Korean immigrant Anna Song is so passionate about living in Rotorua she wants to tell every would-be migrant to consider settling there.

Rotorua is Bay of Plenty's second-largest urban area behind Tauranga, with a population of about 56,800.

Tourism is the largest industry in the district, known for its geothermal activity, geysers and mud pools.

"It doesn't just offer lifestyle, but also opportunities that are far better than in cities like Auckland," said Ms Song, 32, who moved to New Zealand with her parents when she was 12, and grew up in Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington.


Ms Song returned to Korea in 2011 to "reconnect" with her cultural roots. Her hometown, Jeju Island, off the southern coast of South Korea, is a popular tourist destination "just like Rotorua".

But she found that she missed New Zealand too much and jumped at the chance to come back when there was an opening for a business manager at ANZ Bank Rotorua.

"I love New Zealand so much and at the time I was feeling so homesick," Ms Song said. "I miss the food too, especially steak-and-cheese pies and cream doughnuts.

"I feel Rotorua is my home now and I feel very privileged to be in a position where I can promote the town to others. There are heaps of business opportunities for anyone who wants to start their new life here."