The word Rotorua in Maori means “The second great lake of the Kahumatamomoe”. It is located in the Bay of Plenty region in the North Island of New Zealand and sits on the southern shores of the lake. Hamurana Lodge boutique hotel is located within a pleasant 15 minute drive to Rotorua which is also the heart of the North Island. Rotorua is just 60km south of Tauranga, 80km north of Taupo, 105km east of Hamilton and 230km southeast of Auckland.
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Rotorua has the largest tourism industry in the district and is a top destination for international and domestic tourists. The city is famous for its geothermal activity, geysers and hot mud pools. Rotorua is also offers an abundance of activities for the more adventurous and is New Zealand’s Maori cultural heartland.
North East of Lake Rotorua and Hamurana Lodge Boutique Hotel is Hamurana Spring which has the deepest natural fresh water spring on the North Island of New Zealand. The spring is 920 feet about sea level and is approximately 15 metres deep. It produces 4 million litres of the clearest water every hour at a temperature of around 10 degrees celcius. The spring flows for 1km as a stream before joining Lake Rotorua and in summer the stream is home to many rainbow trout. The surroundings of Hamurana Spring are home to many species of birds including black teal, scaup, herons and endangered dabchick. A very tranquil and beautiful place to relax in.
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The full Maori name for Rotorua is Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe; roto means lake and rua two - Rotorua thus meaning \'Second lake\'. Rotorua Lake was the second lake which the Maori chief Ihenga (the ancestral explorer of the Te Arawa) discovered and he dedicated it to his uncle Kahumatamomoe.
Initially the area was settled by Maori of the Te Atawa iwi. Phillip Tapsell is known to be the first European in the area, he was trading at the Bay of Plenty coast in Maketu from 1828. He later married into Te Arawa and was very highly regarded.
Due to the Rotorua region being sheltered by high country to the south and east, it has less wind than the many other parts of New Zealand. With Rotorua being inland it experiences a wide range of temperatures. A typical summer day air temperature ranges from around 21 degrees Celsius to 26 degrees Celsius and rarely exceeds 30 degrees Celsius. A typical winters day air temperature ranges from 10 degrees Celsius to 14 degrees Celsius.
Thermal activity is the main tourist attraction of Rotorua. It is host to a range of geothermal wonders such as bubbling mud pool. Hot thermal springs, geysers and the Buried Village (Te Wairoa) named after it was buried in 1886 by the Mount Tarawera eruption.
To the west end of Rotorua central is the remarkable Kuirau Park which boasts of hot bubbling mud pools scattered around the park, lending a surreal air to the setting. Visitors can also soak their feel in designated hot pools.
Rotorua is nicknamed ‘The Sulphur City’ due to the hydrogen sulphide emissions which gives the city it’s ‘rotten eggs’ smell. Hamurana Lodge is not located near these emissions.
The Rotorua region being an aquatic paradise is host to 17 lakes. It’s no wonder that activities such as fishing, waterskiing and swimming are popular during the summer. Lake Rotorua is the departure and landing point for float planes. The lakes have also been host to great events such as the 2007 World Waterski Championships. Lake Rotorua was host for the World Blind Sailing Championships in March 2009.
Rotorua is also known for its interesting historic architecture and botanical gardens. It has been known as a spa town since the 1800’s which reflects in the buildings. Another place of interest are the Government Gardens which are close to the lakeshore at the eastern end of town.
Mountain biking is another great attraction of Rotorua. The Redwoods forest, also known as Whakarewarewa has been described as ‘The Disneyland of mountain biking’ and has some of the best mountain biking trails in New Zealand. Rotorua also hosted the UCU Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in August 2006.