Approaching Rotorua, steam billows overhead and the smell of sulphur percolates from the ground; a pungent introduction to a region that has captivated visitors for more than 160 years. Bubbling mud, steaming geysers and the rumbling of the earth underfoot contribute to Rotorua’s unique landscape. Fish in a remote spot, walk on an active volcano or enjoy a luxury lake cruise. View dramatic geothermal scenery from a modern helicopter or elegant floatplane. Sip a chilled glass of bubbles while you savour the warmth of a thermal rock pool in the shadow of a mysterious mountain, or a romantic, natural mineral pool on a sacred island.
One hour's drive south of Rotorua, you'll find the bustling resort town of Taupo. An impressive lake is the lynchpin of a varied landscape offering all manner of activities and sights that will fix themselves in your memory: 220,000 litres of water per second pouring over Huka Falls or early morning sunshine sparkling on Lake Taupo against a backdrop of volcanic mountains. Helicopter to White Island or spend a peaceful afternoon fly fishing. Delightful golf courses and beautiful walks await visitors to Lake Taupo.
Further south again, the small town of Turangi - on the southern shores of Lake Taupo - is the hub of trout fishing in the region. The drive around the eastern shore of the lake, from Taupo to Turangi, offers stunning views.
River Birches Lodge is located just south of Turangi.