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Rotorua Iconic Attraction Celebrates 75 Years

23 November 2007

Rotorua Iconic Attraction Celebrates 75 Years Of Success

One of New Zealand’s iconic tourist attractions celebrates 75 years of successful operation in December and it is right here in Rotorua! Rainbow Springs Nature Park will mark the celebrations with a week long programme of events and special offers kicking off with their annual Locals’ Day on Sunday 2nd December

The land Rainbow Springs is located on was purchased by Mr Ted Bruce back in 1929 after he moved to Rotorua from Fielding. At that time it was a run down dairy farm and much of the land was set in swamp due to several natural water springs which flowed from it. Ted Bruce proved to be a man of considerable vision as he saw the possibilities of using this land around the springs to create a nature park and tourist attraction.

In 1940, Ted Bruce sold Rainbow Springs and then after a succession of owners it was sold to Mr Jack Mills in 1967. Purchasing the park in partnership with the Brown brothers and his late son-in-law Mel Friend, Jack set about upgrading the park and turning it into a major tourist attraction.

The past 75 years have seen many changes in the park but one thing remains constant; the absolute commitment to providing a world-class quality visitor experience combined with a dedication to conservation and sustainability. Rainbow Springs is heavily involved in the nationwide kiwi recovery programme and has this year celebrated the milestone of the hatch and release back into the wild of the 500th kiwi since they commenced participation in the programme in 1995/96. This work is boosting the survival rate of endangered kiwi chicks from five per cent in the wild to about 65 per cent. There is also an extensive tuatara breeding programme on-site and Rainbow Springs offers a tranquil and safe environment for wild trout and many species of native birds who like to make their home in the park.

One of the keys to the company’s longevity and success of the Park can be attributed to the staff who have worked at Rainbow Springs believes General Manager Stewart Brown. “They’re a fantastic bunch of people, passionate, dedicated, the best you could want,” he explained. “It’s a unique place to work. We have some unique things, but it is these people that make the difference. We have team members on staff who have worked here for more than 30 years and many over 10 years!”

Rainbow Springs Locals Day will be held on Sunday 2nd December and entry is via a gold coin donation to the National Kiwi Trust. The day will be filled with entertaining and informative talks around the park, and displays and demonstrations on the Fairy Lawn by DOC, EBOP, Eastern Fish & Game and the Anglers Club. Throughout the week 2-9 December, those over 75 years of age can enter free of charge, and there will be $7.50 lunch deals in The Springs Café. There will be prizes each day for the 75th person to arrive at Rainbow Springs and all Locals Card purchases during the week will go into the draw to win a 10 year family pass to the park.


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