Ladies, we know you keenly understand that styles come and go. Stilettos one year, stacks the next. Bob haircuts then, balayage colouring now.
But one thing that stays true year after year is the ritual that is called Girls Night Out (yes, with capital letters; it’s an institution, after all!). It’s a great excuse to leave the week behind, meet up with your besties, and let your hair down – at least metaphorically speaking.
Whether just for an hour or several, if you love to connect over cocktails, Rotorua has a great line-up to light up your night.
It’s true, Rotorua has its own winery, producing beautiful reds, whites and rosés from grapes sourced from the best wine regions in the country. Take the Skyline Rotorua Gondola up the mountain to the Tasting Room where vintner Brent Park will help you learn which wines you like and why. Or just enjoy a glass or two of your preferred variety, add in a platter of nibbles if you’d like, and check out the stunning views of Lake Rotorua and the cityscape.
Volcanic Hills provides a great incentive to start your evening early as the winery is open only 12-6pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12-5pm on Sundays (these days, it pays to double-check hours and days of any business before you leave home).
Skyline Gondolas operate over longer hours, so be sure to arrive at the Skyline terminal at least an hour before the winery closes to ensure you have enough time to enjoy the ride up and your beverages.
If Rachel, Monika and Phoebe of Friends have the Central Perk Café, The Fainting Goat could be the equivalent in Rotorua. This new gastro pub on a busy corner in the CBD is easy to find just a few doors down from the five-star Pullman Rotorua hotel (hint: this is a great place for your out-of-town gals to stay!). Bar snacks, platters for sharing, and pizzas by the foot are perfect for various sized groups.
Quench your thirst with the premium beers and ciders on tap, as well as spirits, many of these New Zealand brewed or distilled. Or make your way through the specialty cocktail list – responsibly, of course. Outdoor seating is perfect on warmer evenings, but the interior is hip, cosy and comfy. There’s even a couch the Friends crew would approve of.
Terrace Kitchen’s interior is crisp, clean and modern, perfect for setting off the gorgeous creations of executive chef Timo Dicker and his team. Choose from a cosy round corner table near the open-plan kitchen, tables in the dining room or the lush patio, or dine at the long oak counter overlooking the kitchen. Whether smoked, baked, roasted, fried or just picked from the on-site garden, the dishes are all made with love on the premises by the international team of culinary professionals.
Ponsonby Rd Lounge BarA night on the town must include Ponsonby Rd Lounge Bar, and being only a block away from Terrace Kitchen, you can skip the taxi. You’ll love the vibe in this little boutique club in the heart of Eat Streat, an all-weather, all-season dining precinct in the CBD near the lakefront.
Grab a table outside on the patio for a great people-watching posi, or head inside where you can check out the live entertainment and dance floor. A great wine list, range of beers, extensive spirits, and bar foods are ready and waiting.
Right, so the night has gotten long and the dance floor a bit too crowded for your liking. Simply continue just two blocks up the street and you’ll find Pig & Whistle Historic Pub. Don’t let the name fool you, this iconic spot is anything but old and dusty.
While it’s popular for diners from lunchtime onwards, once the covers band heats things up, the dance floor will beckon. Loads of craft beers and ciders on tap, plus the full complement of spirits will keep you going, and the menu is available until 10pm.
Whatever you get up to when you gather your girls, the Rotorua memories you create are sure to tide you over to the next outing. And if you decide to make it a weekend affair, plan ahead and do check with the friendly travel experts at one of our i-SITE Visitor Information Centres for deals and specials on activities. By the way, they’re also the only i-SITEs in the country who offer a 100% money-back guarantee on any Rotorua accommodation booked through them.