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Rotorua Region

Rotorua is New Zealand’s cultural heartland and there’s no better place to find hidden delights such as cuisine infused with indigenous Maori flavours and unique cooking techniques capturing the earth’s geothermal powers. Let’s not forget the stunning setting to cast your eyes upon with 16 sparkling pristine lakes in the region.

Enriched by its living culture, Rotorua is one of the few places in the world where food can be cooked using the geothermal steam and boiling hot waters which spring from the earth. Where else could you catch a trout on a pristine lake and then cook it onshore by burying it in hot sand?

Traditional hangi meals are a delicious insight to Maori lifestyle, however indigenous cuisine is also part of a much wider spectrum.

Maori chef Charles Royal, New Zealand’s Innovative Chef of the Year in 2003, has led the way in bringing some amazing indigenous flavours, like kawakawa, horopito and pikopiko fern, to the table. He takes people on indigenous food tours through native bush identifying plants and sharing secrets of Maori cuisine.

A plentiful native bush canopy is also found on Mokoia Island, in the middle of Lake Rotorua and it is home to an amazing puff ball called a pukerau which is white, around 30cm in diametre and when opened it has a marshmallow texture with a distinct and delicate flavour similar to a truffle. It is not found anywhere else in New Zealand, naturally sporing from January to March and only available at Mokoia Restaurant.

Relaxed summertime options are easy to come by too. The Regent of Rotorua’s poolside options include live acoustic guitar, cocktails and tapas every Sunday in January through to March, whilst The Blue Baths has live entertainment on the Terrace most summer days with a full bar service and tasting platters.

As for cafes serving great coffee, be they stylish, interesting, fabulous or just plain funky, they are easy to find. Fancy a beer? Try a locally brewed, award-winning Croucher beer on tap at the BREW craft beer pub or maybe a handle of the historic Pig ‘n’ Whistle pub’s own Swine Lager. ‘The Pig’ is one of the city’s entertainment hubs too.

Rotorua Map
Our Region
Usage Ideas

Use the old standby of pumpkin to make  a big pot of soup, and serve with fresh artisan bread.


Follow up with the perfect winter crumble - apples, pears or add some frozen berries. Top with vanilla custard.


Make a warming chicken casserole with sweet winter vegetables

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