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Rainbow Springs Nature Park


Rainbow Springs

Rotorua Highlights
Adventure in Rotorua
Adventure Photos of Rotorua

Photos of Rotorua
Rotorua Details

By Richard Moore

Rainbow Springs RotoruaWe hadn't been to Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua for a few years and boy has it changed.

It used to be - and still is - a peaceful spot in a busy tourist city, but it has added a number of attractions that make it even more attractive to families.

The most obvious change is The Big Splash - a nine-minute trip through the ecological evolution of New Zealand.

You hop in a boat and head off through state of the art animatronics and projection technology that takes you back to the time of the dinosaurs, the now-extinct flightless giant moas and the massive Haast Eagle.

At the end of your fun education you race down the rails into the water creating a huge splash that will almost certainly result in being damper than usual!

Big Splash, Rainbow Springs, RotoruaThe cost of The Big Splash is included in your entry to Rainbow Springs and you can take the journey as many times as you want.

Also new(ish) to Rainbow Springs is The Bird Show.

This is really fun for both kids and adults as some very cool parrots entertain with some excellent skills and tricks.

The show is held in its own outdoors area and is dependent upon the weather.

You need to be sensible at the show and you are instructed to remain seated as the birds do fly low over your heads and the last thing you want is a large cockatoo between the eyes.

The show is very funny - and educational - and there is always humour if someone cops a bit of poo on the shoulder.

It is really worth taking the time to see.

Bird Show, Rainbow Springs, RotoruaRainbow Springs is also beaut because you can reflect while watching trout going about their lives in large pools, check out a number of native birds - including kiwis - and walk along ferny paths and among giant redwood trees.

Rainbow Springs is built around bubbling fresh springs that push out some two million litres of pure water every day.

Rainbow Springs RotoruaIt sure sounds nice and it must be as the fish in the springs are wild and can swim off any time they like. They include rainbow trout - the most common type of trout in the North Island of New Zealand - as well as brown trout, North American brook trout and tiger trout.

Between May and September the fish swim upstream from Lake Rotorua to spawn. After their breeding duties many of the fish realise they are on to a good thing and stick around Rainbow Springs instead of taking their chances in the wild.

At the entrance to the Rainbow Pool is New Zealand's longest fish ladder and if you are lucky you can see the trout leaping from pool to pool as they head towards the main water area.

Rainbow Springs RotoruaNative New Zealand birds are also on show and they include the songbird tui, the red-crowned parakeet, or kakariki, the cheeky kea and the large parrot, or kaka.

Speaking of large - Rainbow Springs must have in its brood the biggest, fattest pigeon I have ever seen in my life. The thing must have weighed a bazillion kilos. If you don't believe it then check out the picture!

And while Rainbow Springs has arguably the largest pigeon in captivity, it also has a dinosaur. Well, sort of.

Rainbow Springs has tuatara, medium-sized lizards that date back to the Triassic Period of about 225million years ago. These guys are cute - in a lizard-sort-of way.

Rainbow Springs RotoruaFor most tourists to New Zealand the fauna highlight would be catching a glimpse of the national bird, the kiwi.

Kiwi are flightless and nocturnal and they are nigh-on impossible to see in the wild.

Rainbow Springs has a save-the-kiwi programme and you can see them in the kiwi house and then pop across the road to catch them in a Kiwi Encounter where you'll learn heaps about the creature and see a hatchery and nursery in action.

August is the start of the kiwi-breeding season and eggs found in the wild are brought to Rainbow Springs for care and incubation.

While you wander around Rainbow Springs you can follow an audio tour in English, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese. Ticket prices include the use of an MP3 player and headset.

Rainbow Springs RotoruaRainbow Springs Nature Park Opening Hours

Rainbow Springs 8.00 am - 11 pm daily Rainbow Springs Shop 8.00 am - 11 pm daily
Rainbow Cafe 9.00 am - 4.00 pm daily

Admission Prices

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