Things to Do in Rotorua

What To Do in Rotorua?

Pay A Visit To The Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland, Kaituna River White Water Rafting, Mitai Maori Village Experience, Go On A Nocturnal Glow Worm Tour and many more.

Loading your vacation with a plethora of entertainment options, there is a wide range of things to do in Rotorua. Boasting of rich natural landscapes, great culture and numerous sightseeing attractions, when it comes to activities, Rotorua doesn’t disappoint. If you are a nature lover and adventure junkie, go on a tour of the bubbling geothermal pools in the region, or see the vibrant and colourful sulphur formations here.

While wondering what is there to do in Rotorua, don’t forget the steaming geysers in the volcanic valley of Waimangu or Wai-O-Tapu that you can pay a visit to for a unique experience that will last for a lifetime. The ones who want to gaze into the uninterrupted panoramas can opt for a helicopter ride for a sightseeing tour over the White Island which is an active offshore volcano.

If you are on a holiday with your family, some of the best Rotorua family activities include a visit to the Mitai Maori Village, where you and your loved ones can learn about the rich heritage and traditions of the village. Above all, you will never be short of activities and adventures while vacationing in Rotorua.
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Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Nestled on the North Island ofIsland, New Zealand, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is a mesmerising geothermal attraction known for its vivid colours and landscapes. Spanning 18 square kilometres, this thermal wonderland offers visitors a chance to witness the raw power of nature in action.

Te Puia

Te Puia in Rotorua is a top cultural and geothermal attraction featuring the Pohutu Geyser, bubbling mud pools, and hot springs. It houses the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, preserving traditional Māori arts. Visitors can enjoy guided tours, cultural performances, and traditional hāngī meals, offering a rich blend of natural wonders and Māori heritage.

Polynesian Spa
Located in the centre of Rotorua, the Polynesian Spa is amongst the best tourist places in Rotorua offering relaxation and adventures. It houses alkaline and acidic springs that feed 28 different hot mineral pools.

Relax your soothing muscles with a dip in a slightly acidic pool or nourish your skin with a dip in the alkaline Rachel Spring pool. Or, revitalize yourself with any of its exclusive three-hour spa packages, which includes a hot mineral soak, spa therapy and access to the relaxation lounge.

Location: 1000 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Timings: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm

Entry Fees:
Different for bathing and spa therapies
Lake Rotorua
The second largest lake of North Island, Lake Rotorua impresses with its magical green-blue hue, steam clouds, and the high sulphur content in water. Its calm and shallow waters provide a picture-perfect setting for boating, kayaking, fishing, and various water-sports.

The famous rhyolite dome, Mokoia Island, created due to slowly oozing lava is also located at the centre of the lake. The island is known as the setting point of New Zealand's greatest love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai and can be visited by taking a guided tour. Guided tours also give a chance to soak in the Hinemoa's Pool.

Location: Rotorua District, Bay of Plenty Region, New Zealand
Mount Tarawera
Standing high above Rotorua, Mt Tarawera offers stunning landscapes and unmatched elegance. The place is revered by the local Maori tribe who does not permit outsiders but only Kaitiaki Adventures.

The place is known for its notorious eruption of 1886, which resulted in the creation of the geothermal valley of Waimangu and destruction of the fabulous Pink and White Terraces. Opt for a guided tour to this one of the most famous tourist places in Rotorua to witness majestic vistas, surrounding panoramas, and an optional run into the heart of the volcanic crater.

Location: North Island, New Zealand

Guided Tour: 8:15 am and 1:15 pm (summer), 10:15 am (winter)

Entry Fees:
Guided Tour: Starts at $185
Champagne Pool
Displaying a constant efflux of CO2 gas like the bubbling champagne, the Champagne Pool is a famous hot spring situated in the thermal Wonderland Waiotapu Geothermal Area. It attracts visitors from across the world to see one of the most unique and peculiar natural geothermal activities on North Island.

This terrestrial 213 feet crater is loaded with a geothermal fluid enriched in minerals and Silica that give it a unique turquoise, orange and emerald hues and is a sight to behold.

