This immense museum with its old world manor like appearance is as impressive on the outside as it is for its lovely collections inside. The historic Bath House building is over 100 years old and features much of the region’s important works of art as well as natural history pieces. Just some of the fascinating exhibitions include Maori artefacts, historic photography and sculptures and a unique look at the social history of the Bay of Plenty region.
Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley
Containing Frying Pan Lake, the world’s largest hot spring, Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley was formed in the 1880s with the eruption of Mount Tarawera. Enjoy such stunning sites as Inferno Crater Lake where the fresh blue waters are replenished with an unseen, underwater geyser. Thermal activity can still be seen here with steamy vents expelling the earth’s hot air along the valley’s pristine lakes.
For those that are willing to take the drive to the town of Kawerau just east of Rotorua and traverse unsealed roads before venturing out on a scenic 20 minute nature hike, the effort will be rewarded with a beautiful 35 metre high waterfall. The rushing water flowing over the boulder filled river in the middle of the dense Bay of Plenty forest is a sight to behold. Travelling time from Rotorua is approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. A 4WD vehicle is recommended. A $5 permit is required which can be purchased at the Kawerau Information centre.