This famously lively geothermal hot spot abounds with spurting geysers, steaming hot springs and bubbling mud pools. It’s been a sacred place for the Maori for centuries, and today it’s one of the best spots in the country to catch a Maori cultural performance and join in a traditional hangi feast.
Rotorua boasts some glorious colonial architecture, classic botanic gardens and paddle-steamer cruises on the lake.
You can also join in some of New Zealand’s wackier adrenaline sports here, like zorbing downhill in a translucent sphere, surfing artificial reefs, whitewater rafting and sledging, and mountain biking through forests of redwoods.
Rotorua’s most famous thermal reserve is Te Whakarewarewa (often shortened to Whaka), with gurgling geysers, spouting mud pools and the Te Puia Maori cultural center. The Pohutu geyser erupts up to 20 times a day, and haka war dances and Maori concerts are held nightly.
You can fly to Rotorua from Auckland, or a bus will get you there in around four hours. To get more out of your visit, join a Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland. The tour visits the Whaka reserve to see Pohutu burst into life and pays a visit to the Maori cultural center.
En route to Rotorua, you’ll take a guided tour of the Waitomo stalactite caves and glowworm grotto, and see sheep shearing and New Zealand’s famous working sheepdogs in action at the Agrodome.
For a more in-depth look at the North Island and the Bay of Plenty, join a three-day trip from Auckland to the Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and the Taupo waterfalls.
With five days to spare, you can see the best of the North and South Islands, including Rotorua’s geothermal parks, the Waitomo Caves and whale watching from Wellington.
Reply by Viator, April 2013
Doing what: Waitomo Caves and Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland
a long drive. however the coach is very comfy so no problem at all. the driver is very good, non-stop commentary except on return journey when most people have gone to sleep.
the waitomo caves is spectacular, been to the glow worm cave in australlia good coast. the waitomo caves have a lot more glow worms, and the boat ride is awesome.
The farm is ok but is more of a show piece, not the authentic farm we expect. but ok, another experience.
the maori village is fun too. the hot spring jet is ok too.
the whole trip is very nicely organised.
The Rotorua area is worth for a longer stay with the hotels with spas, the cable car and luge ride down. next time will spend more time in that area.
will recommend for those who do not drive around NZ
A lot of time on the bus but this tour covered all the highlights of the New Zealand North island except wine tasting. Each of the stops was excellent. Highly recommend this bargain.
This was an excellent tour. The day was very long, but we covered a lot of ground all of the stops were well done.
In particular, the Glow Worm caves were exceptional. At one point there were about 20 tourists in a boat in the dark cave and all of us were completely spellbound looking at the glow worms which resembled a night sky which was fully of constellations of stars.