Location: Waiotapu 3083, New Zealand

Winter: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 
Summer: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Entry Fees:
Adult: $32.50
Child: $11.00
Government Gardens

Home to spas, geothermal pools, and a grand museum, the Government Gardens is one of the most-visited tourist places in Rotorua. Learn about the rich Maori culture or the brutal volcanic eruptions that rocked the region at the on-site museum.

Kuirau Park
Located at a walking distance from the city centre, Kuirau Park is New Zealand's only public geothermal park. Offering naturally boiling, bubbling, and steaming geothermal activities, this park is one of the best places to visit in Rotorua for free.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the well-paved pathways, or witness steams coming from the crater lake, hot springs, or mud pools, or soothe your aching feet with a thermal foot bath. The place is also a loved picnic spot amongst locals and offers a beautiful setting to have some unforgettable experiences with loved ones.

Location: 1371, Pukuatua St and, Ranolf Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Rotorua Museum
An architectural marvel, the Rotorua Museum is famous for its collections, historical importance, and Government Gardens. The magnificent Old Bath House building is now serving as the museum and exhibits rich heritage, culture, art, and geology of Rotorua from the pre-European era to the present.

Join a guided tour to learn about Maori culture and history and later enjoy the beautiful views of the Lake Rotorua, Sulphur Point, and Government Gardens.

Location: Government Gardens Oruawhata Drive, Rotorua 3046, New Zealand

11:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (weekdays)
11:00 am - 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (weekends)

Entry Fees:
Adult: $20.00
Child: $8.00
Buried Village Of Te Wairoa
One of the iconic places to visit in Rotorua, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa is the country's most famous archaeological site. It comprises a museum, waterfalls, lake, an excavated village, and guided tours.

View historical exhibits telling the stories of 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption and destruction of the ancient Maoris village and Pink & White Terraces at the Museum of Te Wairoa and on a guided walk along the Wairere Waterfall Trail.

Location: 1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand

Timings: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Wednesday - Sunday)

Entry Fees:
Adult: $23.00 - $30.00
Child: $5.00
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Waimangu Volcanic Valley is one of the most popular Rotorua places to visit and offers stunning views of the seething mud and fuming silica terraces. It has a series of well-paved walkways that lets the visitors observe the acid-yellow and lime-green terraces and smoke-filled craters safely.

Skyline Rotorua
Amongst the most thrilling Rotorua places to visit, the Skyline Rotorua is a high-tech adventure centre settled on Mt. Ngongotaha. It offers a great combo of adventure, ambience, and panoramic dining.

A myriad of thrilling activities like Gondola ride, Luge experiences, Zoom Zipline, Sky Swing, etc. are also available here. Its superb location is perfect to enjoy stargazing, while well-paved trails are perfect for mountain biking. Be there with your family and enjoy a day of fun, food, and shopping.

Location: 178 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand

Timings: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Entry Fees: (For Gondola)
Adult: $34.00
Child: $17.00
Rainbow Spring Nature Park
Packed with the native trees and lush forests, the Rainbow Springs Nature Park is amongst the best places in Rotorua. It houses a wide variety of wild animals and exotic birds and lets the visitors learn about them through interactive encounters.

Take a guided tour to explore native flora, fauna, kiwi hatchery & interactive animal encounters. Opt for a splash ride or try your hands at the hands-on play installations and have a great experience.

Location: 192 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand

Timings: 8:30 am - 2:00 pm (Thursday - Sunday)

Entry Fees:
Adult: $30.00
Child: $15.00
Lady Knox Geyser
A magical geothermal attraction at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, the Lady Knox Geyser is one of the most stunning Rotorua places to visit. It erupts every morning at around 10:15 am when a park guide induces it with soap.

The site of geyser eruption is so fascinating that a multitude of visitors from across the world come here to see this geothermal charm. The eruption can vary in size and length and go as high as 65 ft.

Location: 201 Waiotapu Loop Rd, Rotorua, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand

Timings: 10:15 am

Entry Fees: Entry by Wai O'Tapu Geothermal Wonderland ticket
Lake Tarawera
Lake Tarawera is one of the most pristine places to visit in Rotorua and is flocked by hordes of visitors to enjoy some pleasurable moments in a picture-perfect setting. It lies underneath the grand Mount Tarawera and is an idyllic place for a relaxing dip in the geothermal pools or picnics by the lakeside.

