Lips Get Out on the Water

The Lakeland Queen paddle steamer carries 140 passengers and offers breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner cruises. The breakfast cruise (about NZ$30/US$17 for adults, NZ$15/US$8.25 for children) departs at 8am; the luncheon buffet cruise (NZ$35/US$19 for adults, NZ$16/US$8.80 for children) departs at 12:30pm and returns at 1:30pm. The dinner cruise, from 7 to 10:30pm, provides live entertainment and costs around NZ$60 (US$33). Book at Lakeland Queen Cruises, The Lakefront (& 0800/862-784 in NZ, or 07/348-6634; www.lakelandqueen.co.nz).

If you want a bit more speed in your boat ride, try the catamaran Scat-cat Cruises, Lakefront office (& and fax 07/347-9852), which does 1-hour tours around historic Mokoia Island for around NZ$30 (US$17).

CLIMBING The Wall, 1140 Hinemoa St. (& 07/350-1400; www.thewall. co.nz), offers indoor and outdoor climbing adventures; it's open daily from 10am until late. The cost starts at NZ$20 (US$11) for adults.

FISHING Within minutes of the city, you can be in the thick of some of the best wild trout fishing in the country. Lakes Tarawera, Okataina, and Rotoiti offer the best chance of catching a trophy fish. They're open for fishing from October to the end of June and hold both wild and stocked trout. The greatest trout population per acre is in Lake Rotorua, where wild fighting rainbow trout average 2 to 4 pounds and brown trout 5 to 7 pounds. Make sure you get your Rotorua fishing license before you start.

Bryan Colman Trout Fishing , 32 Kiwi St., Rotorua (& 07/348-7766; www.TroutFishingRotorua.com), is a top guide—the longest-serving in Rotorua—offering light tackle trolling and fly and spin fishing for rainbow trout for NZ$90 (US$50) per hour.

FLIGHTSEEING Volcanic Air Safaris, Memorial Drive (& 0800/800-848 in

NZ, or 07/348-9984; www.volcanicair.co.nz), has a range of helicopter and floatplane tours, from an 8-minute NZ$50 (US$28) floatplane spin over the city to 3-hour volcanic tours all the way out to White Island in the Bay of Plenty (NZ$665/US$366 per person by helicopter, NZ$395/US$217 by floatplane). Its most popular offering is the helicopter/floatplane trip to Mount Tarawera , including a landing and tour of Orakei Korako; it costs NZ$320 (US$176). FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE ADVENTURES Test your nerve at Off Road NZ , 193 Ardmore Rd. (& 07/332-5748; www.offroadnz.co.nz), located 20 minutes north of the city off State Highway 5. The four-wheel-drive safari departs every hour, daily from 9am to 5pm, and costs around NZ$75 (US$41) per person. You'll find yourself in tunnels, waterfalls, mud, and more mud. Otherwise, try out the 12-lap racetrack built to test the best (NZ$35/US$19). GOLF The Arikikapakapa course at the Rotorua Golf Club, 399 Fenton St. (& 07/348-4051; www.rotoruagolfclub.co.nz), is a gently undulating, all-weather course with an international reputation. Greens fees are about NZ$60 (US$33). A new attraction is the 27-bay driving range, Government Gardens Golf, Government Gardens (& 07/348-9126; www.governmentgardensgolf.co.nz). It's open daily from 7am to 9pm and costs NZ$18 (US$9.90) for 18 holes. And there's ideal family fun at Short Golf, 146 Sala St. (& 07/348-3531; www. actionz.co.nz), with a nine-hole course that everyone can enjoy.

HORSEBACK RIDING Foxwood Park, Fairbank Road, Rotorua (& 07/ 345-7003; fax 07/345-7700), offers riding for all abilities over 1,600 hectares (4,000 acres) of bush and farmland. For half-hour to 2-hour rides you pay from NZ$20 to $40 (US$11-$22); half-day treks NZ$60 (US$33); and full-day treks from NZ$120 (US$66).

