the most popular destinations for foreign tourists.

A spring trip would combine the best time of year to visit Mount Ruapehu's snow, with warmer weather and shoulder season prices in Rotorua. Sometimes known as "rotten-rua" the town has a distinctive sulphurous aroma from the geo-thermal vents which are throughout the city. There are many geysers and boiling mud pools in the region.

Things to see and do

See http://www.tourism.net.nz/region/rotorua/attractions-and-activities/

The main attractions are (1) geo-thermal (2) Maori cultural (3) scenic (4) adventure tourism. The above are reasons enough for a week-long trip, but a otherwise can be experienced in a couple of days tagged onto a Mount Ruapehu ski trip.

Getting to Mount Ruapehu

177km, about 2 hours driving.

Links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotorua