If there’s a place that lives up to its billing for smelling like farts, Rotorua is that place. From the first eggy whiff you are hooked into finding just what the source of the pong is!
As it turns out, it’s bubbling out of the ground everywhere you care to look. In fact for a few dollars they’ll even let you bathe in the stuff. I suspect the curative powers are exaggerated, but the genuine excitement of sitting in water made hot by the remnants of a gigantic volcano which shaped this landscape thousands of years ago is real. Polynesian Spa, tick!
Inside tip: don’t pay to see geothermal wonders. Go for a walk around the shore at the back of the Rotorua Museum to see geothermal activity for free, before venturing to Wai-o-tapu. Here you will find free mud pots to gaze at, and the famed “secret spot”.
Warning: for reasons unknown you will totally want to touch the super smooth looking mud, and will end up staring at it for aaaaaages.
This is my favourite snap. Under a one lane bridge on a small country road there flows a hot river. When we went it was virtually empty save for two local Maori bathing in its waters. Find the right spot and you can drift between chilling cold water, and scalding hot. It’s unreal! Absolutely stunning.
Rotorua, come for the smell, stay for the hot water.