Rotorua has something for everyone, from geothermal activity and luxurious mud baths to Maori cultural experiences and adrenaline rushes. "The Sulphur City" on New Zealand's North Island is the place to head for natural beauty, adventure and relaxation.
Day 1: Discover Rotorua Icons & Maori Culture
Experience the scenic beauty, history and culture of Rotorua, viewing geysers and boiling mud pools at Te Puia and Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and see traditional arts and culture at the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. The Skyline Gondola offers magnificent views, while the buried village of Te Wairoa and Rotorua Museum take you deep into the past.
Maori culture is a major attraction in Rotorua with cultural performances including a greeting ceremony, traditional dances, singing and hakas, combined with a hangi.
Day 2: Eco thermal lakes and bubbling mud spa
Rotorua is best known for its thermal activity. Head to Kuirau Park in the city center to glimpse steamy bubbling pools, visit Whakerewarewa for expansive mud pools and gushing geysers or relax in one of the many thermal spas. Drive through farmland and native forests to the boiling mudpool and colorful hot springs at Wai-O-Tapu. Explore the stunning lakes district scenery of amazingly clear and colorful Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi.
Day 3: Extreme Rotorua: Adventure & Adrenaline
Those who fancy a more intense thrill don’t have to travel far. Helicopter flights take you over lakes, forest and the volcanic fault line, some flying over an active volcano. Land on White Island, the most continuously active of New Zealand's volcanoes, and take a trek up to the crater. Or do the Zorb, a large inflatable plastic bubble that you ride in down a hill - totally addictive and unmissable. Try black water rafting into the Black Abyss of Waitamo Caves.
Ready for more adventures? Go white-water rafting on the Kaituna River or take the easier Rangitaiki River, try skydiving into a paddock, a 4WD bush safari, or the short and steep 10-minute thrill ride.