Before getting to Rotorua I spoke to some people who had been there and advised me not to go. My guess is that they must have just judged the place from the smell of the sulfuric geothermal pools and not really looked around as there is heaps of stuff to do here!
The main attraction of the town is the thermal park Wai-O-Tapo where you can walk among geysers, mudpools, and thermal lakes in all colors. Watching the main geyser, “Lady Knox”, get off was more interesting than I had expected. Instead of waiting for it to shoot naturally they triggered it by throwing bars of soap into it, making it shoot out boiling water just like a bottle of coke would do when throwing mentos in it.
Rotorua is also a hub for some quite good hiking trips. One of the days I went with a couple of new gotten friends from France and Austria to Rainbow Mountain situated less than an hour drive from Rotorua City. The hike up to the top was quite easy and quick taking just one and a half hour but the scenery was quite beautiful. The mountains had been colored by iron oxide, sulfur and other chemicals found naturally here which then had given the mountain its name. From the base of the mountain we walked another few kilometers Kerosene Creek, which were natural hot springs where we were swimming for a few hours. The hike and swimming was quite an easy excursion to do from Rotorua and except for a few dollars for the bus the trip was a hundred percent free, just like the best parts of traveling sometimes is!