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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

VR Rotorua Lake Resort
VR Rotorua Lake Resort
4.5 out of 5
366 State Highway 33, Mourea
The price is NZ$95 per night from 23 Aug. to 23 Aug.
Situated near the airport, this luxury hotel is 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Lake Rotoiti and 2.9 mi (4.6 km) from Okere Falls Scenic Reserve. Hell's Gate and Wai Ora ...
4.2/5Excellent! (990 reviews)
"What an amazing view of the lake"

Reviewed on 21 Jul. 2021

VR Rotorua Lake Resort
Pullman Rotorua
Pullman Rotorua
5 out of 5
1135 Arawa St, Rotorua
The price is NZ$269 per night from 8 Aug. to 8 Aug.
Situated in Rotorua, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Government Gardens and Polynesian Spa. Rotorua Central Mall and Rotorua Hospital are ...
4.1/5Very Good! (100 reviews)
"Great spacious and clean rooms, definite worth paying for the buffet breakfast, every breakfast item you could want is there! Definitely coming back"

Reviewed on 21 Jul. 2021

Pullman 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$129 per night from 27 Jul. to 27 Jul.
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! (975 reviews)
"Well appointed rooms. Enjoyed having thermal pools onsite with extra towels provided for the pools."

Reviewed on 18 Jul. 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.

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

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