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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
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
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
#5
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
#6
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
#7
Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa

Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa

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Rotorua is a place of geysers, mud pools, Maori villages, and lakes, but it’s also rung by Redwood forests that house some of the world’s best mountain biking. Here in the Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa, just minutes from the center of town, visitors will find a network of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding that weave through towering Redwoods. Though the area was planted for commercial forestry, it’s also become a favorite spot for outdoor recreation, where mountain bikers fly thousands of miles for the chance to experience the trails.You don’t have to be a pro biker, however, to enjoy Redwoods Forest Whakarewarewa; the network of trails has options that cater to all different levels of riders, and one of the best ways to experience the forest is on a guided mountain bike tour. You can also just simply stroll through the forest, enjoying the sights and smells. At just 1.5 miles, the Redwood Grove Memorial track has the largest collection of Redwoods, and can be extended to over 2 miles by following the Waitawa Walk Loop.More
#8
Lake Okareka

Lake Okareka

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Lake Okareka is a local favorite for swimming, fishing, and boating. Children splash in refreshing water, surrounded by green hills, and anglers fish for rainbow trout, smelt, and long-finned eels. The lake is also popular with bird-watchers; visitors scan the shoreline for swans, coots, ducks, shags, pukeko, gulls, and stilts.More
#9
Hell's Gate Geothermal Park

Hell's Gate Geothermal Park

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There are plenty of places in Rotorua to find bubbling mud and steam vents, but the geothermal activity at Hell's Gate Geothermal Park is the most pronounced. Explore the landscape in this valley and you’ll notice that the steam is a bit thicker; the mud gurgles, a bit louder. The earth here is powerfully raw, which is precisely what makes the attraction so alluring.More
#10
Lake Rotoiti

Lake Rotoiti

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Lake Rotoiti is the boutique cousin to the larger Lake Rotorua. Though Rotoiti is connected to its massive neighbor by the narrow Ohau Channel, it has its own relaxed feel. Sunsets on Lake Rotoiti are beautiful, and the trout fishing here is some of the best on the North Island.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

Recent reviews from experiences in Rotorua

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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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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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I loved this trip. It was very well...
Clare M, Mar 2016
Rotorua Māori Hāngi Dinner and Performance
The village and all the activities were very well done.
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the dinner was absolutely fantastic...
Angela_T, Apr 2014
Rotorua Māori Hāngi Dinner and Performance
the dinner was absolutely fantastic and the show was superb ,it was an experience I am glad I had the chance to see and enjoy ,if anyone is going ,you cannot miss this ,it was the highlight of our stay in Rotorua
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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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Thanks for all the arrangements...
KaKin_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.
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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.
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The visit to the Waiotapu Geothermal...
Philip_L, Jan 2018
Absolutely Rotorua: Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu, Rotorua Sights and Mitai Maori Village
Lucky enough was that I was the only guest in the afternoon tour, but not knowing why, we missed to visit the Sulphur Point.
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Highlight of Rotorua, exceptional...
Alison C, Dec 2015
Rotorua Māori Hāngi Dinner and Performance
Highlight of Rotorua, exceptional staff, quality of food and cultural activities.
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We knew that Rotorua was a special...
Roger B, Apr 2017
Rotorua Māori Hāngi Dinner and Performance
We were able to visit the wonders of the Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland, the Lady Knox Geyser, and the awesome Waimangu Volcanic Rift.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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What are the top things to do in Rotorua?
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