Rotorua is known as the thermal wonderland of New Zealand. It is a place of fascinating Maori culture, hot springs and boiling mud pools.
This city, in the Bay of Plenty area of the North Island, is located on a volcanic plateau which has some of the world's most lively geothermal activity. All around the city there are natural eruptions of steam, hot water and mud. Here you can clearly see the turbulent forces that have formed New Zealand.
About 600 years ago the Te Arawa people settled in Rotorua. Their presence provides several cultural experiences, such as taking a tour of an authentic pre-European Maori village or trying a Hangi feast. Hangi is a traditional way of preparing a meal in an oven underground, while making use of the hot steam from the volcanic activity.
Furthermore you can just enjoy the view of the spectacular and colorful environment or indulge in a hot spring spa treatment. For the more active people amongst you there are some attractions such as skydiving or mountain biking that will get your adrenalin flowing.
2 Explore the real Middle-earth
Lord of the Rings has been one of the most popular films in Hollywood's history. This exciting trilogy was filmed entirely in New Zealand. For fans of these movies it is possible to visit the stunning locations and landscapes that starred as Middle-earth.
Some Lord of the Rings locations you can visit are Matamata, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, Mackenzie Country, Southern Lakes and Fiordland. In Matamata you can visit the Shire region of Middle-earth which has been currently rebuild to be used for the filming of The Hobbit trilogy. This area will now remain as a permanent attraction.
Following these locations from the North of New Zealand to the South, will definitely provide you with a tour of the most beautiful and memorable places of New Zealand.
1 Milford Sound
Described as the "8th Wonder of the World" and voted as the world's top travel destination in an international TripAdvisor survey in 2008, Milford Sound is number 1 on this list.
Milford Sound offers some of the world's most amazing coastal scenery with its dramatic peaks and beautiful dark blue waters. When it rains in Milford Sound, as it often does, waterfalls cascade downwards from the mountains, only multiplying the magnificent effect.
There are different ways of exploring this memorable attraction. You can explore the lake by kayak or cruise boat while interacting with the marine wildlife. On land you can walk through this hiking mecca.
*Culled from www.justlanded.com