Rotorua on New Zealand's North Island must be high on any list if travelling around the country. The town is full of Maori culture and as it lies on one of the earth's tectonic plates is rich in sulphur with geysers, boiling mud pools, and hot springs. There is plenty of activities to do around lake Rotorua and the township.
Below we have listed our top 9+ Must Do Experiences
Ever fancied being shoved inside a giant bubble and thrown down multiple hills? Then zorbing is exactly what you are looking for. Its fun, its crazy and it looks mental even just as a spectator. Prices from $45, expensive but worth it
8. Thermal Parks
Rotorua stinks… Not being rude, but it does. Lying on one of earth's tectonic plates there is an abundance of geothermal activity, with many geysers, boiling pools, hot springs, boiling mud and craters, dotted around the town. Head to the Thermal Parks especially Kuirau Park to find bubbling mud pools of sulphur with a rich eggy aroma. Very surreal to casually walk past and see the ground erupting. Also look out on the roads where the tarmac is buckling under the earths movement movement. $ Free
7. Government Gardens
A beautiful, well-manicured garden and bowling green lie on the grounds of the Government house and glorious Bath House which now holds the Rotorua Museum (currently closed due to earthquake damage) $ Free
6. River rafting
For thrill seekers and the brave. A half day trip water rafting with Kaitiaki Adventures where you will be briefed and have a Maori blessing for the water you are about to tread on, before being hurled down 7 metre high waterfalls and being thrown out of the raft into whirlpools. $79 for half day tour.
The Luge is located at Skyline Rotorua, taking a chair lift to the top of the mountain, climbing in a three-wheeler go-cart and receiving a safety check- then choose from the 'scenic track' , 'intermediate track' and 'advanced track' where you will fly down the curved pathway down the mountain side. $45 - $65 depending on how many luge rides. Luge info Top tip to visit in the shoulder / off season as queues much shorter.
4. Polynesian Spa
If you would like to relax in a thermal spa then the Polynesian Spa, set next to the beautiful Government gardens, is just the place. There are 4 hot pools ranging from 36 degrees to 42 degrees, plus one cold plunge pool. There are also heated beds to relax on out of the water. The pools which are fed from 2 local natural thermal springs were a delight and relaxing whilst looking out to the lake. The spa ranges in prices depending on what you want, the 'deluxe lake spa' is $45 each
3. Maori night
Tamaki Maori Village is an evening set in a traditional Maori settlement pre- Europeans. After being greeted you will walk around the village learning about games Maori's played, and learn about their traditional clothing and facial tattoos, watch a concert involving dancing and singing traditional songs. And watch the intense and captivating being Huka preformed too. Then it is time for dinner in the eating house which is a large buffet with food having been cooked by 'hangi' which means earth oven. A fascinating and great evening to learn about the Maori culture. Info here $117
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is an immense area where there are green pools, steaming champagne pools, mud pools, bubbling lava pools, lakes and Lady Knox Geyser (which is set off daily at 10:15am). Wai-O-Tapu is simply amazing, it is like another world! $32.50 *check out our photo diary
After the first Hobbit the movie set was demolished, however after the second movie the farmers asked for it to be kept permanently as so many tourists were coming to the land in search of Hobbit. The guided tour takes you around the Hobbit holes, lakes, the Green Dragon pub, hobbit doors, there is even clothes lines all so cute and mesmerising. This is magical little place. whether you are a fan of The Hobbit or never even watched it $88 *check out our Hobbiton diary
Why not also visit -
1 hr 50 to Waitomo
Waitamo is the place to go to go black river rafting with glow worms. Read about Waitomo caves here
1 hr to Taupo
Very easy to reach Taupo which is a great place and where you can climb Tongariro Read about our trip here and even skydive
Have you ever been to Rotorua? If so did you tick any of these of your list?