It also boasts of its network of walking trails that take to the campsites, picnic spots or cascading waterfalls. Be there to indulge in swimming, fishing, hiking, camping, or immersing in natural beauty by a boat cruise.

Location: Bay of Plenty Region, North Island, New Zealand
Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest

Redwoods - Whakarewarewa Forest is a captivating natural wonder in the heart of Rotorua, New Zealand. This iconic forest is known for its diverse recreational opportunities and towering redwood trees. It is a majestic forest where travelers can enjoy a scenic landscape with winding trails weaving through uneven terrains and lush greenery of ancient redwoods. 

Whakarewarewa The Living Maori Village
Discover Rotorua’s rich past and culture at Whakarewarewa, The Living Maori Village, which is amongst the top Rotorua places to visit. The village lies around natural geysers and hot pools and is the home to Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao tribe.

Traverse through this devotedly preserved village to learn about how the native tribe perform their daily chores like cooking, bathing, etc., using geothermal resources. Enjoy a cultural performance or savour a traditional hangi meal prepared in geothermal vents and collect some cherishable reminiscence.

Location: 17 Tryon St, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Timings: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Entry Fees: 
Adult: $35
Child: $15
Pohutu Geyser

Renowned as the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere, the Pohutu Geyser is a majestic natural wonder. It is amongst the most terrific places to visit in Rotorua and is part of Te Puia in Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. 

Redwoods Treewalk
An award-winning recreational activity, the Redwoods Treewalk features eco-friendly walk across 28 suspension bridges. These bridges well connect 115-year-old redwood trees without disturbing the tree's natural growth.

The walkway is 700 metres long and lets the visitors walk over a height of 6 to 20 metres. Enjoy a unique walking experience and be amused by the birds’ eye views of serene landscapes. The views become magical during the night when 30 lanterns illuminate the area.

Location: 1 Long Mile Road, access off Tarawera Road, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

9:00 am - 10:30 pm (Thursday - Sunday)
9:00 am - 11:00 pm (Friday & Saturday)

Entry Fees: 
Adult: $30
Child: $20
Kerosene Creek
One of the popular  places to visit in Rotorua, the Kerosene Creek offers perfect ambience to rejuvenate your senses without putting a burden on your pocket. It is a geothermally heated stream where hot water from natural spring meets with freshwater and offers perfectly warm water for a relaxing bath.

Locals have created tiny pools using smooth rocks to enjoy swimming amidst pleasant ambience. Plan a visit to this stunning location with your friends or family and mark your vacation with memorable memories of fun, enjoyment, and excitement.

Location: Old Waiotapu Road, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand

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Rotorua Things To Do FAQs

What are the best things to do in Rotorua?

1. Pay A Visit To The Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland: One of the best things to do in Rotorua is to visit the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and see the beautiful eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser.

Being one of the most popular geothermal parks in the country, this thermal wonderland boasts of mud pools, volcanic craters as well as steaming lakes, all of which you can witness during your visit here. From the lookout point, you can also soak in views of the vibrant coloured hot pools, craters and surrounding landscapes.

Location: 201 Waiotapu Loop Road, Rotorua 3073, New Zealand
Timings: 08:30 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.
Price: INR 1,700 onwards

2. Kaituna River White Water Rafting: Rescuing you from the decision of what is there to do in Rotorua, the thrilling white water rafting experience in the Kaituna River in the Okere Falls Scenic Reserve has attracted flocks of tourists. Complete with class 5 white water rapids, the river ensures that this will be an adventure of a lifetime.

Along with the rapids, there is also an adrenaline-filled 21-foot drop down the Tutea Falls, which is also known as the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. Great for beginners as well as professional rafters, this rafting tour also comes with a training and safety briefing session, along with all the necessary equipment for the tour.

Location: 18 Okere Falls Road, Okere Falls 3074, New Zealand
Price: INR 7,000 onwards

3. Mitai Maori Village Experience: Heading to Rotorua with family? Head on to the Mitai Maori Village to indulge in one of the most unique Rotorua family activities. Experience the authentic Maori culture along with an enjoyable evening at this village, where you can see the warriors dressed in traditional attire paddling in an ancient canoe.

