I'm planning to visit Rotorua in December with my two kids, 14 and 11. We're hoping to base ourselves near Rotorua for 4 nights. My daughter 11 is very sensitive to smells. I'm aware there's a strong sulphur smell due to geothermal activity, and I suspect that when we visit the actual geothermal attractions I'm going to have to give her a carbon mask to avoid headaches....
I've got a few questions I need advice on:
Accomodation: Is there a particular area I should look for accomodation where the smell won't be strong? Fairy Springs? near the Redwoods? or are there good days and bad days depending on wind? do I need to get even further out of town than that? I'm hoping to get accomodation with basic cooking facilities.
Activities - smell: How strong is the smell at other activities - Luge? Gondola? Tree Top Walk/Redwood Forest? At the geyser and bubbling pools etc. will the fumes hurt our eyes? (sorry for ignorance...)
Activities - white water rafting: I really want to do some rafting. I've heard River Rats do a Grade 3-4 only 45 minutes drive out of Rotorua. Has anyone done this? My daughter who is 11 loves the water and has been in a bumping speed-boat doing donuts and thought that was great, but she can be quite anxious - I'm positive a 5 is beyond her but I'm not sure how she'd go with a 3-4 since I don't know how scary they get. Are people likely to be getting thrown out of the boat in a 3-4? Or feel like they're going to? Any opinions would be great, or info on alternative rafting options (that are preferably within an hour from Rotorua....).
thanks for your help.