Backpacking in Rotorua
With fun activities galore, Rotorua, in the central North Island of New Zealand, is considered a top destination for backpackers.
The scent of sulphur in the air, hissing geysers and bubbling mud pools combine to create a landscape like nowhere else on Earth. There are four main geothermal areas in the Rotorua region.
Explore Rotorua's extensive range of adventure activities, many of which are world firsts. Almost every imaginable adventure product is here, so the thrill-seeking backpacker has plenty of opportunities to get the adrenalin pumping. Tumbling over grade five rapids or speeding across a stunning lake in a jet boat are just two options.
Traditional Maori culture flourishes in Rotorua, and there are many places where backpackers can watch master carvers and weavers at work. No trip here is complete without sampling a hangi, a traditional Maori meal cooked in an earthen oven. Various tour companies and marae co-ordinate cultural evenings that include a hangi and traditional Maori dancing and singing.
Mountain bikers will be in heaven in the Whakarewarewa Forest, on the outskirts of town. There are 100km of world-class tracks here that are renowned around the globe.There are 16 sparkling lakes within 20 minutes' drive of the city, and these are free for the intrepid backpacker to explore.
But it's not just these attractions that make Rotorua such a hot backpacking destination. There are also plenty of cheap activities and deals available. The region is also a great place to mix and mingle with others travellers, and you'll find plenty of backpacker parties in town, mostly organised and hosted by city bars.
It has plenty of budget accommodation, from backpackers' hostels to self-catering motels and apartments. Whatever you're into, you can't go past Rotorua for cheap travel options.