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Rotorua: Balanced Lifestyle and Breath-taking Scenery

When we think of New Zealand, pictures of rolling hills come to mind, best showcased in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings. Landscapes that extend far and wide bring a certain level of excitement as one imagines living in Frodo Baggins’ village.

Breath-taking scenery and the prospect of getting a quality postgraduate education from the 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 eight months ago...

Fast forward and the landscapes I used to appreciate in pictures and the scenery I could only see in my mind have now become a reality. The Bay of Plenty’s idyllic district of Rotorua has 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 centre’s I-site (information office) near Arawa street, you can access medical facilities, schools, shops, parks, and other entertainment areas within 5 to 10 minutes drive. If you head east, a 10-minute drive can get you to Whakarewarewa Forest popularly known as the Redwoods Treewalk, while an extra 10-minute drive down Tarawera Road leads to Lake Okareka and the 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, you'll find a place is waiting for you to visit. Places that provide a relaxing atmosphere and blissful abode, all within reach of the laid-back and charming town of Rotorua – my new home.

Redwoods Rotorua2

Redwoods, Rotorua

Blue Lake Rotorua2

Blue Lake, Rotorua

A typical day

My classes start at 10 o'clock in the morning so that I can 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 me while the sunrise provides warm comfort – both seem to promise it will be a great day, just like the previous days. I meet familiar faces doing the same routine and exchange candid greetings – good morning, hi and hello. At the halfway mark of my run is the lake front. The tranquil water reflection of the clear blue sky and the bright sunshine offer a soothing effect on my tired feet that somehow enlivens me to continue back to the place where I 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.

In the afternoon, after class, I have time to visit the nearby mall to grab some groceries. The sun sets and the cold air sets in, a perfect time for a cup of tea and to later watch some movies.

The weekend!

Weekends bring excitement as they promise more time to visit new places. Aorangi Peak, Skyline in Fairy Springs, short out of town trips heading South to Taupo, or heading north to check out Ohope beach in Whakatane or Mount Maunganui in Tauranga could be part of the options. Certainly, all are worthy of time and effort. Sundays could bring you to St. Michael’s Church in Lake Road, St. Marys Church in Ranolf Road, or you 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 assessments or take a short walk in the Magical Park situated a couple of yards away from Toi Ohomai. 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.

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By Melanie DublinFilipino Postgraduate Student

Updated 10 days ago

Melanie Dublin from Manila in the Philippines is the mother of a three-year-old. She is a psychology graduate and is now in her last term completing a postgraduate diploma course in Applied Professional Studies – Mentoring and Leadership at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology in Rotorua (formerly Waiariki Institute of Technology). Having worked in the social welfare department as a center psychologist for nearly five years, she had become passionate about working with the community particularly with youth. 

*Views expressed are the blogger's own
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