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Rotorua
Travel Guide

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

Top hotels in Rotorua

Holiday Inn Rotorua
Holiday Inn Rotorua
4.5 out of 5
10 Tryon Street, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$149 per night from 4 Mar. to 5 Mar.

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! (960 reviews)

"Hotel was nice and clean, great kids discounts for attractions however room was dark, pool is small. Buffet was average and both myself and husband found hair in the eggs. However staff were wonderful and we would stay again but eat offsite"…"

Reviewed on 15 Feb. 2021

Holiday Inn Rotorua
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
4.5 out of 5
9-11 Tutanekai St, P O Box 348, Rotorua
The price is NZ$179 per night from 7 Mar. to 8 Mar.

This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located in the shopping district, within a 15-minute walk of Matariki Hangi & Maori Cultural Performance and Polynesian ...

4.1/5Very Good! (976 reviews)

"Close to places to eat and the lake waterfront. Nice buffet for breakfast."…"

Reviewed on 2 Feb. 2021

Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
Prince's Gate Hotel
Prince's Gate Hotel
4.5 out of 5
1057 Arawa Street, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty
The price is NZ$91 per night from 2 Mar. to 3 Mar.

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 ...

4.2/5Very Good! (978 reviews)

"It's a classical Victorian era hotel and has amazing character as a result. Princes gate has a nice combination of rustic charm, Victorian opulence and modern amenities."…"

Reviewed on 13 Feb. 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.

Holiday Rentals in Rotorua

Quest Rotorua Central
Quest Rotorua Central
4 out of 5
1192 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua
The price is NZ$152 per night from 22 Mar. to 23 Mar.

Located in the heart of Rotorua, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rotorua Night Market and Polynesian Spa. Skyline Rotorua and Lake Rotorua are ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (713 reviews)

"Nice property, staff and room. Central location and exactly what I needed for my stay. Would reccommend and also stay again."…"

Reviewed on 18 Jan. 2021

Quest Rotorua Central
Kings On Peace
Kings On Peace
4 out of 5
4A Peace Street, Fenton Park, Rotorua
The price is NZ$205 per night from 2 Mar. to 3 Mar.

Situated in Rotorua, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Racing Rotorua and Polynesian Spa. Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Rotorua Golf Club are ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (98 reviews)

"Loved our stay, will be back. Highly recommended. Superb service and accommodation."…"

Reviewed on 9 Oct. 2020

Kings On Peace
Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park
Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park
2.5 out of 5
67-69 Whittaker Road, Rotorua
The price is NZ$94 per night from 2 Mar. to 3 Mar.

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 ...

4/5Very Good! (156 reviews)

"Had all we needed for our stay good bbq area Room clean and tidy"…"

Reviewed on 21 Nov. 2020

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