North Island Travel – Springtime Gardens in Rotorua NZ

Travel in New Zealand shouldn’t be limited to the summer months. Rotorua is a premier tourist destination in the North Island, and is fabulous to visit in the spring.

While summer is the most popular season for tourism in New Zealand, travellers who visit Rotorua during September-November, the official months of spring, will experience special visual treats. Five times winner of New Zealand’s Most Beautiful City Award, Rotorua is glorious in the spring. Vibrant plantings provide a colourful foil for the steam that rises from the city’s famed hot springs.
Travel to New Zealand in the Spring to see Massed Plantings of Spring

Flowers in Rotorua Streets

Groupings of daffodils splashed on the slopes of Pukeroa Hill, site of Rotorua Hospital, are often the first harbingers of spring in the city. The massed plantings of tulips that are a feature of Rotorua spring gardens then burst into bloom, their elegant stems standing proud from hazy clouds of powder-blue forget-me-nots, miniature wallflowers or primroses.

Polyanthus lift vivid faces from raised gardens, roundabouts, and massed beds in city and suburban streets. Fragrant drifts of freesias, crocuses and bluebells are punctuated by the showier anemones and ranunculus with their luminescent petals and inky-dark centres. Wisteria scrambles over fences and pergolas. A brief, but particularly lovely wisteria experience is a stroll across the arboured bridge in Kuirau Park.

Maples, rhododendrons, flowering cherries and the native golden kowhai are some of the tree varieties lining city and suburban streets. Many of these were planted during the early days of the city’s development and hold that special charm unique to old-established trees, with their gnarled trunks and spreading branches.

Spring Gardens Showcase the Tudor Architecture of Rotorua Museum of Art and History

The restored Tudor architecture of the Rotorua Museum of Art and History provides a stately backdrop to the acres of lawns and formal gardens that comprise the Government Gardens. Built for the head gardener in 1899, the Victorian Villa in the Government Gardens has been faithfully restored, and its gardens are carefully maintained all year round.

Visitors shouldn’t be limited to main thoroughfares. A drive into the suburbs and rural areas on the outskirts of the city bears testament to Rotorua’s community of keen gardeners. Lambs bouncing in roadside paddocks and willows greening alongside riverbanks are some of the universal signs that winter is drawing to a close.

Rotorua Spring Fact Bites

September 1 to November 30 are designated as the official days of spring.
Rotorua District Garden Festival is held annually in November.
Daylight savings begins the last weekend of September.
Rotorua lakes and streams are re-opened for trout fishing on October 1st.
A day for the fairies is held each September when adults and children alike don fairy costumes and enjoy games and picnics in Kuirau Park.

Getting to Rotorua in New Zealand’s North Island

Located in the central North Island, Rotorua has a well-established network of road and air connections. A fifteen-minute drive from the CBD, Rotorua airport has regular links to all major centres and many smaller domestic terminals. The city is a hub for primary eastern, southern and northern highways. Rotorua is a three-hour drive from Auckland International Airport . The capital city, Wellington, is six hours away by road.

The weather can be changeable during New Zealand’s spring months, and temperatures chilly. It is strongly advised to pack warm clothing and wet-weather protection, particularly if walks or other outdoor activities are planned.


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