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Local Information

The conference will be held in the Rotorua Conference Centre in Rotorua, New Zealand Other useful Rotorua-based websites offering general tourist information:

Rotorua is Smelly!

The Rotorua region is an active geothermal region with boiling hot pools, geysers etc. That means sulphur leaks out of the ground giving Rotorua a `rotten egg' smell. But you get used to it and its not a problem for most people.


March is late summer in New Zealand. You can expect mostly sunny days of 20-27C (68-78F) with cool nights and some minor rain showers. Thanks to the ozone hole, it is easy to get sunburnt - so consider bringing a hat.

Internet Access:

There will be no wireless internet access at the conference, but there are plenty of Internet Cafes in Rotorua. For those of you planning to submit telescope proposals on March 31st or April 1st you may like to do this before you leave for NZ.


Electrical plugs in New Zealand are unlike any in the world (except Australia). You can probably buy a convertor before you leave, if not they are available at Auckland airport and in Rotorua. Electricity is 230 volts and 50 Hertz.


Some suggested activities (at your own risk!) are given below. Prices for activities are given in NZ$ and can be converted using the currency converter
available at:

Bubbling mud-type:
Hells Gate (also spa/mud baths)
Orakei Korako - beautiful, secluded, need car to get to (or take NZ
riverjet, see below), less touristy
Wai-O-Tapu - biggest, has a big geyser (need to be there early for geyser)

Touristy places (family friendly):
Mamaku Blue blueberry experience - fantastic blueberry wine.
Paradise Valley Springs
Rainbow Springs (see a Kiwi!)
Rotorua Museum - earthquake simulator, see the old thermal baths
Whakarewarewa/Te Puia - maori cultural/mud
Tamaki maori Village - maori cultural
Buried Village
Rotorua Duck tours - family friendly
Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Fun and possibly dangerous!
Skyline skyrides
Whitewater rafting
Agrodome - heaps of dangerous activities (e.g. bungie, zorb etc), also
Family friendly agricultultural activities
NZ riverjet - goes to Orakei Korako