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Things to do in

Bay of Plenty Region

Our most recommended things to do in Bay of Plenty Region

Mitai Maori Village: Cultural Experience and Dinner Buffet

1. Mitai Maori Village: Cultural Experience and Dinner Buffet

Enter a Maori village in a natural bush setting and learn about their customs during an immersive cultural experience. Following pickup from your Rotorua accommodation, if option booked, get a warm meet and greet from a beautiful Maori maiden dressed in traditional attire. Learn the guidelines to enter the sacred site and select a chief from your group to represent those visiting the village. See warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe down the Wai-o-whiro stream and marvel at glow worms in their natural habitat. Be captivated by the songs and dances of an entertaining concert, complete with the spine-tingling haka war dance. Watch as the hangi feast is removed from the earth-cooked oven, explore the art of ta moko (tattoo) and more.  Feast on a hot selection of succulent meats and poultry, vegetables and fresh salads, topped off with tempting desserts.

Hells Gate Mud Bath and Sulphur Spa Experience

2. Hells Gate Mud Bath and Sulphur Spa Experience

Enjoy a therapeutic mud bath and sulfur spa at Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve, located just a 15-minute drive from central Rotorua. A round-trip shuttle service option from Rotorua is also available. Soak in the thermal mud and acidic, sulfurous waters as the local Maori have done for over 800 years. Apply the natural geothermal mud to your skin while relaxing in the warm sulfurous waters for 20 minutes. Follow the mud spa with a cool shower before relaxing in the hot sulfur mineral spa. The warm geothermal mud opens and cleans the skin’s pores, and the sulfur spa provides a gentle exfoliation and deep cleansing.

Rotorua: Secret Spot Hot Tubs

3. Rotorua: Secret Spot Hot Tubs

Be greeted by the facility’s friendly staff on arrival and hear more about your hot tub experience. Use the customized changing room facilities and refresh in the cedarwood showers before heading outside and following the signs to your personal hot tub. Slip into the soothing water of your hot tub and feel your body relax. Invite friends and family to share the spacious tub and take in the serenity of the surrounding forest. Enjoy complimentary drinking water, or use the push button service to order from the bar without leaving the water. Sample a craft beer or cider, tea, Manuka roasted coffee, or a wine from the Mills Reef selection. During the day listen out for local birds chirping in the trees, and by night gaze up at the stars you can see above the forest darkness. After your 45-minute hot tub soak has finished, feel free to slip your feet into a “Shinny Dip” tub to end the experience.

Geothermal Mineral Baths Experience: Pavilion Pools for 12+

4. Geothermal Mineral Baths Experience: Pavilion Pools for 12+

Relax and unwind at the Polynesian Spa, a world-leading, natural mineral bathing and luxury spa retreat in Rotorua. Geothermal waters nourish the skin and relieve tired muscles, aches and pains, while decadent therapies rejuvenate through ancient and modern techniques. This ticket provides access to the premium bathing area, the Deluxe Lake Spa, which includes a range of mineral rock pools at various temperatures. Using both alkaline and acidic mineral springs, the Deluxe Lake Spa is the ultimate geothermal bathing experience. The therapeutic waters at this spa come from two different natural springs. The Priest Spring is named after Father Mahoney, a Catholic Priest who was "cured" of his crippling arthritis from bathing in the waters in 1878. The slightly acidic water from the Priest Spring relieves tired muscles and aches and pains. The Rachel Spring is a source of alkaline water, which features the antiseptic action of sodium silicate nourishing the skin. It was historically said that those who bathe in the waters of the Rachel Spring are blessed with ageless beauty. The combination of these two types of mineral waters is only found at the Polynesian Spa. This spa was built on the site of historic bath houses, which originally made the city world-famous in the 1800s. It continues to evolve and focus on health and wellness, introducing passive and active bathing experiences for increased immunity and greater energy levels. In the Pavilion Pools, elements of early buildings and baths have been carefully retained and the site is registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Rotorua Lake: Deluxe Lake Spa Geothermal Hot Spring Bathing

5. Rotorua Lake: Deluxe Lake Spa Geothermal Hot Spring Bathing

Relax and unwind at Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa – a world-leading, natural mineral bathing and luxury spa retreat. Geothermal waters nourish the skin and relieve tired muscles and aches and pains, while decadent therapies rejuvenate through ancient and modern techniques. Combined with the healthy café, Polynesian Spa restores the body inside and out. This ticket provides access to the premium bathing area, the Deluxe Lake Spa, which includes a range of mineral rock pools at various temperatures. Using both alkaline and acidic mineral springs, the Deluxe Lake Spa is the ultimate geothermal bathing experience. The therapeutic waters at Polynesian Spa come from two different natural springs. The Priest Spring is named after Father Mahoney, a Catholic Priest who was "cured" of his crippling arthritis from bathing in the waters in 1878. The slightly acidic water from the Priest Spring relieves tired muscles and aches and pains. The Rachel Spring is a source of alkaline water, which features the antiseptic action of sodium silicate nourishing the skin. It was historically said that those who bathe in the waters of the Rachel Spring are blessed with ageless beauty. The combination of these two types of mineral waters is only found at Polynesian Spa. This spa was built on the site of historic bath houses that first made the city world-famous in the 1800s. At Polynesian Spa, elements of early buildings and baths have been carefully retained and the site is registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk, Mud Bath & Sulphur Spa

6. Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk, Mud Bath & Sulphur Spa

Experience the best of Hells Gate Geothermal Park with a self-guided geothermal walk and historic spa experience. The park is located approximately 15 minutes drive from the town's centre.  Discover the geothermal features using a self-guided map or join a guided tour. Learn about the history, features and uniqueness of the geothermal area. After learning about the unique healing muds of Hells Gate, experience New Zealand’s historic spa experience for yourself! Soak in unique thermal mud and acidic sulfurous waters that have been used by the local Maori for more than 800 years. The warm geothermal mud opens and cleans the skin’s pores, while the sulphur spas give your skin a gentle exfoliation and deep cleansing.  Note that a complimentary shuttle service picks up from central Rotorua three to four times a day (seasonally) with scheduled return services.

White Island & Whale Island 1-Hour Volcano Scenic Flight

7. White Island & Whale Island 1-Hour Volcano Scenic Flight

Take to the skies to admire the marine volcano of White Island from above. Your friendly and professional crew will keep you thoroughly entertained throughout your experience. You’ll receive a flight and safety briefing before heading out onto the tarmac to your aircraft. Be sure to bring your camera, as everyone gets a window seat. Enjoy fantastic views as your enthusiastic pilot shares local insights. Fly over the township of Whakatane before heading offshore over Moutohora (Whale) Island, an extinct volcano that is now a wildlife refuge. Continue on to White Island, keeping a lookout for a bird's eye views of dolphins and large schools of fish. During several turns around the island, you’ll have the opportunity to see the volcano from all angles and shoot plenty of stunning photos. You’ll get closer each time and the pilot will dip the wing for uninterrupted views. Your pilot will give you tips for capturing the best photos and alert you when a good opportunity arises. Peer directly into the crater, smell volcanic gasses and admire incredible views of sulfur vents, bubbling mud, and acid lakes. Enjoy the most time above the crater out of any of the local flight operations before the scenic return flight to Whakatane airport.

Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk

8. Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk

Discover the Hells Gate/Tikitere Geothermal Reserve, one of the most active in New Zealand.  Enjoy a self-guided walk of the spectacular reserve, located approximately 15-minutes drive from central Rotorua. Hells Gate boasts New Zealand's largest active mud volcano, the Southern Hemisphere's largest hot water falls, and even examples of land coral. See boiling hot pools and erupting waters with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Celsius. Discover steaming fumaroles, hot water lakes, sulphur crystals and deposits. Learn about Hells Gate’s extensive history independently or join an interactive guided tour, available daily at 10:30 AM or 2:30 PM. A complimentary shuttle service picks up from central Rotorua three to four times a day (seasonally) with scheduled drop offs.

Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

9. Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

Discover Tarawera and Lakes on a unique 2-hour fully-guided adventure that takes place on land and water on-board a genuine WWII amphibious Duck. One of the best ways to appreciate the scenery of the Rotorua lakes district and learn more about the history of the land, the people, and the devastating 1886 eruption of Mt. Tarawera.  Your tour begins right in the heart of Rotorua and ventures out of town to the spectacular lake’s district where you will experience your first splash down into the sheltered calm waters of Lake Okareka. Your ConDUCKtor will then take you further, exploring the natural beauty of the lakes district with a backdrop of the magnificent volcanic domes of Mount Tarawera. After plunging into the deep blue water of Lake Tarawera, the return trip will see you viewing the sacred Lake Rotokakahe (The Green Lake) before splashing down on Tikitapu (the Blue Lake) your forth and final lake visit before the homeward journey back to the sulphurous aroma of Rotorua’s city centre. This tour is suitable for all ages and the whole family, combining fun, learning and new experiences during a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in an authentic WWII amphibious Duck.

Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

10. Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Rotorua. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. As you drive, pass through the pass through the unique town of Tirau, the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade. Upon arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s most famous and historical sites including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa. From here enjoy the option to add on up to two of Rotorua's most popular activities and attractions (additional cost). Please add on the activities or attractions you would like to include during the booking process. Maybe head to the famous geothermal park and Maori cultural village of Te Puia, bathe in the geothermal waters of the Polynesian Spa, experience some farm culture at the Agrodome Sheep Show, or ride the gondola at Skyline! Or you can simply choose to explore the city at your own pace before your return to Auckland.

Frequently asked questions about Bay of Plenty Region

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What people are saying about Bay of Plenty Region

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,537 reviews

Mark our guide was brilliant at the history facts and knowledge about the geothermal activities plus life support from the natural resources. Further he was jovial and made humorous comments that were exciting Would recommend this to any traveller

What a great experience!! Easy to get changed and showered. Lovely helpful staff. Even doing it in winter, was worth it !’

Highlight of our NZ holiday. Johnny and Nui (hope spelling is ok!) were amazing guides. We had the best time!

Fantastic experience! Awesome scenic flight with great views. Highly recommend.

Beautiful and relaxing, amazing place to unwind and soak the body aches away