The Top 10 Activities in Rotorua, New Zealand
From its relaxing hot springs, tranquil lakes and rivers, and a dazzling array of exotic wildlife, Rotorua is a playground for adventurers of all kinds. Nestled in the center of New Zealand’s North Island, it draws millions of visitors each year from around the world. If you're ever caught wondering what activity to try next, then here's some good news! We've assembled a jam packed list of the best things to do in Rotorua. Keep reading to learn about the top Rotorua attractions and activities to explore in this unique New Zealand paradise.
- 1) Bathe In Natural Hot Springs
- 2) Learn About The History And Culture Of The Land
- 3) Explore The Native Wildlife On An Eco-Tour
- 4) Take An Exotic Guided Tour
- 5) Fish The Waterways And Lakes
- 6) Play A Round Of Golf
- 7) Treat Yourself To A Luxury Excursion
- 8) Hit The Biking Trails
- 9) Enjoy A Hiking Adventure
- 10) Visit The Local Markets
1. Bathe In Natural Hot Springs
Rotorua is a hotbed of geothermal activity. Visitors have been bathing in its hot springs since the early 19th century because of their rumored healing powers. There is a wide range of hot pools and springs around the area, offering everything from a private spa-like experience to a more natural experience in a public spring like the Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland. Every option is sure to leave visitors feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
As part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, Rotorua is a hotbed of geothermal activity. Visitors have been bathing in its hot springs since the early 19th century because of their rumored healing powers. There is a wide range of hot pools and springs around the area, offering everything from a private spa-like hot tub experience to a more natural experience in a public spring like the Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland. One of the best places to visit is the polynesian spa is Alternatively, try a spa day in the mud pools. Every option is sure to leave visitors feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
2. Learn About The History And Culture Of The Land
With museums and exhibits highlighting its Maori culture, Rotorua is the perfect place for history lovers and cultural enthusiasts to immerse themselves in local traditions, folklore, and cultural memorabilia. The Rotorua Museum offers free tours of the Government Gardens and a glimpse into New Zealand’s military history. Visitors can also tour an authentic Maori village to immerse themselves in the centuries-old culture. Te Puia is another experience to better understand maori culture, and the region.
3. Encounter The Native Wildlife On An Eco-Tour
Rotorua has a strong commitment to conservation, protecting many at-risk species like the Black and Red-Billed Gulls. The Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge offers a closer look at some of New Zealand’s endangered plants and animals. Tour companies in the Rotorua Lakes area provide excursions ranging from short day tours to overnight adventures where visitors can learn more about conversation efforts and native wildlife.
4. Experience An Exotic Guided Adventure
Thrill-seekers flock to Rotorua for its outdoor adventures and adrenaline-boosting activities of all kinds. From Rotorua Canopy Tours and ziplining to whitewater rafting over Kaituna Falls (the world’s largest commercially rafted waterfall), Rotorua has something for everyone. For those who prefer to admire the water at a distance, there are countless hiking trails and guided tours. One of the most popular is a starlit glow-worm tour through the native bush.
The Rotorua Lakes District is a dream come true for anglers of all skill levels. From family fishing excursions to expert expeditions, the 14 lakes and rivers are teeming with Rainbow and Brown Trout and many other native fish. Visitors can hire a fly fishing guide or charter a fishing boat to navigate the most coveted fishing spots in the area.
Rotorua has a selection of golf courses to suit any skill level--from world-class courses like the Rotorua Golf Club to themed miniature golf courses. On rainy days, Motion Entertainment offers eight indoor activities, including a challenging putt-putt course.
7. Luxury excursions
For a bird’s eye view of the volcanic crater that formed Rotorua and its surrounding area, travelers can charter a flight to Mt. Tarawera with Volcanic Air. Visitors can stand on the crater’s edge to take in the sweeping landscapes. For those who prefer to see the sights by water, Pure Cruise offers chartered yachts to explore Rotorua’s thermal waters and majestic geysers. The luxury experience is made complete with reservations at one of Rotorua’s many high-end spas or hotels.
8. Cycling and mountain biking
Cyclists and mountain bikers come from miles around to explore the vast trail network of Rotorua. It’s home to several international biking events, including the Rotorua Bike Festival and the Crankworx World Tour. With bike shops and rental facilities all over the city, it’s quick and easy to hit the trails for a day of biking through the lush, New Zealand terrain. A hotspot of mountain biking fun is whakarewarewa forest (The redwoods), with the unique soil and native forest environment creating an amazing biking experienc
9. Family activities
There are also a number of free activities in Rotorua too. For an easy day of touring with small children or the elderly, the Lake Okareka Boardwalk is a stroller and wheelchair-friendly pathway that highlights the wetlands and farmlands of Rotorua, with plenty of wildlife along the way. Lake Tikitapu is just two minutes away with another easy, 5km hiking trail. The Redwoods Forest, off of Long Mile Road is a treat for the whole family, with its towering forest, leisurely pathways and tranquil setting.
10. Local markets
One of the most popular activities in Rotorua is strolling through the local markets to shop for gifts, local produce, and delicious baked goods. The Rotorua Farmer’s Market is held every Sunday and is free to the public. The Rotorua Night Market offers the same great shopping experience with entertainment and local nightlife thrown into the mix.
No matter the season or the weather, Rotorua is sure to provide a memorable vacation for couples, families or solo travelers.
Where to stay while you explore Rotorua's Activities?
We're proud of Rotorua’s Activities, and would love to share them with you. If you're keen to get out there and into it there's no better place to stay than our very own Holden's Bay Holiday Park. Our expert team and facilities are perfect for setting you up for any other adventure our region has to offer. We offer a bed for every budget.
Book Now if you're planning to come through our part of the world!