Rotorua and the sacred waters of the Bay of Plenty lie just 230km (140 miles) southeast of Auckland in New Zealand’s North Island.
This famously lively geothermal hot spot abounds with spurting geysers, steaming hot springs and bubbling mud pools. It’s been a sacred place for the Maori for centuries, and today it’s one of the best spots in the country to catch a Maori cultural performance and join in a traditional hangi feast.
Rotorua boasts some glorious colonial architecture, classic botanic gardens and paddle-steamer cruises on the lake.
You can also join in some of New Zealand’s wackier adrenaline sports here, like zorbing downhill in a translucent sphere, surfing artificial reefs, whitewater rafting and sledging, and mountain biking through forests of redwoods.