August 26, 2016

Real Rotorua

While it’s pretty easy to see a lot of things in Rotorua using tour companies and public transport … without a car, it can be a challenge to visit the non-touristy spots that locals enjoy most.

Luckily, the folks at my hostel suggested I book with Real Rotorua, a newly launched tour company that goes to places the other companies — and public buses — do not.

That’s how I got to see this …

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And this!

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It’s important to note that I did NOT boost the saturation in these photos. The colors are that vivid.

And this turquoise!

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That turquoise color is the light reflecting off the sand in Hamurana Springs. And speaking of … have you ever had a taste of fresh spring water, dipped straight from the source?

I have!

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I also had homemade hot chocolate that Guide Stephen’s wife packed for us. And tasty biscuits too.

During my half-day tour, we visited Rotorua’s Blue Lake and Green Lake. We saw Okere Falls, beautiful redwoods, a cave, Lake Rotoiti, and Lake Tarawera.

We also got a scenic look at Mount Tarawera, which looked very different before it erupted on 10 June 1886. You can learn more about the eruption here.

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Stephen also showed me how to spot a Silver Fern and explained how the silver side can be used to mark a hiking trail. It’s particularly handy if you’re hiking at night since the silver side reflects the moonlight.

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We even squeezed in a few geothermals! These were extra steamy, just like I like ’em.

I’m so glad I booked this tour. The price was very reasonable, and I saw so many things I never would’ve been able to access without a car. Best of all, there was never another tour bus — or tourist — in sight.

Here are the rest of my photos. Many thanks to Stephen and Real Rotorua!

 

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  1. […] got my first taste (literally!) of New Zealand’s beautiful turquoise-colored water during my visit to Hamurana Springs in […]

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