New Zealand's volcanic, tourist hotspot Rotorua has been named as one of the top places to see in 2018 in the prestigious The New York Times' Places to Visit list.

The only New Zealand location to make the list, the paper praises the city's "geothermal blessings".

While the sulphurous geysers have an infamy within Aotearoa, Rotorua's mud games and massages have helped earn the city spot 46 on the list of 52.

According to the American newspaper this accolade makes 2018 the year for the world to visit the North Island's "hub of Maori culture".

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Trubridges illuminations for Rotorua's Redwoods Treewalk were picked out by The New York Times as a top attaction. Photo / Supplied
Trubridges illuminations for Rotorua's Redwoods Treewalk were picked out by The New York Times as a top attaction. Photo / Supplied

Top attractions singled out in the Places to Visit list include the annual Mudtopia Festival, Whakarewarewa Forest's Redwood Treewalk and designer David Trubridge's lighting installations, which add romance to the "majestic trees after dark".

Redwoods Treewalk co-founder and director Bruce Thomasen is thrilled for the installation to be picked up as a world class attraction. "It's great for New Zealand and it is great for Rotorua."

Deputy Mayor Dave Donaldson is proud but not surprised to see Rotorua on the list.
"We have a long, proud history of tourism and manaakitanga/hospitality with our strong culture and unique natural environment at the forefront."

"[It is] a place where you can be as active or passive as you like with waterways, forests, geothermal wonders, spas, a multitude of attractions and activities – that's why people visit and why we live here."

Lead video supplied by Destination Rotorua