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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
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
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa

Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa

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The Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa is a popular mountain biking, horseback riding, and walking area close to central Rotorua. As well as native New Zealand trees and flora, as the name suggests it contains a stand of spectacular Californian Coast Redwoods in a 13,800 acre (5,600 hectare forest.More
#6
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
#7
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
#8
Rotorua Museum (Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa)

Rotorua Museum (Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa)

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The Rotorua region is steeped in New Zealand's history, from the days of the Maori settlers to the advent of European explorers. At the Rotorua Museum(Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa), you'll get an in-depth view of the city's past, seen through cinema, galleries and historic locales.Spend some time in the Te Arawa and Tarawera galleries, the former of which houses an extensive collection of ancient Maori art and artifacts, as well as treasured antique photographs from the European colonial era. The latter is dedicated to the eruption of Mt. Tarawera and the destruction wreaked in 1886.After you've explored the galleries, check out the Bath House, an architectural icon of yesteryear known for its supposed curative therapies. Guests were once encourage to bathe here in various types of mineral waters during the health craze of the early 20th century.Please note: The Rotorua Museum is currently closed for earthquake assessment.More
#9
Mitai Maori Village

Mitai Maori Village

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The Mitai Maori Village—just outside Rotorua—offers Maori cultural performances and interactions, such as waka (canoe tours, a traditional hangi meal, song and dance shows, four-wheel-drive adventures, and more. The Rotorua area is rich in Maori culture and history, and visiting the Mitai Maori Village is a convenient way of learning more about this while enjoying some entertainment and activities.More
#10
Polynesian Spa

Polynesian Spa

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Treat yourself to a day at the luxurious, award-winning Polynesian Spa in the North Island town of Rotorua, known for its bubbling mud pools and spurting geysers. With more than 20 pools fed by natural springs, the spa offers a menu of treatments designed to address various health and wellness needs.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

Ziplining Forest Adventure - The Original Canopy Tour Rotorua
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Hell's Gate Mud Bath & Spas
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Hell's Gate Mud Bath & Spas

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Rotorua Rafting - Kaituna River White Water Rafting
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4WD Bush Safari at Off Road NZ

4WD Bush Safari at Off Road NZ

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Ziplining Forest Experience - The Ultimate Canopy Tour Rotorua
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Rotorua Glow Worm Kayaking Tour

Rotorua Glow Worm Kayaking Tour

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Rotorua Duck Boat Guided City and Lakes Tour
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Nocturnal adventure Glow-worm tour
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Kaituna White-Water Rafting Adventure
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Rotorua Highlights Small Group Tour Including Te Puia from Auckland
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Recent reviews from experiences in Rotorua

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Totally recommend
Renee_T, Jan 2022
Katoa Jet Boat tour on Lake Rotorua
Highlight of recent trip to Rotorua (in terms of activities) so fun and loved the storytelling eg Hinemoa and Tūtanekai - very rich history in the area and told with a sense of humour.
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Horse Trekking
Deana_Q, Mar 2020
Guided Horse Trekking from Rotorua
Although it was windy, the guide took us up to see all of Rotorua.
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Nice trio grom Rotorua to Taupo
Radoslaw_W, 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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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...
GerardCarlo_P, Jul 2018
Hobbiton: Te Puia: Redwood Forest, Rotorua Highlights, Small Group Day Tour
Then we got to see the Lady Knox Geyser.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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