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Rotorua: A Town of Balanced Lifestyle and Nature Experience

When we think of New Zealand, pictures of rolling hills come to mind, best showcased in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Fascinating landscape that extends far and wide brings certain level of excitement as one imagines living in Frodo Baggins’ village where everything seems to complement an ideal life.

Breath-taking sceneries and the prospect of getting quality post-graduate education from Bay of Plenty’s highly respected polytechnic – Toi Ohomai, were too compelling to ignore, thus the decision was made to give New Zealand a go. That was 8 months ago.

Fast forward, the landscapes I used to appreciate in pictures and the sceneries I could only run in my head have now become a reality, and Bay of Plenty’s idyllic district of Rotorua provided a perfect setting for a balanced lifestyle, nature experience, and educational development. What makes Rotorua a perfect environment for a balanced New Zealand experience? Everything here is accessible. From the town center’s I-site (information office) near Arawa street, you can access medical facilities, schools, shops, parks, and other entertainment areas within 5 to 10 mins drive. If you head East, a 10-minute drive can get you to Whakarewarewa Forest popularly known as Redwoods Treewalk, while an extra 10-minute drive down Tarawera Road leads to Lake Okareka, Blue and Green Lakes. A 30-minute drive South leads to Waikite Valley where you can visit Tyburn Monastery and experience the rolling landscapes along the way. Driving North on the upper side of Lake Rotorua brings you to Hamurana Springs and Okere Falls. Anywhere you go, certainly a place is waiting for you to visit. Places that provide relaxing atmosphere and blissful abode, all rolled within reach in the laid-back and charming town, my new home, Rotorua.

Redwoods Rotorua2

Redwoods, Rotorua

Blue Lake Rotorua2

Blue Lake, Rotorua

My class starts at 10 in the morning, I reserve the early hours for my morning jog. As I step out to do some warm ups, a gentle touch of fresh cold air greets while sun rise provides warm comfort, both seem to promise it will be a great day, just like the previous days. You will meet familiar faces doing same routine, exchanging candid greetings – good morning, hi and hello. Halfway mark of my run is the lake front. The tranquil water reflection of the clear blue sky and the bright sunshine offer soothing effect on my tired feet that somehow enlivens them to carry me back to the place where I have started. This pretty much summarises my morning. In the afternoon, after class, I have all the time to visit nearby mall or grab some stuff in the groceries. The sun sets and the cold air slowly breezes, perfect time for a cup of tea and later play some movies.

Weekends bring excitement as they promise longer time to spare to visit more places. Aorangi Peak, Skyline in Fairy Springs, short out of town trips heading South to Taupo, or head North to check Ohope beach in Whakatane or Mount Maunganui in Tauranga could be part of the options, but certainly all worthy of time and effort. Sundays could bring you to St. Michael’s Church in Lake Road, St. Marys Church in Ranolf Road, or one can take a 30-minute drive to Tyburn Monastery. 

How life could be more balanced than this? After class, you could either go home and start your research for your assessment or take a short walk in the Magical Park situated a couple of yards away from Toi O-Homai. If time permits, you can head East and have a relaxing time in Blue Lake. One exciting part of this short trip is that you will have to take a winding road with a series of dark green solidly-built trees on the side when all of a sudden, the breath-taking view of the lake appears in front of you. Time may be a luxury for some, but here in Rotorua the accessibility of places that define balanced lifestyle seem not to be affected by it, all you need is a good ride and a reliable mobile GPS.


By Melanie Dublin

Updated 29 days ago

Melanie Dublin from Manila, Philippines is a mother of 3.  She is a Psychology graduate and is now on her last term pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma Course in Applied Professional Studies – Mentoring and Leadership at Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua (formerly Waiariki Institute of Technology). Having worked with the Social Welfare Department as a Center Psychologist for nearly 5 years, she had grown passionate with working with the community particularly with the youths. 

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
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