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