Things to do in
Rotorua

Discover geothermal wonders, breathtaking natural beauty, and the vibrant Maori culture.

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Our most recommended things to do in Rotorua

Hells Gate Mud Bath and Sulphur Spa Experience

1. 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 City and Lakes Duck Tour

2. Rotorua City and Lakes Duck Tour

Discover Rotorua city and its lakes on a unique 90-minute sightseeing adventure that takes you over land and into the water by amphibious vehicle. This is the best way to see the city and experience the beauty of the lake region on a single tour. Your tour begins right in the heart of the city, where you’ll see the city’s top sights and learn about the diversity that makes Rotorua such a unique destination. Venture out of town to the spectacular lake region and take in magnificent views of Mount Tarawera. Splash down into Lake Tikitapu and Lake Okareka. The tour is educational and fun for the whole family. Everyone is sure to enjoy this unique adventure in an authentic WWII-era amphibious vehicle.

White Island & Whale Island 1-Hour Volcano Scenic Flight

3. 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: ZORB Inflatable Ball Rides

4. Rotorua: ZORB Inflatable Ball Rides

Take on an iconic New Zealand experience in Rotorua. Roll down a hill inside a specially designed giant inflatable ball. Choose from a single, double or triple ride option when booking. On the day, opt for a H2OGO (wet) ride. On warm days, superman dive into the H2OGO on your own or with friends as you slip, slide and laugh your way down the slope. The specially designed ball means you remain will right-side up and not get dizzy. On cold days, stay warm in the H2OGO with warm water used for the rides. Hot spas will keep you toasty in between rides, an outdoor fire will pump serious warmth, and there will be heated changing rooms for afterwards. Delicious coffee made by baristas will also available on-site. 

Rotorua: Secret Spot Hot Tubs

5. 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.

Rotorua: Hell's Gate Geothermal Walk

6. 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.

Rotorua: Kaituna River Rafting Expereince

7. Rotorua: Kaituna River Rafting Expereince

Drive to the Rotorua Rafting base, just a 20 minute drive from Central Rotorua. Meet your guide at the base and dress up in your wetsuit to stay toasty warm for the day. Your guide will teach you everything you need to know. Don't worry if you've never been whitewater rafting before, you don't need any experience. Non-swimmers are even able to tackle the river. In the summer months, the river is 25 degrees Celsius, making it the warmest river in the country. A quick hop across the road will see you arrive at the river ready to tackle 14 epic rapids and 3 waterfalls. The highlights will be jumping, swimming, surfing, and plummeting over the highest commercially rafted waterfall on the planet. After an hour of action, you will arrive back at the base ready to get changed and check out the photos that were taken throughout the adventure.

Whakarewarewa: Entrance to the Geothermal Trails

8. Whakarewarewa: Entrance to the Geothermal Trails

Experience New Zealand's diverse natural landscapes with this entrance ticket to the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Trails. Walk through Jurassic Park-like scenes as you pass by bubbling waters, which some believe have healing properties. Find yourself face-to-face with hot springs lakes, mud pools, geysers and native manuka bushlands. Combine views of native ferns, edible plants and colorful steaming lakes and thermal pools. Snap unique photos in this facinating landscape.

Rotorua: Whakarewarewa Village Guided Tour

9. Rotorua: Whakarewarewa Village Guided Tour

Experience the warmth of our Legacy Guided tours through NZ’s iconic living Maori village. Our village guides are direct descendants of early Māori guides, who have shaped tourism in New Zealand for generations. Their insights, knowledge and legendary hospitality (manaakitanga) adds depth and richness to the experience you’ll have at Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village. On the Whakarewarewa Guided Tour, you will explore an authentic Māori village, where people use natural geothermal resources to cook, bathe and heat their homes as they have for centuries. Learn what it’s like to live in the challenging geothermal plateau where daily life includes cooking in the bubbling pools and steam vents, and bathing takes place in the refreshing therapeutic waters. You will view the geothermal wonders of Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, including the world-famous Pōhutu geyser, boiling mud-pools, steam vents and bubbling pools. Take in our various historic landmarks and buildings, including an active Marae (meeting grounds and focal point of Maori communities), our WWII Memorial Archway, historic churches, and tapu (sacred) burial grounds.

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 Rotorua

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What people are saying about Rotorua

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,352 reviews

Being in the mature age bracket we were a little hesitant to do this tour. However Nathan and the very very tall guy (forgot name sorry) were absolutely fantastic. Made the ride down the rapids easy, enjoyable and a whole heap of fun. Thanks guys. Advice to prospective customers, just do it. You will enjoy.

We had a great time. Our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and a great story teller. We didn't know what to expect, but loved the tour and were surprised to get to try corn cooked right from the hot spring.

Shelly was the best guide we could have been peard with. She is the BEST. thank you for a great experience. Our kids even commented on the drive back home that we got luck to have you.

Very informative and enjoyable tour. Tour guide was excellent and kept us entertained as well as informed.

The staff here made the experience so much more amazing will definitely be back