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Rotorua (from , "The second great lake of Kahumatamomoe") is a city on the southern shores of the lake of the same namemarker, in the Bay of Plentymarker region of the North Islandmarker of New Zealandmarker. The city is the seat of the Rotorua District, a territorial authority encompassing the city and several other nearby towns. Rotorua city has an estimated permanent population of , with the Rotorua district having a total estimated population of . The city is in the heart of the North Island, just south of Taurangamarker, north of Taupo, east of Hamiltonmarker, and southeast of Aucklandmarker.

Rotorua is a major destination for both domestic and international tourists, with the tourism industry being by far the largest industry in the district. The city is known for its geothermal activity, with a number of geysers, notably the Pohutu Geysermarker at Whakarewarewamarker, and hot mud pools located in the city. This thermal activity owes itself to the Rotorua calderamarker on which the city lies. Rotorua is also a top adventure destination and is New Zealand's Maori cultural heartland.

Rotorua city is renowned for its unique "rotten eggs" aroma, which is caused by the geothermal activity releasing sulphur compounds into the atmosphere.

Rotorua is also home to the largest tertiary institute outside of the university centres, Waiariki Institute of Technology.

Rotorua has its own regional television channel, TV Rotorua.

History

The Rotorua Museum today…
…and historically as the bathhouse.
The name Rotorua comes from Māori, the full name being Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe; roto means lake and rua two - Rotorua thus meaning 'Second lake'. Kahumatamomoe was the uncle of the Māori chief Ihenga, the ancestral explorer of the Te Arawa. It was the second major lake the chief discovered, and he dedicated it to his uncle. It is the largest of a multitude found to the northeast of the city, all connected with the Rotorua Caldera and nearby Mount Taraweramarker. The name can also mean the equally appropriate 'crater lake'.

The area was initially settled by Māori of the Te Arawa iwi. The first European in the area was probably Phillip Tapsell who was trading from the Bay of Plentymarker coast at Maketumarker from 1828. He later married into Te Arawa and became highly regarded by them. Missionaries Henry Williams and Thomas Chapman visited in 1831 and Chapman and his wife established a mission at Te Koutu in 1835. This was abandoned within a year but Chapman returned in 1838 and established a second mission at Mokoia Islandmarker.

The lakeshore was a prominent site of skirmishes during the New Zealand Wars of the 1860s. A "special town district" was created in the 1883, in order to promote Rotorua's potential as a spa. The town was connected to Auckland with the opening of the Rotorua Branch railway and commencement of the Rotorua Express train in 1894, resulting in the rapid growth of the town and tourism from this time forward. Rotorua was established as a borough in 1922 and declared a city in 1962 before becoming a District in 1979.

Geography

Climate

Geothermal areas

Mud pool, Tikitere ("Hell's Gate"), Rotorua.


The Prince of Wales Feathers thermal spring erupting


Downtown Rotorua, Lake Rotorua, and Mokoia Island.
Northern Rotorua, Lake Rotorua, and Mokoia Island.
The City of Rotorua.
The city and the lake from a commercial flight


Thermal activity is at the heart of much of Rotorua's tourist appeal. Geysers and bubbling mud-pools, hot thermal springs and the Buried Village (Te Wairoamarker) – so named after it was buried by the 1886 Mount Taraweramarker eruption – are within easy reach of the city.

Kuirau Park, to the west end of the central city, is also remarkable – hot bubbling mud pools dot the park, lending a surreal air to the setting. Visitors can soak their feet in hot pools.

Rotorua has a nickname Sulphur City, because of the hydrogen sulphide emissions, which gives the city a "rotten eggs" smell.

The especially pungent smell in the central-east 'Te Ngae' area is due to the dense sulphur deposits located next to the southern boundary of the Government Gardens, in the area known as 'Sulphur Point'.

Lakes

With 17 lakes, the Rotorua region is an aquatic paradise. Fishing, waterskiing, swimming and other water activities are popular in summer. The lakes are also great event venues; Rotorua hosted the 2007 World Waterski Championships and Lake Rotorua was the venue for the World Blind Sailing Championships in March 2009. Lake Rotorua is also used as a departure and landing point for float planes.

Other activities

Rotorua is also home to botanical gardens and interesting historic architecture. Known as a spa town and major tourist resort since the 1800s, many of its buildings hint at this history. Government Gardens, close to the lakeshore at the eastern end of the town, are particularly worthy of note.

