Rotorua Visitor Guide - - What’s On In -

If you’re keen to com­mune with na­ture and en­joy some fam­ily time away – but not too far – from the cen­tral city, you don’t have to go far in Rotorua to find a per­fect pic­nic spot. There are fan­tas­tic lit­tle beaches and green spa­ces at all the lakes close to the city – un­der the trees at the vil­lage green at the lake end of Fen­ton Street, Holden’s Bay to the east of the city cen­tre, on the way to the air­port, or even bet­ter, Tik­i­tapu (Blue Lake), Lake Okareka or Lake Tarawera. These three beau­ti­ful lakes are 10 to 15 min­utes drive fromthe cen­tral city – head right up Tarawera Road at the big round­about on Te Ngae Road and ei­ther take a left down to Okareka or con­tinue on­wards to Tik­i­tapu and fur­ther out. There are ameni­ties at the main beach ar­eas at each of these pop­u­lar lakes with plenty of space to run around, en­joy a swim be­fore or af­ter your pic­nic or just sit lake­side and en­joy the gor­geous views. There are walks to be had if you’re in the mood – check the De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion web­site for in­for­ma­tion about walks near your in­tended pic­nic des­ti­na­tion. If its trees rather than wa­ter you’re af­ter, turn right a short dis­tance up Tarawera Road into Long Mile Road which will take you to the in­for­ma­tion cen­tre area of the Red­woods part of Rotorua’s Whakare­warewa for­est – home of the city’s world fa­mous moun­tain­bik­ing trail net­work as well as miles of walk­ing and run­ning tracks. The area around the in­for­ma­tion cen­tre is ideal for pic­nics and there are un­lim­ited op­tions if you want to take a stroll or just ex­plore the for­est nearby. If you’re not keen to ven­ture out of the cen­tral city, there are some great pic­nic op­tions on the fringes of the CBD. There’s plenty of pleas­ant spots for a pic­nic around the Lake Rotorua lake­front area – where there is also a great chil­dren’s play­ground – and the nearby Gov­ern­ment Gar­dens, where the Rotorua Mu­seum, is lo­cated, along with a play­ground near the rose gar­dens. Also near the CBD is the geo­ther­mal Kuirau Park. This well man­i­cured park is bounded by Ranolf Street, Lake Road and Puku­atua Street with ve­hi­cle ac­cess from both Ranolf and Puku­atua Streets. As well as pretty flower gar­dens, lush green ar­eas and lovely trees you can get a close-up look at var­i­ous ac­tive geo­ther­mal fea­tures. It’s im­por­tant you stick to the path­ways and don’t cross bar­ri­ers around the geo­ther­mal ac­tiv­ity, no mat­ter how be­nign it may ap­pear. Also in Kuirau Park are a chil­dren’s play area, a large gar­den area with plenty of lush trees to pro­vide shade for your pic­nic, an or­na­men­tal lake and geother­mally heated foot pools where you can soak tired feet.

Take care :

Wher­ever you go for your sum­mer pic­nic and walk, re­mem­ber : • If go­ing for more than a short stroll, wear ap­pro­pri­ate shoes – heels, flats or fancy boots are no good, wear sand­shoes or tramp­ing boots • Take a jacket or some­thing warm –

just in case • Never ven­ture off the beaten track • If there are no rub­bish bins, take your

rub­bish with you.

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