Introducing Rotorua & the Bay of Plenty
Captain Cook christened the Bay of Plenty when he cruised past in 1769, and plentiful it remains. Blessed with sunshine and sand, the bay stretches from Waihi Beach in the west to Opotiki in the east, with the holiday hubs of Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Whakatane in between.
Offshore from Whakatane is New Zealand’s most active volcano, Whakaari (White Island). Volcanic activity defines this region, and nowhere is this subterranean sexiness more obvious than in Rotorua. Here the daily business of life goes on among steaming hot springs, explosive geysers, bubbling mud pools and the billows of sulphurous gas responsible for the town’s ‘unique’ eggy smell.
Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty are also strongholds of Maori tradition, presenting plenty of opportunities to engage with NZ's rich indigenous culture: check out a power-packed concert performance, chow down at a hangi (Maori feast) or skill-up with some Maori arts-and-crafts techniques.
Need to know
Catch a whiff of Rotorua’s sulphur-rich, asthmatic airs and you’ve already got a taste of NZ’s most dynamic thermal area, home to spurting geysers, steaming hot springs and exploding mud pools. The Maori revered this place, naming one of the most spectacular springs Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Waters).