Famously Family with Adrian Hodge

Adrian Hodge is a self-employed Web Designer and Photographer.

"I moved to Rotorua with my girlfriend Kim in 1999, we got married in 2005 and now have two amazing kids, Joshua 9 and Kaylee 7. We love the size and family-friendly nature of Rotorua, there is so much on offer and nothing is more than 15 minutes drive away.

The amazing landscapes around Rotorua provides the perfect place for families to play.. and offers many great photography opportunities!"

You may have seen Adrian and his family in RotoruaNZ's YouTube videos or TV commercials.

Getting Hitched with Pete Duncan

Pete Duncan is a registered celebrant, event planner and co-founder of the multi-award winning business, The Wedding Guy. Since 2006 Pete and his team have been helping brides and grooms plan for their big day.

“It is a privilege for us to work alongside nearly-weds seeking a unique destination wedding and we take pride in delivering an exceptional experience that's both professional and personal.

"Rotorua is blessed with stunning natural scenery and has a myriad of beautiful ceremony locations, gorgeous venues, and talented local wedding experts to assist in creating a perfect wedding day."

Naturally Active with Annika Smail

"Growing up in Switzerland I heard about New Zealand's abundance of wilderness and the opportunities it offered for outdoor loving people like me. I moved here in 2005 for the mountain biking, but the lakes and the central location to mountains (snow) and sea added to the draw card. Rotorua provides the perfect playground for me to be active, to bike and run, and to enjoy the natural environment."

Annika teaches mountain bike skills clinics and writes training plans. She says she feels privileged to be doing what she feels passionate about. Visit Annika's website 

Photo of Annika taken by Graham Murray

Explore Rotorua with Sarah Crawford

"A few years ago I was roughly the size of Mokoia Island and my health was poor. Making the decision to change, I began walking the trails Rotorua."

"As my fitness increased and with camera in hand, I explored different and more difficult tracks, every day a new adventure. Three years later I competed in the Whakarewarewa quarter marathon and placed in the top thirty."

"I credit a large part of my life change to the stunning beauty found in the forest and lakes around Rotorua. I'm still a work in progress, but I'm determined and inspired!"

Naturally Active with Caraline Abbott

Caraline Abbott is a Conservation Partnerships Ranger with the Department of Conservation.

Growing up in rural England, her transition to Kiwi life was made easier by the scenic and recreational opportunities in Rotorua and the surrounding areas. Her leisure time is often spent enjoying nature outdoors with her family.

“Rotorua has so many natural gems – from geothermal hotspots to native NZ birds – you just need to know how to find them!”

Time To Ride with Graeme Simpson

Graeme Simpson:

  • Started mountain biking in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest in the early 1990s.
  • Media director for the 2006 UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Champs, 2010 Singlespeed Worlds and Rotorua Bike Festival, among other events.
  • Writer for a variety of national and international mountain bike media.

“To me, the Whakarewarewa trail network is what Maori call ‘taonga’ or treasure. It’s a unique place.”

Photo: Nick Lambert

New tourism venture launches on Lake Rotorua

A unique waka (canoe) paddling attraction for Rotorua locals and visitors is set to open this weekend – just in time for the start of summer.
Ki te Hoe – Waka Paddle Rotorua is the first venture to offer guests the opportunity to crew their own waka on Lake Rotorua.
“In te reo Māori, ‘ki te hoe’ means get ready to paddle and that’s exactly what our new waka experience enables you to do,” says Eugene Berryman-Kamp, CEO Tumu Whakarae, and general manager.
“Our vision is to create a viable and authentic Māori cultural experience and establish waka as a regular sight on our lake Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamoemoe.”
Destination Rotorua chief executive Michelle Templer says this type of authentic cultural experience reinforces the manaakitanga (hospitality) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) the city is internationally renowned for.
“It’s exciting to welcome another quality Māori cultural venture to Rotorua, one that is passionate about preserving and sharing the history of Te Arawa people who came to New Zealand via waka more than 800 years ago. It’s also very fitting as Rotorua is the place where Māori tourism began in the late 19th century.”
The traditionally styled waka tētē will travel along the lakefront to view the historic Māori village of Ohinemutu, across Ruapeka Bay to the mouth of the Utuhina Stream, stopping along the way to view sites of significance. Paddlers will hear stories from their kaihautū and kaihoe about the iwi’s history and relationship to the area, and their intimate connection with the environment.
The fleet includes two 9-metre waka which can take up to 14 passengers each. The waka can be rigged together to create a double-hulled vessel, as well – perfect for larger tour groups.
Ki te Hoe – Waka Paddle Rotorua adds another facet to the range of tourism businesses based at the lakefront which includes flights via helicopter and float plane, tours to Mokoia Island, jet boating and parasailing, and cruises on New Zealand’s only stern wheel paddle-driven vessel, the Lakeland Queen.

On The Water with Mark Sherburn

Mark Sherburn has a lifelong passion for trout fishing, lakes and the great outdoors. He makes Rotorua his home and enjoys playing in and around the region's many lakes. Mark works for Eastern Fish & Game and enjoys promoting the local trout fishery.

“The lakes are a wonderful resource for all to enjoy. There is always something to do here”      

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