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Rainbow Springs Nature Park
By Audrey Goh

The Rainbow Springs Nature Park is where I experienced my first farm life and attended my first sheep show. Like the Agrodome, it is also a famous farm in Rotorua, which presents sheep shows. However, Rainbow Springs is also a beautiful place where you can experience nature the New Zealand way.

Located amidst beautiful native bush with meandering crystal clear fresh water streams and deep fern fringed pools, Rainbow Springs is a showcase of New Zealand plants and wildlife. This was one of New Zealand's pioneer tourist venues. Then known as the Fairy Springs, it saw its first visitor in 1898.

Today, you will see thousands of Rainbow, Brown and Brook trout gliding through clear spring-fed streams. The beautiful Native Bush Walk is also accessible to all ages and abilities, revealing the beauty of New Zealand's native bush and unique bird life, which include herons, wood pigeons, stilts, weka, ducks, kea, kaka, tui, and more. They are close enough to touch yet are set in a natural, undisturbed environment. You will also get to see the national icon of New Zealand, the flightless Kiwi in the award-winning nocturnal Kiwihouse. Another must see would be the extraordinary tuatara, New Zealand's unique living dinosaur from 225 million years in the past. New Zealand's reputation in the world of forestry and agriculture is second to none and this is exceptionally shown at the Rainbow Park.

The Rainbow Farm Show, on the other hand, offers daily shows at 10.30 a.m., 11.45 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2.30 p.m. Try your hand at milking a cow, bottle-feeding baby lambs, riding a bull (one of the biggest bull Iíve ever seen), churning out cream and butter (which is not as easy as it looks), and much more. In addition, visit the Rainbow Farm Museum and see New Zealand farming the way it was done in past generations. And before you go, pick up a memento of your visit at the Rainbow Farm Shop with its extensive range of beautiful hand-made crafts, artwork and produce, woolen products and sheepskins.

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