Or catch a glimpse of the ancient weapons of this land.

Location: 196 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand
Timings: 06:00 a.m. to 08:30 p.m.

4. Go On A Nocturnal Glow Worm Tour: Amongst the most unique things to do in Rotorua, the nocturnal glow worm tour is one that is sure to mesmerise you. Famous all around the world, the New Zealand glow worms light up the darkness even on the cloudiest of nights.

When visiting Rotorua, go on a short tour in the evening in search of these rare creatures. During the tour, you can also get a chance to see the other wildlife of the area, including possums and wallabies.

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Price: INR 4,000 onwards

5. Take A Hike To The Volcanic Mount Tarawera: If you are feeling adventurous, take a hike to Mount Tarawera, and learn about the rich geology of this land. This 4-hour hike lets you pass through winding trails into the wilderness of the North Island in New Zealand.

Your guide during the hike will also tell you a lot about this mighty volcano, which erupted in 1886.

Location: Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand
Price: INR 10,000 onwards

6. Visit The Hobbiton Movie Set: One of the best Rotorua family activities is a visit to the Hobbiton movie set. Listen to all the behind-the-scenes stories of ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogies. You can also visit Bilbo’s hobbit hole and indulge in a drink at the Green Dragon Inn.

Upon your arrival at the set, you can see quaint little flower gardens, little hobbit holes, the homes of Frodo, Sam, Bilbo, Pippin and Merry as well as the famous double arched bridge, along with other attractions from the movies.

Location: 1235 Fenton Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Price: INR 4,000 onwards

7. Visit The 3d Trick Art Gallery: Visit the only 3D trick art gallery in North Island, New Zealand on your trip to Rotorua. Home to over 50 trick artworks, the gallery lets you take different photographs that are not just convincing, but also life like. Located in the heart of Rotorua, the gallery is also situated in close proximity to other attractions in the city.

Location: 171 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand
Price: INR 1,200 onwards
Timings: 09:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.

8. Enjoy A Therapeutic Mud Bath At Hell’s Gate Mud Bath And Spas: Want to experience something unique and relax at the same time? Head over to Hells Gate Mud Bath and Spas and treat yourself to a therapeutic mud bath and sulphur spa package, which is one of the top things to do in Rotorua.

Located in the most active geothermal zone of Rotorua, this park offers mud bath treatments that are sure to leave you rejuvenated and relaxed.

Location: State Highway 30, Tikitere, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
Price: INR 4,000 onwards
Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 06:00 p.m.

What are the adventurous things to do in Rotorua?

1. White Water Rafting: Go on a white-water rafting experience in the Kaituna River, which is one of the best things to do in Rotorua. Paddle through class 5 rapids and enjoy a 21-foot drop down the Tutea Falls while you try to tame the gushing waters for a memorable holiday experience.

2. Jet Boat Ride: Take a jet boat ride on the Waikato River across the Tutukau Gorge towards a waterfall for a unique experience in Rotorua. Or soak in the naturally heated waters of the river after your ride.

3. 4WD Bush Safari: Challenge your inner comfortable self with this intense bush safari on a 4-passenger 4WD vehicle. Drive through steep climbs, sudden descents and varied terrains as you navigate your way through lunges, waterfalls and tunnels in Rotorua.

4. Helicopter Ride: For a more unique experience of things to do in Rotorua, get on a helicopter tour above Mount Tarawera and make a landing on the volcanic terrain as you see the geothermal landscapes of crater lakes from the air.

How to reach Rotorua?

Located in the heart of the North Island in New Zealand, the city of Rotorua lies between Wellington and Auckland. Rotorua does not have an international airport. Therefore, the best way to reach Rotorua is to take a flight to Auckland followed by a domestic flight to Rotorua.

What is the best time to visit Rotorua?

The best time to visit Rotorua is between the months of March and May, during the autumn season in the region. The weather and temperatures during this time are quite pleasant in Rotorua, making it a great season for sightseeing and indulging in adventure activities like trekking, geyser exploration, soaking in mud pools and more.

What is Rotorua known for?

