Rotorua, New Zealand

Rotorua is a city located on the edge of a lake that bears the same name. The name comes from the Maori language, “the second great lake of Kahumatamomoe.” It sits in the Bay of Plenty Region on the upper tip of the Northern Island of New Zealand. New Zealand itself is an island located off the mainland of Australia. Over the years it has proved to be a valuable and beautiful island. It is now a very popular tourist destination, for both outdoor enthusiasts and those who enjoy the historical importance of the city. It also serves as the epicenter of the Rotorua District, or the seat of government for that particular area of New Zealand territory. However, the main tourist attraction of the city is the fact that it is known for its geothermal activity. Rotorua is home to several geysers that draw tourists in both domestically and internationally.

Geothermal Vents And Stream At Waimangu, Rotorua, New ZealandRotorua, again, comes from the Maori language. Literally, Rota means ‘lake,’ and tua means ‘two.’ So “lake of two.” Thus the Maori called is the “second lake.” Kahumatomomoe dedicated the lake to his uncle. The name may also translate at “crater lake.” The area of Rotorua was settled originally by Maori, specifically the tribe of the Te Arawa Iwi. History does make it clear if Phillip Tapsell was the first European to settle the territory, although it is a common theory.Map of New Zealand He was trading at Maketu Bay when he came to Rotorua in 1828. Interestingly enough, he married into the Te Arawa people and proceeded to become highly esteemed and beloved by the natives because of this. Thomas Chapman and Henry Williams, missionaries at the time, visited the island in 1831. Chapman and his wife established an official mission at Te Koutu, which was abandoned within a year. However, he returned and later built a second mission.

The lake sides were famous for providing the sites to many famed skirmishes during the New Zealand wars of the 1860s. During the late 19th century, people began to believe that it would be prudent to turn Rotorua into a spa resort, due to the fact that they had geothermal activity, and thus, hot springs. The introduction of the railroad and increased access to the little city quickly turned the small territory into a thriving community. The population steadily increased over the 20th century. In 1922 it was declared a ‘borough,’ and in 1962 it was declared a city and in 1969 it was deemed a district.

The climate of the area is somewhat subtropical. The geothermal activity of the area lends a hand to the temperatures, which can sometimes be slightly humid. The lake, the hot springs and geysers are all popular for drawing in tourists. They are most often viewed during the daytime. The Buried Village is fun to see. It was once buried underneath ashes and lava after a volcanic eruption, but today it serves to stand as a unique preservation of the Maori people’s past and way of life.


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