Childhood memories of Rotorua are revived and surpassed, writes Alexia Santamaria

It's hard not to think of Rotorua without thinking of tourism, and rightly so - that kind of water-shooting, mud-bubbling, crazy-coloured, steaming thermal activity is found in only a handful of places in the world.

It's also easy to think that as locals we should avoid the big tourist operations as they are only for overseas visitors; but they're popular with them for good reason, and that's worth investigating. Our family found playing tourist in our own country was a ton of fun.

We started with possibly the biggest

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