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Things to do in Rotorua

Things to do in  Rotorua

Welcome to Rotorua

Widely considered one of the top attractions in New Zealand’s North Island, the town of Rotorua is a landscape of rolling hills, dense forests, and beautiful lakes located a three-hour drive south of bustling Auckland. Delve into a world of bubbling geothermal pools, colorful sulphur formations, and steaming geysers on tours through the volcanic valley Waimangu or Wai-O-Tapu, with its Lady Knox Geyser (arrive in the morning to view it erupt); or take to the skies by helicopter for a sightseeing flight over White Island, an active offshore volcano. Learn of Maori heritage and tradition at the Mitai Maori Village, Te Puia, or Whakarewarewa. For more on indigenous culture, book a guided experience involving a Maori “hangi” dinner, cooked over hot pools and steam vents, which can be combined with a cultural performance. Fans of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” can't miss a visit to Hobbiton, the filmic home of Bilbo Baggins, on a guided tour. Visitors heading to Rotorua in search of adrenaline-pumping adventure can challenge themselves against the swirling rapids on a rafting tour of the Kaituna or Rangitaiki rivers, or perhaps strap in for a jet-boat ride through Tutukau Gorge—home to hidden waterfalls and thermal pools. For something a little more relaxing, take to Lake Rotoiti by kayak to visit glowworm caves and watch as the sun sets on the horizon.

Top 10 attractions in Rotorua

#1
Te Puia

Te Puia

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Te Puia, located in the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley at the edge of Rotorua features Pohutu Geyser and is home to the impressive New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Visitors can tour the bubbling mud pools with a local Maori guide and choose from among myriad activities.More
#2
Lake Rotorua

Lake Rotorua

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The Rotorua area boasts dozens of lakes, but Lake Rotorua is larger, deeper, and older than its neighbors. Geologists believe that Rotorua, the second-largest lake on the North Island, dates back more than 200,000 years, while most of the region’s other waterways were created by the Tarawera eruption of 1886.More
#3
Tamaki Maori Village

Tamaki Maori Village

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Visit Tamaki Maori Village to experience Maori culture and society as it existed in pre-European New Zealand. Through performing arts, you’ll see, hear, and feel the Tamaki brothers’ vision for an immersive tour into the traditional Maori way of life. Live the stories, travels, battles, and rituals of the Maori as New Zealand was settled.More
#4
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Waimangu Volcanic Valley

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The Waimangu Volcanic Valley, on the North Island of New Zealand, offers one of Rotorua’s largest zones for exploring geothermal phenomena. Called “the world’s youngest geothermal valley,” Waimangu features boiling lakes, bubbling mud pools, and mountains bathed in steam. The surrounding beauty of the native bushland is just a bonus.More
#5
Government Gardens Rotorua

Government Gardens Rotorua

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The Government Gardens in central Rotorua are so bountiful, they resemble an old picture postcard from the English countryside. If not for the telltale scent of sulfur from the nearby thermal springs at Sulphur Point, visitors might forget where they’re standing, given the Edwardian architecture and dignified landscape.More
#6
Mt. Tarawera

Mt. Tarawera

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Mt. Tarawera’s claim to fame is its historic 1866 eruption that destroyed the recognizable Pink and White Terraces. Today, it's the center of a geothermal wonderland and a compelling attraction in its own right—take a guided tour to the mountain’s peak, or visit the many valleys and lakes carved out and altered by the 19th-century eruption.More
#7
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland showcases New Zealand’s geothermal topography at its most dramatic and colorful. Located along the Reporoa Caldera within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, the park’s lava-sculpted landscapes are punctuated by hissing geysers, swirling sulfur lakes, and bubbling mud pools.More
#8
Mitai Maori Village

Mitai Maori Village

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Travelers don’t need to venture all the way to the bush for a taste of traditional New Zealand life thanks to the conveniently located Mitai Maori Village. This authentic cultural destination showcases the famed warriors in traditional attire and grants visitors unlimited access to their unique ways of life.From hand-carved canoe rides to an evening hike through a glowworm forest, to a stop at a sacred freshwater spring a Mitai Maori Village trip features all the highlights in a single evening of fun. Travelers can sample a hangi meal cooked in the earth and enjoy a night of entertainment that includes poi dancing, hand-to-hand combat performances and traditional ta moko tattooing.More
#9
Lady Knox Geyser

Lady Knox Geyser

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Every morning, a rocky grey vent called the Lady Knox Geyser spews water for a captive audience. Far from a strange local ritual, the geyser is one of the star geothermal attractions at Rotorua’s Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. It erupts without fail—after being induced with soap—to heights of 30 to 65 feet (9 to 20 meters).More
#10
Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (Te Puia)

Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (Te Puia)

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The Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (Te Puia) was established in the 1920s to protect the traditional arts of carving and weaving. Today Te Puia is a thriving educational institute and a unique experience of Maori culture: here you can watch students learn their craft, enjoy traditional cultural performances, and explore a rugged geothermal valley.More

Trip ideas

Top Hot Springs in Rotorua

Top Hot Springs in Rotorua

How to Spend 1 Day in Rotorua

How to Spend 1 Day in Rotorua

Top activities in Rotorua

3D Trick Art Gallery

3D Trick Art Gallery

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Rotorua Rafting - Kaituna River White Water Rafting

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Rotorua Rafting - Kaituna River White Water Rafting

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Recent reviews from experiences in Rotorua

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Nice trio grom Rotorua to Taupo
PaulBG, Dec 2019
Taupo Day Trip with Orakei Korako from Rotorua
If you want to visit Orakei Korako from Rotorua it is reasonable to take this trip as it allows you to take a look at Huka Falls and Taupo lake/town as well, although last ones are not so fascinating as the rest of places in the area.
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The breakfast was better than any...
Janice D, Feb 2016
Lake Rotorua Paddle Boat Cruise
Brilliant to see a good supply of fruits a starter.
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A joint trip to Taupo , Huka Falls...
HUSNU ARIL S, Mar 2015
Te Puia Day Pass - Geysers, Mud Pools, Kiwi, Culture, History & more
A joint trip to Taupo , Huka Falls and Rotorua is what I would highly recommend It is a first rate Nature Experience Maori culture experience is at its best at Auckland Museum
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Excellent adventure to see glow worms in the forest
rodh524, Nov 2019
Nocturnal adventure Glow-worm tour
The first sight we had of glow worms was by a waterfall.
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Around The Lakes Tour
john p, Aug 2019
Mornin Lakes Tour
I’ve been to Rotorua a few times before and visited all the usual tourist attractions close to and around town.
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Natalie from New Zealand Discovery...
Gerard Carlo P, Jul 2018
Hobbiton: Te Puia: Redwood Forest, Rotorua Highlights, Small Group Day Tour
Then we got to see the Lady Knox Geyser.
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Thanks for all the arrangements...
Ka Kin C, Mar 2018
Te Puia Geysers, Kiwi bird, Redwood Forest & Highlights Drive: Rotorua Tour
Time arrangement is good and accurate so that we complete all the attractions in time with no hurry.

Frequently Asked Questions