Rotorua Interesting Facts

Rotorua is one the most popular and iconic regions in New Zealand with its rich Maori culture and eye-catching geothermal activity.  However, there are some interesting facts about the city that you may not be aware of.

1. Over a third of Rotorua's population is Maori, the highest proportion of any city in New Zealand.

2. The word 'Rotorua' is a Maori word that means 'second lake'.

3. Lake Rotorua was created over 140,000 years ago.

4. Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the youngest geothermal system on the planet. The valley is a wildlife refuge and protected scenic reserve. 

5. The Lady Knox Geyser at Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, erupts just once a day at 10.15am.

6. Rotorua was first discovered approximately 600 years ago by 'Ihenga', a Maori leader. The legend tells the story that Ihenga was searching for food for his pregnant wife when one of his dogs ran after after a kiwi. Upon his return, the dog had picked up a wet coat and proceed to throw up a half-digested fish. The Maori leader concluded that water must be nearby so he explored the nearby area and discovered  Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti.

7. Zorbing, the adventure that involves rolling down a hill in a large inflatable ball, was the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

8. The Shweeb Ride in the Velocity Valley attraction, is the world’s first human-powered monorail racetrack.

9. Maori culture is an important way of life in the region, with over 35 maraes, live Maori shows and cultural attractions.

10. Rotorua is a city surrounded by lakes,15 of which are fishable with trout (Rainbow, Brook, Brown and Tiger).

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