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Rotorua
Travel Guide

Rotorua showing a hot spring

Geysers, hot springs, Māori culture and adventure sports welcome visitors to this fascinating city on New Zealand’s North Island.

Bubbling hot springs and mud pools offer relaxation, shooting geysers provide astonishment and mountains present boundless opportunities for adventure in Rotorua. This tourist-friendly city spreads around the southern shores of Lake Rotorua and is the thermal wonderland of New Zealand’s North Island. Rotorua is also home to one of the country’s largest population of Māoris, whose culture is visible throughout.

Learn about the local culture and geological history at the Rotorua Museum, housed in an historic timber-framed bathhouse. The museum is located in the Government Gardens, which is also home to the thermal pools of the Blue Baths. From here, follow Queens Drive north to Sulphur Point to enjoy views across Lake Rotorua. Follow the lakeshore to St. Faith’s Anglican Church, a pretty church decorated with Māori art. Afterwards, check out the hot springs at nearby Kuirau Park.

Just south of Government Gardens is the geothermal Te Whakarewarewa Valley. It is home to the Māori villages and cultural centres of Whakarewarewa Thermal Village and Te Puia. Watch traditional dances, visit craft workshops and sample a hangi cuisine, an ancient technique of cooking in a pit. Te Puia also affords superb views of Pohutu Geyser, which erupts up to 20 times per day.

At the northern edge of the city the Skyline Rotorua takes you on scenic journey to the slopes of Mt. Ngongotaha. Enjoy thrilling zip-line and go-kart toboggan adventures or explore hiking and mountain-biking trails. Find more high-adrenalin activities, such as zorbing, jet-boating and bungee jumping at Agroventures Adventure Park. Get up-close with kiwis and other birdlife at Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park.

After a day of adventures, relax in the cafés, pubs and restaurants situated on the open-air dining and entertainment area of Eat Street. Its natural geothermal floor heating makes it an enjoyable place to be year-round. Alternatively, sample ethnic cuisine and browse for local arts and crafts at the weekly Rotorua Night Market.

Rotorua is about a 3-hour drive southeast from Auckland and well-connected with other North Island destinations by intercity buses. Rent a car or use public transport to visit geothermal attractions outside of the city centre. These include the Buried Village of Te Wairoa, Hells Gate and Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

Rotorua Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Rotorua

Holiday Inn Rotorua, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Rotorua, an IHG Hotel
4.5 out of 5
10 Tryon Street, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua
The price is NZ$195 per night from 18 May to 18 May
This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is steps away from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village. Polynesian Spa is 2.5 mi (4 km) ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (982 reviews)
"Family friendly, close to amenities, central location"

Reviewed on 2 May 2021

Holiday Inn Rotorua, an IHG Hotel
Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Millennium Hotel Rotorua
4.5 out of 5
1270 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua
The price is NZ$170 per night from 8 Jun. to 8 Jun.
This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located near the boardwalk, within a 5-minute walk of Rotorua Arts Village and Polynesian Spa. Rotorua Central Mall and ...
3.8/5Good! (990 reviews)
"Lovely building, close to restaurants, shops etc."

Reviewed on 5 May 2021

Millennium Hotel Rotorua
Prince's Gate Hotel
Prince's Gate Hotel
4.5 out of 5
1057 Arawa Street, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty
The price is NZ$167 per night from 1 Jun. to 1 Jun.
This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located near the airport, within a 10-minute walk of Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Centre and Polynesian Spa. Skyline Rotorua ...
4.2/5Excellent! (979 reviews)
"Cool old design really good craftmanship of carpentry"

Reviewed on 10 May 2021

Prince's Gate Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
3.5 out of 5
463 Old Taupo Road (South End), Rotorua
The price is NZ$90 per night from 28 May to 28 May
Situated in the suburbs, this campsite is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Polynesian Spa. Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts ...
4/5Very Good! (171 reviews)
"ロトルアで遊ぶのに利用しました。私が泊まったのはトイレ風呂キッチン無しのタイプでしたが、必要最低限のお皿やトースター、カトラリー、ケトルなどは付いていて短期間の利用なら全然問題無しだと思います。共同の温泉は3つ温度の違う湯船があって一番高いものは日本人にはとても気持ち良かったです。ドア付きの脱衣所がありましたが、清潔な感じではありません。かなり硫黄の匂いがキツいので、お風呂場にシャワーが付いていたら良かったなと思いました。"

Reviewed on 30 Apr. 2021

Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
Alpin Motel & Conference Centre
Alpin Motel & Conference Centre
3.5 out of 5
16 Sala Street, Rotorua
The price is NZ$115 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Situated in Rotorua, this golf aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village and Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest. Polynesian ...
4.2/5Excellent! (593 reviews)
"The motel is in excellent condition. We enjoyed our stay. We had a sound sleep. Enjoyed our hot bath. Highly recommended. Great for family of four."

Reviewed on 10 May 2021

Alpin Motel & Conference Centre
Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park
Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park
2.5 out of 5
67-69 Whittaker Road, Rotorua
The price is NZ$89 per night from 17 May to 17 May
With direct access to the beach, this Rotorua cabin is within 3 mi (5 km) of Rotorua Hospital, Polynesian Spa and Lake Rotorua. Skyline Rotorua is 2 mi (3.3 ...
4.1/5Very Good! (159 reviews)
"Hot pools, swimming pool, shared use hangi oven, kitchen etc was good. Would be great if all rooms had attached bathroom."

Reviewed on 18 Apr. 2021

Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Rotorua

Top activities in Rotorua

Reviews of Rotorua

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
753
5 - Excellent 47.12140175219024%
4 - Good
736
4 - Good 46.057571964956196%
3 - Okay
101
3 - Okay 6.320400500625782%
2 - Disappointing
6
2 - Disappointing 0.37546933667083854%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 0.1251564455569462%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

7 Jun. 2020

After covid 19 some shops and restaurants were still closed otherwise a very nice place to visit

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

7 Jun. 2020

Most place were still closed!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

1 Jun. 2020

Love it, could consider buying a house down here :)

5/5 - Excellent

Mel

1 Jun. 2020

great place to visit

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

31 May 2020

Great place for a family holiday. Lots of activities to do and plently of free options.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

31 May 2020

The luge is horrendously expensive and gives rotorua a bad reputation. Went with family and highly recomend the redwood tree walk, paradise farm and lady knox guiser as very reasonably priced and good fun

Cities near Rotorua