Rotorua finale: A volcanic lake walk via some gondola and luge business
Rotorua ain’t short on stuff to do, the trick is finding a balance to suit all tastes. Our final day swept over some of the city’s main attractions, producing something for everyone and ensuring peace and harmony.
After finishing up at Te Puia we went in search of Mt Ngongotaha, home to the gondola and luge – with boys in tow, an obvious inclusion. The gondola ride up wasn’t especially long (or steep) so delivered us with minimal faffing (and foot tingling / tummy curdling). At the top there’s enough to occupy a family for the whole day, cost aside, though we settled for scratching the surface.
Rotorua can be expensive and we’re fans of free things, especially things to constructively channel two now sugar-fuelled boys. We went to the inner city for a short walk through the Government Gardens, land originally gifted to the Crown by Maori in the late 1800s. Here is one of Rotorua’s most iconic images – the stunning bath house, these days a museum.
The Gardens back onto Lake Rotorua which sits in a volcanic crater created some 240,000 years ago, give or take. The geothermal activity still present contributes a high sulphur content, which combined with the lake’s relatively shallow depth, makes for some interesting colourations and whatnot as we followed the lakefront trail for a while.
We took pizza back to the house for our final night which reduced (and every little reduction helps) the amount of cleaning required in the morning before we had to say goodbye to Lake Okareka and Rotorua. Time to go home for work and school – yay! 😐