A Walk in the Park – The Government Gardens in Rotorua
Travel west from the motel to downtown Rotorua and visit the Government Gardens, a place of historical significance to the local Maori people because many battles were fought here. Today you’ll find a beautifully manicured park worthy of your itinerary. The land was originally a 50 acre geothermal scrub parcel gifted to the British Crown by the Maori people in the late 1800s. The scrub was then cleared and formal gardens were planted. Some of the original garden’s trees remain today, including a unique California weeping redwood and several multi-trunked Japanese Firs.
Within the Government Gardens Park, you’ll find a piece of architectural eye-candy. Built in 1908, this Elizabethan Tudor-style bath house spa attraction now houses the Rotorua Museum of Art and History with award-winning exhibitions which was opened in 1988. The bath house and Blue Baths were amongst the first in the world to allow both males and females in the same pool.
You’ll find the Blue Baths in a second building. This elaborate Mediterranean style public swimming pool was originally constructed in 1933 and then restored after the 1980s which is open to the public. Take a dip in the geothermal-heated pools while your eyes take in the stunning architectural setting that surrounds you. Adults are $11, Children 13 and under are $6, and a Family pass (2A, 3C) is $30. For larger groups of 10 or more adults, the rate is $9 per person. The juvenile pool is typically around 30°C while the two hot-soak pools vary between 30°C. Closing times vary throughout the seasons and due to private functions, so calling ahead of time is encouraged.
The park also features a bowling green and croquet lawn, as well as a bandstand. There’s plenty of activities to peak everyone’s interest!
To learn more about Blue Baths, such as hours, click here.