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Blue and Green Lakes, Rotorua

How You’ll Get Through Student Life: Just Breathe

Another semester has just started and I am pretty sure that majority of you are already bombarded with assessments. I was once a victim of “not knowing where to start” and “what should I write?” moments as I was not used to New Zealand’s education system and requirements.

It was on November 7, 2016, when I first set foot in this enthralling country. As days passed, and lectures and tutorials became part of my routine. Slowly, I felt the pressure of studying for exams, writing essays and reports, preparing presentations and even computing financial statements, it was really a challenge for me to survive and surpass the summer semester. I realised that I missed the New Zealand I was acquainted with during my arrival. “I need a breather,” a simple one-liner that helped me to complete the requirements, meet deadlines and regain my optimism.

Rotorua might not be that famous compared with other towns here in New Zealand but Rotorua has lots to offer, whether it is for pure relaxation to clear your mind or whatever gives you energy or inspiration to complete your tasks and to live a healthy and balanced life. Where to take a breather in Rotorua? There are several destinations to choose from but the ones in my list are easily accessible and best of all, it’s FREE! 

Rotorua Lake Front

Rotorua lake front offers picturesque and perfect sunset without the sun. Yes. You’ve read it correctly, WITHOUT the sun, and it is really breath-taking and calming at the same time which is really helpful to avoid freaking out when it is only a day before the submission date.

Rotorua Lake Front

Rotorua Lake Front

Government Gardens

As you enter the grounds, what immediately catches your attention is the most photographed building in New Zealand, the Rotorua Museum. Entrance to the museum is free for students; however, it is still closed indefinitely after the earthquake in Kaikoura damaged this famous piece of architecture. Meanwhile, you can still enjoy strolling through the garden where different varieties of plants, flowers and trees will inspire you and help you to be more creative.

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Government Gardens

The Redwoods

A walk through giant redwood trees offers a ray of light when you feel like everything is unclear or when you are lost and need direction when it comes to organising thoughts and ideas. Aside from its walking tracks, people who enjoy challenges can also find delight in their bike trails. It’s a nice place to vent your frustrations and difficulties when completing the required assessments.

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The Redwoods

Hamurana Springs

Hamurana springs offer crystal-clear waters with shades of turquoise and jade. Similar to its pristine waters, the Hamurana Springs is the perfect destination to clear one’s mind because of its tranquil setting; away from the hectic student life. This place also enables you to reflect and concentrate on which areas of your paper needs attention and improvement.


Hamurana Springs

Blue Lake 

Blue Lake prides itself in its gorgeous view especially on a still day, making it an ideal location to enjoy a lovely picnic and BBQ with family and friends. Unlike the Green Lake which is considered to be sacred, you can take a quick dip in this popular lake. The cool waters will make you feel rejuvenated and refreshed thus, enabling you to come up with new ideas and strategies to improve your reports. For those who are more adventurous, Blue Lake also caters for activities such as boating and jet skiing.

Blue Lake

Blue Lake

Green Lake and Blue Lake viewing point

This destination is the perfect example of killing two birds with one stone, two lakes in one viewing point (left side, Green Lake and on the right side, Blue Lake). The view is really stunning and amazing! Being in this certain spot will remind you that you are capable of multi-tasking and achieving more in a fraction of time.

Kuirau Park

Kuirau Park is New Zealand’s only public geothermal park. Apart from the mud pools and steaming water pools, it is also known for its free thermal foot baths which are really soothing and relaxing at the same time, a perfect way to end a tiring and strenuous day. Kuirau is also famous for its Saturday morning market, where you can enjoy a wide variety of goods and bargains as several stalls sell fresh fruits and vegetables, fast food and pre-loved items.

Kuirau Park

Kuirau Park

Te Puia

Contrary to the belief of many, this geothermal wonder can be visited free of charge by Rotorua residents. Just bring any proof of address and voila! Free access to Te Puia attractions. Here, you will be able to appreciate Māori culture and you will be wowed by the Pohutu Geyser.

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Te Puia

So, why wait for holidays or school breaks before taking time out? Why wait for academic responsibilities to overwhelm you? Though your schedules are jam-packed, and it may be a struggle juggling earning a degree and having a social life, you should maintain the balance between assignments and play. Having no money is not an excuse. So, kick back. Take a breather. Explore. Enjoy. Then, be back on track.

Geraldine Agpaoa de Guzman

By Geraldine Agpaoa-de GuzmanFilipino Postgraduate Student

Updated 4 years ago

Geraldine, from the Philippines, decided to pursue a postgraduate diploma in Management (health strand) in Rotorua at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology. 

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
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