Another of Rotorua's attractions is the mountain biking. Whakarewarewa (also known as the "Redwoods") Forest has been described as 'the Disneyland of mountain biking' and has some of the best mountain bike trails in New Zealand. Rotorua hosted the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships, in August 2006.

Transport

Road

Rotorua is served by State Highways 5, 30, and 30A, and the Thermal Explorer Highway touring route, with State Highways 33 and 36 terminating on the outskirts of the city.

State Highway 5, running concurrently with the Thermal Explorer Highway, is the main north-south route through Rotorua, bypassing the city centre to the west. North of the city at Ngongotaha, State Highway 36 splits off to provide a route to Taurangamarker via Pyes Pa, while State Highway 5 turns westward, connecting to State Highway 1 at Tiraumarker and providing the main route into Rotorua from Hamiltonmarker and Aucklandmarker. To the south, State Highway 5 provides the main route into the city from Taupo, Hawke's Baymarker, Manawatu, and Wellingtonmarker.

State Highway 30 runs southwest to northeast through the city. The route from Tokoroamarker, Waitomo Cavesmarker and Taranakimarker enters the city in the southwest (running concurrently with State Highway 5), before crossing the southern suburbs to the shore of Lake Rotorua east of the city centre. It then runs through the suburb of Te Ngae, before spliting off State Highway 33 to provide an eastern route to Tauranga via Te Pukemarker. State Highway 30 then turns eastwards, and connects to the eastern Bay of Plenty, and the Gisbornemarker region.

State Highway 30A runs northwest to southeast, connecting State Highways 5 and 30 with each other via the city centre.

Air

Rotorua Regional Airportmarker is located northeast of the city centre, off State Highway 30. Air New Zealand provides daily turbo-prop flights between Rotorua and Aucklandmarker, Wellingtonmarker, and Christchurchmarker airports, with a daily 737 flight between Rotorua and Christchurch in the summer months. Previously Qantas also operated a Boeing 737 on the same route, but upon their departure from domestic flights in New Zealand this was discontinued.

Work has been completed to increase the main runway length to allow direct Airbus A320 flights to and from Australia. Air New Zealand are due to commence direct flights to Sydneymarker in December 2009; interest in other routes has came from Jetstar, who have been considering Brisbanemarker or the Gold Coast as possible routes.

Rail

Rotorua is connected to the rail network by the Rotorua Branch from Putarurumarker. Until 2001, passenger trains ran from Auckland to Rotorua via Hamilton daily, terminating north of the city centre at Koutu (the original station, at the corner of Fenton and Amohau Streets, was closed in 1989). However, owing to the increase of road freight and private transport, and the fact the station is a 15-minute walk from the city centre, the passenger services stopped in October 2001. The line is currently disused beyond Putaruru.

Famous people



Sister cities

Rotorua has four sister cities:



Mayors

  • CH Clinkard 1923-1927
  • T McDowell 1927-1928
  • JN McLean 1929
  • T Jackson 1929-1941
  • HD Dansey 1941-1942
  • PA Kusabs 1942-1947
  • AF Moncur 1947-1953
  • AM Linton 1953-1971
  • R Boord 1971-1977
  • TR Woolliams 1977-1979
  • John Keaney 1979-1993
  • Grahame Hall 1993-2004
  • K Winters 2004-Present


TV

The free-to-air TV stations received in Rotorua come from the Pukepoto transmitter. They are broadcast on the following frequencies:

Free-to-air TV Frequencies
Channel Name Transmit Channel Polarization Frequency (MHz) Band
TV One 5 Horizontal 182.25 VHF
TV2 7 Horizontal 196.25 VHF
C4 9 Horizontal 210.25 VHF
TV3 11 Horizontal 224.25 VHF
iTV Live 29 Vertical 535.25 UHF
Prime 33 Vertical 567.25 UHF
TAB Trackside 47 Vertical 679.25 UHF
Maori Television 51 Vertical 711.25 UHF
TV Rotorua 59 Vertical 775.25 UHF


References

  1. Wises New Zealand Guide, 7th Edition, 1979. p383.
  2. New Zealand Encyclopaedia 1966: Tapsell Biography
  3. New Zealand Dictionary of Biography: Thomas Chapman
  4. Sister Cities International


External links




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