Rotorua is known all over the world for its shooting geysers, geothermal pools, bubbling mud pools as well as natural hot springs. Furthermore, it is also famous for its exhibition of the ancient traditional Maori culture.

What to buy from Rotorua?

- Handcrafted cheese
- Local wine
- Local craft beer
- Homemade jams, chutneys and preserves
- Homemade snacks
- Handmade soaps
- Knitwear
- Maori crafts
- Jade jewellery
- Local artworks
- Merino wool
- Smoked fish
- Glass jewellery and sculptures

Is Rotorua worth visiting?

Yes, Rotorua is definitely worth visiting. In addition to being the home of geothermal pools, natural mud pools and geyser springs, the city also boasts of verdant landscapes, museums, adventure activities and more.

How many days are enough for Rotorua?

A trip of 2 to 5 days is enough to explore Rotorua to the fullest. From sightseeing, shopping and indulging in the local cuisines and drinks, you can also enjoy a wide range of activities in these five days in the city.

What are the romantic things to do in Rotorua?

1. Soak In A Hot Pool: Take advantage of the natural hot springs in Rotorua, and enjoy one of the most romantic things to do in Rotorua with your significant other. Rejuvenate yourselves as you take in some of the most beautiful natural sights from these hot pools.

2. Enjoy A Dinner High Up Above From The Ground: If wondering about what is there to do in Rotorua then visit the Stratosphere Restaurant and Bar by availing the Skyline Gondola ride. Enjoy a lip-smacking dinner on the side of Mount Ngongotaha while you soak in an elegant ambience, beautiful natural views and delicious wine.

3. Enjoy A Treewalk: The answer to your question of what is there to do in Rotorua is a romantic night tree walk. Take a stroll along the 553-metre walkway through the verdant Redwood trees which are linked together with a series of suspension bridges.

What is there to do in Rotorua at night?

1. Enjoy A Chilled Craft Beer: Visit the Stratosphere Restaurant and Bar on a night luge and grab a cold craft beer as you indulge in complementary dishes and snacks.

2. Play Mini Golf: One of the more offbeat things to do in Rotorua at night is to indulge in a game of mini golf. Enjoy catching glimpses of the native flora and fauna of New Zealand as you try golfing amidst twinkling lights and a serene atmosphere.

3. Walk Between The Trees Under The Stars: Go on a nature discovery walk under the stars amongst Redwood trees that date back to over 100 years. Enjoy the tranquil lanterns lighting your pathway as you soak in the soothing ambience.

4. Night Cruise: Asking yourself as to what is there to do in Rotorua? Admire the history of the stunning lake Rotorua as you go on a night cruise, passing through the various landscapes and tucking in delicious food and wine during the tour.

Which are the best natural hot springs in Rotorua?

1. Kerosene Creek: This hot spring is located around 35 minutes from Rotorua, and boasts of a pristine waterfall, along with beautiful surroundings. You can soak in or take a dip under the waterfall, or simply relax yourselves in the hot pools while you marvel at the beautiful scenery.

2. Wai-o-tapu: When it comes to the hot springs in Rotorua, the ones at Wai-o-Tapu are undoubtedly the best. You can bathe in the hot pools here, which have been formed by the hot Wai-O-Tapu stream that flows into the cold river.

3. Kuirau Park: You can also dip your feet in this free geothermal park in the city. This is one of the best places to get hot foot baths and simply relax after a day full of activities.

4. Wairua Stream: Located across Lake Tarawera, this naturally heated spring is a natural paradise. One of the most picturesque hot springs in the region, the stream is also great for a relaxing dip.

What are the best mud pools in Rotorua?

1. Te Puia: Located in the heart of Rotorua, this location features a 60-hectare thermal valley and the Pohutu Geyser, along with a series of bubbling mud pools.

2. Wai-o-tapu: This natural mud pool is well worth the visit owing to its scenic surrounding, coloured pools and healing properties.

3. Sulphur Point: Get to this region through a walking trail and go bathe in the thermal mud pools after which you can wash all that off in the nearby hot spring, for a unique and fun experience.

4. Kuirau Park: This public park also boasts of impressive mud pools and geothermal springs where you can soak in. The park also has a play area for children, along with an ornamental lake, garden and a paddling pool.

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