Wai-o-tapu: There is a huge selection of geothermal activity in the region, but none more beautiful and colourful as Wai-O-Tapu about 20 minutes South of Rotorua on SH5. Each morning at 10.15am, Summer or Winter, the Lady Knox Geyser erupts. Even if this eruption is somewhat contrived it is still a guaranteed view of Mother Nature and her power. The walk around the pools and bubbling mud is excellent and the Champagne Pool is magical.
Rainbow Springs: This natural wonderland is an ideal place to experience New Zealand flora and fauna. The trout are huge, the native birds playful, the Tuatara, a direct descendant of the Dinosaurs, old and a real live Kiwi can be viewed in its nocturnal habitat.
At The Springs you can visit The Kiwi Encounter where they are rearing baby Kiwi, nurturing them and releasing them into safe vermin free environments. There is also a visit to a natural habitat where the birds are only feet away.
Polynesian Spa: There are several facets to a visit to the Spa. You can simply enjoy a relaxing soak in the pools, private, public or the Luxury Lake Spa. Then there's the Aix Massage, a treat for the weary traveler. This method of having jets of hot water over the body while it is being massaged was pioneered in Aix les Bains in France.
Te Puia: Visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute and see craftsmen hand on their skills to the carvers of tomorrow. As you tour through the thermal activity of the Whakarewarewa Valley, wonder at the power of nature as mud boils and geysers shoot boiling hot water skywards.