Spring is upon us, and just like those New Year's resolutions we make, this season is a great time to make yourself some fresh promises, shake off your winter slumber, and get back out into life.
In case you missed it, El Niño is on its way (the weather pattern, not a person from Spain) and set to herald a long, hot, dry summer for us in Rotorua. To make the most of this amazing weather, we need to Pledge away the dust with a self-cleaning, spring action plan, getting the body, mind, and puku (stomach) all set for a summer of fun in the sun. We’ve created this fun checklist of the best ways to spring clean yourself!
De-rust your mental chains and embark on a restorative journeySo, winter has slowed you down, with lots of snuggles in onesies with your loved ones or fur babies. Now it's time to wake up your senses for an action-packed summer of fun. To remove the winter rust and restore you to your best self, we have the secret sauce that can speed it all up at the brand-new Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa.
Their aptly named Restorative Journey (Wai Whakaora) is a planned therapeutic experience designed to maximise the well-being benefits of the natural environment, from the heavens to the waters and the earth. In particular, it is designed to revitalise the senses through the transformative effect of hot and cold experiences.
Insider tip: Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy this experience at your own pace, perhaps setting aside at least a couple hours.
Get ready for the dry summer by getting as wet as possible
Freshen up with an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the world's best, most exciting rafting river – the Kaituna. Shake off the winter chill and spring into action with a thrilling descent down the Grade 5 river, complete with the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall – the 7-metre (21-foot) Tutea Falls!
Insider tip: After your thrilling rafting adventure, visit Okere Falls Store for an amazing toastie and coffee. Don't forget your camera; this food and café experience is picture-perfect.
Open up your lungs with some adventure-induced screamingSpring’s sense of renewal and fresh beginnings perfectly complements the exhilarating spirit of Velocity Valley. It’s the ideal season to shake off the winter doldrums and embrace the thrill of new experiences, making it the best time to dive headfirst (literally via the famous Swoop, or figuratively via jetboat and other activities) into the adrenaline-packed activities this operator offers. Take in the pumping sounds, the upbeat vibe of the crew, and drop into some lung-clearing amazingness.
Insider tip: Nothing creates bonds quite like trying out the Swoop. Capture the moments; you'll simultaneously love and laugh at the pictures – they're that funny and social media gold.
Lakes, cakes, and matesGrab your mates and head down Tarawera Road, the gateway to some of our favourite roto (lakes). Spring in Rotorua means days of adventure at the beautiful lakes like Ōkāreka, Tikitapu, and Tarawera. Whether you prefer swimming, boating, fishing, or hiking, these roto offer endless springtime excitement for everyone. Before you embark on your adventure, make a pit stop at La Bonne Bakery for a delightful lunch.
Another fantastic option is on Rotomahana, one of the geothermal lakes at the foot of Mt Tarawera. Steaming Cliffs Kayak tour with Paddle Board Rotorua (pictured at top). This is a great way to really get amongst it as our famous maunga (mountain) watches over you as you kayak the warm waters over the final resting place of the Pink and White Terraces and enjoy the steamy scenery around you.
Insider tip: Arrive early for La Bonne’s baguettes and always ask for extra homemade French mayonnaise.
Cocktails and kai
After all this action, it's time to reward your puku – after all, you've earned it. Rotorua has some amazing options for you. ANI's Gin Bar and Tapas Restaurant, Sabroso, The Fainting Goat (that's one of their platters pictured above), and Poco Tapas & Wine are leading the way, enticing people away from the big city bars to experience service and delivery that is truly unique to Rotorua.
Insider tip: Book ahead. These places fill up faster than your DMs after you post a hot pic of your holiday in Rotorua.
These are just some of the fantastic and fun ways you can shake off the wet winter we’ve had across Aotearoa.
For more exciting options check out RotoruaNZ.com for all ideas, great and small, on how to put the spring back in your step in Rotorua.