Rotorua: Where It All Began


This is it, this is the last road trip here in New Zealand. Today’s blog post is all about my recent trip down to Rotorua… my very final trip before leaving for Australia. It feels weird to say that. This trip was an exciting one. I went down with my friend Rachel, who very quickly became my closest friend in New Zealand. For her, having never been to Rotorua before, this trip was one of many firsts. I wanted to do things I had never done before all the while, showing her around the very best of what Rotorua had to offer. A happy medium was struck so I bring you, 24 hours in Rotorua.


We travelled down late at night on a Sunday. We finished work after a hectic weekend, jumped in the car and made the 3 hour long journey, down to Rotorua. We checked in at one of the nicest Airbnb’s I’ve ever stayed at, had a bottle of wine (drink sensibly kids) then hit the hay. Early morning and we were up. We had booked tickets via to go to the Redwood Forest Tree Top Walk. I’ve done this before and let me tell you, I would highly suggest going at 9:00am as you’ll barely see another soul. This was the perfect way to get the attraction all to ourselves, at a discounted price.


After Redwoods it was time to head to the lake. For me, this was the most prominent part of the trip as this was where it all began. I remember arriving in New Zealand in October 2018 and instantly regretting my decision to come out here. I felt lost, I didn’t have anything planned, I had no job, no friends here… I was lost. I decided to try and pick myself up and head off down to Rotorua. Upon arrival, I head straight for the lake. I parked in the very same parking space as we did this time, I sat there overlooking the lake and instantly felt myself welling up. Here I was having quit my job, flown half way around the world and sitting in Rotorua on my own. Not wanting to get out of my car, not having the guts to get out and do anything on my own and feeling so regretful of my decision to come to New Zealand.

Fast forward 10 months and here I was, back in the same place but this time, having never been happier. I have a job, I’ve travelled the entire country, I’ve made some of the best friends I’ll ever have, I’ve experienced everything New Zealand has to offer and now I’m gearing up to fly over to Australia and set up a new life again. Life really has done one hell of a 360.

After that, we jumped in the car and took the 30 minute drive to Okere Falls. We did a hike, watched the waterfalls, head for lunch then drove for about an hour to Wai-o-tapu… probably the most disappointing thing I’ve experience in New Zealand. You’ll have to stay tuned for Wednesday’s post where I explain all about the disappointment that is Wai-o-tapu… don’t worry, I’ll give you some alternatives to visit!

| By Harrison |


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