JET-BOATING You can spin out on the Agrojet at Agrodome Leisure Park (& 07/357-2929; [email protected]) for NZ$35 (US$19) per adult, NZ$30 (US$17) per child. Or leap aboard Longridge Jet, which is based much farther out, south of Te Puke on State Highway 3 (& 0800/867-386 in NZ, or 07/5331515; www.funpark.co.nz). A ride costs around NZ$65 (US$36) for adults and NZ$35 (US$19) for children.

KAYAKING Take it easy on Rotorua's lovely lakes with Adventure Kayaking (& 07/348-9451; www.adventurekayaking.co.nz). Half-day paddles with thermal pool swim cost NZ$65 (US$36); full-day tours are NZ$80 (US$44); and single kayak hire goes for NZ$40 (US$22) per seat per day. LUGING The Skyline Skyrides Luge (& 07/347-0027; fax 07/3482163) is endlessly popular and offers choices that are outlined in the "Exploring Rotorua" section, earlier in this chapter.

MOUNTAIN BIKING Go it alone on rented bikes from Rotorua Cycle Centre, 1120 Hinemoa St. (& 07/348-6588), and head for the trails at Redwoods Forest, Whakarewarewa; or team up with the crew at Planet Bike (& 07/3489971; www.planetbike.co.nz), which caters to all levels. Bikes range from NZ$30 (US$17) per person. They also have half-day tours and full-day adventure combos. For an extra thrill, go downhill from the Skyline Gondola with Edzown (& 07/346-1717). A day pass gives you unlimited access to the gondola, bike trails, chairlift, and luge rides. Open Friday through Sunday from 9am.

SKYDIVING Leap out over Rotorua at around 2,850m (9,500 ft.) with NZOne-The Ultimate Jump (& 07/345-7820; www.nzone.biz). Be prepared to drop around NZ$245 (US$135).

WALKING Apart from numerous strolls around the various lakes, the Whakarewarewa Forest has six well-marked walking tracks for all ages and levels of fitness. You can spend half an hour or a whole day making your way through the forest. The beautiful Redwood Memorial Grove Track is the most popular. It meanders through giant 60m (197-ft.) California coastal redwoods and takes 30 minutes from the forest visitor center on Long Mile Road. Also popular is the Motutara Walkway , which wanders around the lakefront to Sulphur Bay. The 11/2-hour walk passes through unusual "moonscape" outcrops of sulfur along the way.

Whirinaki Rainforest Guided Walks , Whirinaki Forest (& 0800/869255 in NZ or 07/377-2363; www.rainforest-treks.co.nz), offers 1- to 3-day fully catered treks led by professional Maori guides, starting at Rotorua or Taupo. Pay NZ$155 (US$85) for a 1-day eco-cultural walk; NZ$285 (US$157) per person for a 1-day privately guided walk; or NZ$745 (US$410) for the 3-day Rainforest Trek. For a full inventory of walks in the area, call at the Map & Track Shop, 1225 Fenton St. (& and fax 07/349-1845).

WHITE-WATER RAFTING If you want world-rated championship rafting guides, head for Kaituna Cascades, Trout Pool Road, Okere Falls, Rotorua (& 0800/524-8862 in NZ, or 07/345-4199; www.kaitunacascades.co.nz). It'll give you the best time you've ever had, including a 7m (23-ft.) drop over the

Southern Hemisphere's highest commercially rafted waterfall. They operate on the Kaituna, Rangitaiki, and Wairoa Rivers. Prices range from NZ$65 to $95 (US$36-$52).

ZORBING Where else are you going to find yourself inside a giant plastic bubble, with the option of being wet or dry as you roll 250m (820 ft.) down a steep, slippery slope? It's like nothing you've ever done before. A wet or dry ride will cost NZ$40 (US$22). Children can try the mini-zorb on flat terrain for around NZ$12 (US$6.60). The zorb is at Agrodome Adventure Park, Western Road, Ngongotaha (& 07/357-5100; www.zorb.com).

Boating Secrets Uncovered

Boating Secrets Uncovered

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