Rotorua
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Rotorua Nature & Adventure

White Island & Whale Island 1-Hour Volcano Scenic Flight

1. 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 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.

Geothermal Mineral Baths Experience: Pavilion Pools for 12+

3. 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: Kaituna River Rafting Expereince

4. 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.

Kaituna River and Tutea Falls Whitewater Rafting

5. Kaituna River and Tutea Falls Whitewater Rafting

Join an epic grade 5 whitewater rafting expedition on the Kaituna River and get an adrenaline rush in its deep warm water canyons. Located a 25-minute drive from central Rotorua, the rafting base is next to the Okere Falls Scenic Reserve.  Join an expert guide on an action-packed, 50-minute adventure down 14 epic rapids. Brave the famous 7-meter Tutea Falls, the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. A must-do for adrenaline junkies and first-time rafters alike, the adventure is run by super-friendly guides to give you the safest and most entertaining trip on the river. Stretch your legs on the nearby walking track at the end of your raft to watch the rapids tumble over the falls, or head to the nearby cafe to enjoy some food and the best selection of craft beer in Rotorua.

Rotorua: ZORB Inflatable Ball Rides

6. 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. 

Whakarewarewa: Entrance to the Geothermal Trails

7. 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.

Velocity Valley 2 Ride Combo Package

8. Velocity Valley 2 Ride Combo Package

Choose any two out of four adventure activities with this ride combo. Arrive onsite at Velocity Valley where all the action will begin. Velocity Valley is an adventure park located 15-minutes drive from central Rotorua. Once onsite you will be given your pass to experience the rides within the park. Enjoy the flexibility to choose 2 out of 4 rides that you can complete in any order and enjoy at your own pace. Preselection is not required. Swoop: a giant 40-metre sky swing Agrojet: NZ fastest commercial jetsprint Shweeb: the world’s one and only monorail racetrack Freefall Xtreme: Southern Hemispheres only outdoor open-air wind tunnel experience. If you would like to drop one ride and double up on another ride that’s completely fine. Note that complimentary shuttles to Velocity Valley are available on request after booking.

Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

9. Auckland: Hobbiton, Rotorua and Wai-O-Tapu Day Tour

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 Hobbiton. 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. After the drive, arrive at Alexander Family Sheep Farm and Shire's Rest, the entrance to Hobbiton, and marvel at the thousands of sheep that live here. While you’re here, grab a bite to eat, a coffee, or enjoy an ice cream to cool off while your guide collects your tickets to the movie set. Next, hop on board one of the big green Hobbiton buses to depart on your two hour fully guided tour of this amazing 12-acre movie set with a professional Hobbiton guide to ensure you get the most out of your visit. During your tour trip into the lush pastures of the Shire, visit 44 hobbit holes, see amazing gardens, hear secrets and stories about the making of the movies and finish your LOTR experience with a cold beverage at the famous Hobbiton pub, The Green Dragon Inn. After your LOTR experience, it’s time to continue southwards towards the active geothermal area of Rotorua. During the drive, 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, the Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa. Take some time to rest for lunch and then head to Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland considered one of the most surreal places on earth. Here, admire the Champagne Lake, Devil’s Bath, local mud-pools, geothermal craters and other geothermal wonders before a fully guided trip back to Auckland and the end of your tour.

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

10. 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.

Frequently asked questions about Rotorua Nature & Adventure

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rotorua

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What people are saying about Rotorua

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 374 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.

I hadn't visited since the 80's and was pleased to see it hadn't changed too much, just improved. We loved the museum.

Staff with a very good sense of humor. Everything was perfect. I will do it again!

We did the self-guided walk. Plenty of seats along the way to rest.