Depart Nicara and travel to Ohinemutu and St Faith’s Church. This is a living village and steam is seen coming out of the ground and gutters. St Faith’s contains some most beautifully carved pews, pulpit. Inside are the Battle Flags of the Maori Battalion. It is very historic. View the etched window of Christ walking on the water of the Lake.
Continue on to Rotorua Museum located in the middle of the beautiful Government Gardens. The building is one of the most iconic in New Zealand. It was opened in 1908 as a bath house. Remnants of this past are well preserved and on display. Make sure you visit the AV which shows on the hour/20 past/20 to the hour.
Then drive out to Sulphur Point. You will understand why it gets that name. While in the Government Gardens you can also visit the fine art deco building of the Blue Baths. The Bathhouse Café at the Museum is a good venue for a light snack.
On leaving the Museum, travel along Fenton Street to Te Puia Geothermal Valley. Here you will see Pohutu and Prince of Wales geysers, the Kiwi House, and Maori carvers. Very good attraction for Maori heritage. Allow about 1.5 hours here.
On leaving Te Puia proceed to Paradise Valley. Paradise Valley Springs is a beautiful park with the Ngongotaha Stream meandering through it. Drink fresh water from their own spring, see wild trout in the stream. View many other animals, including lions and native birds. Frequently they have Lion cubs on display and you can go into their enclosure and pat them. Great for kids of all ages
On leaving continue to the New Zealand Fish & Game Trout Hatchery. You can call in here and wander around. The actual hatchery is a building at the back of the complex. Here fingerlings are reared prior to release and stocking of most of the lakes in the region. A fascinating place where the friendly staff will make you welcome while they explain what they do and why.
Just down the road to Wingspan to see birds of prey and watch them fly. They have a daily outing at 2.00pm and there is the chance to put on the gauntlet and fly one yourself.
Return to your Nicara accommodation for a brief relax before being picked up at 6.00pm by Mitai and taken to their authentic Maori Concert and Hangi (food cooked in an earthen oven). This is a wonderful experience with an opportunity for a brief bush walk at night to see glowworms, the beautiful Fairy Springs all lit up and the arrival of the whaka (canoe). See your dinner coming out of the earthen oven and what a feast you will have. Back to Nicara by 9.30pm but for those that want to see more then the combo with Rainbow Springs all lit up at night is a must. Their trout pools are beautifully illuminated and in their new outdoors kiwi house expect to see one of the kiwis roaming around almost at your feet. This extension gets you back to Nicara about 10.30pm.
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