Rotorua's Special Places for everyone to enjoy

Rotorua's Special Places for everyone to enjoy

Exposure to our natural environments provides positive effects on human health and wellbeing. DOC's Conservation Week, 14th to 22nd of October 2017, promotes the connection between the health of the environment and people through the theme of Healthy Nature Healthy People.

Run by the Department of Conservation each year, this Conservation Week is about raising tawareness of the benefits of conservation and encouraging people to get into nature. Conservation Week also gives people the opportunity to celebrate the natural environment and make a connection with local special places. 

Here are some of Rotorua's favourite special places that can be visited all year round.

1 Lake Okareka Walkway

Rotorua is a paradise for walkers and hikers and has a range of tracks for different abilities and fitness levels. One track everyone will enjoy is the Lake Okareka Boardwalk. Starting on Acacia Road it continues for approximately 2.5km around the shore. The return walk takes about an hour and a half, and showcases native vegetation, farmland, beach, lake and wetland scenery, expansive views and wildlife. The walkway is pushchair and wheelchair accessible.

2 Okere Falls Glowworms

Not far from Rotorua is Okere Falls and the Kaituna River. A popular spot for kayaking and commercial rafting during the day, after dark the native bush around the River is lit up by thousands of glowworms. From the carpark on Trout Pool Road (off State Highway 33) carefully take the steep set of stairs toward the River or follow the Okere Falls Track until you come across the glowworms. A visit to the Falls during the day will help you get your bearings for the night time visit. Discover other night time activities in Rotorua.

3 Sulphur bay wildlife refuge

The south-eastern corner of Lake Rotorua is known as Sulphur Bay and is made up of a Wildlife Refuge and a Wildlife Sanctuary.

The bay stretches from Motutara Point across to Ngapuna, including Sulphur Point. The Purenga stream flows into the Bay which has plenty of geothermal features including boiling mudpools, naturally hot water and steam. The area is a special place in Rotoura for its cultural significance, established plantlife and birdlife. The Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge occupies a 145 ha portion of the bay and is home to an array of bird species including the nationally threatened New Zealand dabchick, banded dotterel and black-billed gull. Birds are often seen with the webs of their feet eaten away by the acidic waters.

4 Rainbow Mountain  360° VIEWS

From the carpark beside SH 5 (the Rotorua-Taupō highway) begin with the easy walking Rainbow Mountain Crater Lake track. Views over the crater lakes are set against a backdrop of bare brown, orange and red steaming cliffs and an array of geothermal vegetation.

Fitter and more experienced trampers can continue on the Track to the mountain summit for a very special 360 degree view from the top. Allow 3 hours for the return trip and views that will not disappoint.

5 Kaharoa Kōkako Track

36km north of Rotorua past Ngongotaha Village is the Kaharoa Kōkako Track. Also known as the Hollow Track, it meanders down through beautiful forest to Onaia Stream. This is a tranquil and secluded spot, ideal for a picnic or breakfast stop after listening to the dawn chorus of the beautiful Kōkako!