If there’s one thing I remember about Rotorua, it’s that lovely, penetrating rotten egg smell. However, after having a look around all Rotorua has to offer, that smell quickly disappears to the background (well.. to a certain extent).

Nicknamed ‘Sulphur City’, Rotorua’s distinctive smell comes from the hydrogen sulphide emissions in the area. I learned that because of this, people sometimes also refer to it as ‘rotten-rua’. The more you know..

Before arriving to the city, we drove past an alpaca farm. I don’t know what sound came out of my mouth, but Justin knows me well enough to know it meant ‘pull over now’. Just looking at their stupid faces made us lol so hard our day could only get better from that point on.


Our first stop was the famous Redwoods, or –to make it a little easier- the Whakarewarewa Forest. This forest was established in 1901 as an experiment to test the sustainability of different native and exotic forest species for commercial planting. The Redwoods is home to a large number of native plant species as well as giant Californian coast redwoods. It’s a very popular area for walking, running, horse riding and mountain biking.

We did the ‘Tree Walk’, which is a short walk consisting of 21 suspension bridges traversing between 22 Californian coastal redwoods. Walking through a huge forest 12 meters above the ground was quite a cool experience.


After the Treewalk, we went chasing after another bunch of waterfalls. We made our way to the Okere River, where we went on a bush walk to witness rafters and kayakers fly down the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. We will for sure come back in summer to have a go at it ourselves (although I’ll most likely pee my pants).


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