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Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

Sydney
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Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

Hi all,

We're coming in to Tauranga on a cruise ship in a week, and have hired a car which we pick up at 8 and drop off at 4:30, planning to drive to Rororua.

Can anyone give me advice on which order we should do our sights in to limit driving? We will take Tauranga Direct road SH36 as earlier posts have said this saves time, and it would be good to not be doubling back alot!

The things we would like to see/do are:

Gondola/Luge

Agroventures (Zorb, Schweeb, Freefall)

Hot Springs to bathe in

Mud Baths to bathe in

Geysers, thermal sights to watch

I've read lots of posts but am also wondering with Hot Springs/Mud/Geysers which we should visit, hopefully only two places?

We'd like to bathe in Hot Springs, preferably more natural, large ones rather than a man-made one like square concrete, also not an indoor or a fancy spa. Can anyone recommend one, and which is good to see the geysers as well (I've read Wai-O-Tapu is great but am hoping to find one place which is good for viewing and bathing, as we'll also go to Hell's Gate for Mud Bathing)

Thanks very much all!

New Zealand
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1. Re: Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

SH36 only saves time is it's open! :) This route had had major road repairs over the last year and unfortunately there was a huge rock fall in a gorge a few months ago that has further delayed it opening full time. The workers are taking a break at the moment but I believe they're back to work on the 11th. The road is not closed all day just for short periods of time while they blast rock or move heavy machinery about, it's guaranteed open during the "rush hours" when commuting people are heading to or from work in Tauranga or Rotorua. Closures only last 30min or so at a time but in your schedule that could mean you miss things. If you let me know the date you are in Tauranga I can check to see what they are doing.

This is the itinerary I would do and in this order-

Drive to Rotorua via Tauranga Direct Rd

Agroventures(this will take you 2-3hrs)

Gondola/Luge(2hrs)

Hot springs- there are no natural springs within easy reach of Rotorua city when you're on a tight schedule. Most hot springs are man-made, they have to be for health regulations. Any natural pools that are around the district aren't large either, they're more just small pools in a flowing creek or on a beach, some just indentations in the sand with a few rocks to block the water flow.

Your best option if you want to push it, is Kerosene Creek or "the Secret Spot"(which ain't so secret anymore) both are off SH5 30 minutes south of Rotorua and both very near Wai-o-tapu Geothermal park. You're really going to have to manage your time to fit all this in and be back drop the car at 4:30pm.

nzhotpools.co.nz/hot-pools/the-bridge-the-se…

Last but not least- Hells Gate- Mud baths & georthermal. if you're running short on time you could give it a miss, it's on your way back to Tauranga on SH33 via Te Puke(the quickest route from the side of town you'll be).

Wai-o-tapu geyser plays at 10:15am every day, so you'll miss that one. But you can see Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia(Whakarewarewa) geothermal park from a public viewing platform(without going into the park) on the main road as you head south to Wai-o-tapu. Whether it is playing just when you stop is another thing. It acn go off at any time.

Keighley, United...
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2. Re: Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

Hi, youre not part of the group of twenty from a cruise ship docking in Tauranga , one of whom was asking this very advice not long back, are you?

New Zealand
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3. Re: Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

I doubt it Yorkshire, they all ask the same questions! ;) You would have thought I'd have learnt by now and posted the answers in the top questions box wouldn't you? :)

Sydney
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4. Re: Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

Thanks again Zappers, especiialy for the Road Work Info. Also the order you suggested looks good, if we start early enough (!!) we may be able to have lunch at the top of the gondola. Also found a map of Rotarua attractions if it's useful for others in the future!!

http://www.rotoruanz.com/experiences/map

2 other questions (really really do appreciate the help)

- what time does do the rush hours start and finish in NZ, when the road is guaranteed open. We're there on 13 January and will depart Tauranga 8 - 8:30, leave Rotarua about 3 - 3:30. If you could check about the roadwork, that would be really fantastic, an enormous help

- by Tauranga Direct Rd do you still mean 36 - looks most direct on the map

Thanks for the Hot Spring info - I remember when I was about 10 (a long time ago!) going to Rotorua on a Cruise ship tour, and we all sat in what seemed like a huge, hot pool at the time. In my head that's what I was aiming for, maybe it's a false memory...! I'd rather go to Wai-O-Tapu for the geothermal, but would like to do the Mud Baths, so as Hell's Gate is closer we'll try to do that one. And if we spend less time than expected at Agroventures (I may lose my nerve...), then Polynesian Spas is en route as well if time allows.

And...No Yorkshire, not part of the group of 20! I did read that post - spent about 3 days trying to get the info so as to try not to ask exactly the same questions, still didn't succeed! Sorry about that......and thanks everyone for the help.

New Zealand
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5. Re: Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

It's no problem birdling, we don't have to answer if we don't want to :) I think I've been caught though; hook, line and sinker!

Yes the Tga Direct road is SH36 and from your timing I think you'll be fine using it but I'll check in the morning for you just in case. I think it was guaranteed open for 2hrs from 7am and 4pm. I came through it just before Xmas and only had a 15 minute wait while they shifted machinery. They are nearly finished so I would think it wasn't closed too often.

It could have well been the Polynesian Pools you went to back when Adam was a cowboy, thay have had many major overhauls over the years and I seem to remember one huge cloudy coloured pool when I was a kid.

New Zealand
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6. Re: Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

Here's the latest information on SH36, dated Dec18th-

http://www.rdc.govt.nz/YourCouncil/CurrentProjects/~/media/RDC/Files/Activities/Current%20Projects/Mangorewa%20Project%20Update%2039.ashx

From what I have read and heard locally there shouldn't be too many closures at all now, the gorge is pretty well clear and they're just finishing the road side touches etc. You should be fine to use it. I'll make a phone call tomorrow to see if there is anything further to add.

ETA- Darn you'll have to copy and paste that link it didn't "blue link"

Edited: 3:14 am, January 06, 2010
7. Re: Tauranga - Rotorua Itiniery Help Please!!

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