Rotorua is famous for its astounding views of volcanic landscapes in New Zealand. On reaching Rotorua one can literally smell it, it is famous for its sulfur pools and bubbling geothermal areas that are astonishing and are one of the highlights of New Zealand attractions.
The town is surrounded by beautiful lakes, amazing tracks, and lush green forests. The town showcases the panoramic views of the hills and shimmering lakes.
The town is also considered the center of Maori culture and is of great historic significance to the tribe. Rotorua is also very popular for being the shooting place of the famous trilogy of The Lords of the ring.
Rotorua is an excellent place to visit for travelers and many astounding fun tours and activities bursting with thrill and adventure awaits here.
12 Best Things to Do in Rotorua
Plenty of remarkable adventures and cool activities await you in Rotorua and with so many great options it is hard to choose from. So for the convenience of fellow explorers, the following list is created that will sort out a perfect plan for a trip to Rotorua. So, here are the twelve best things to do in Rotorua on your next trip!
1. Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Rotorua is famous for Geothermal attractions and Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the most popular one here that is worth to see.
A series of carefully structured walkways allow visitors to observe the smoke-filled craters and uncanny lime-green and acid-yellow terraces safely.
The valley is a popular place in Rotorua to see the bubbling hot mud and steaming silica terraces. The inferno crater with huge geyser billowing from it is one of the main highlights here.
The walkway trails to the shore of Lake Rotomahana, where boat rides are offered to observe these amazing geothermal features more closely.
The 45-minute boat loop also makes its way to the famous pink and white terraces once famed as the eighth wonder of the world, which sadly was destroyed by the Mount Tarawera eruption.
This place is a must-visit for geology lovers and history buffs.
2. Rotorua Museum
On the shores of Lake Rotorua lies a lavish Tudo-style Old Bath House building, which now contains the famous Rotorua Museum.
The building whose origin is dated to 1908 was a famed spa resort located on a beautiful site with stunning panoramas across the lake from the rooftop.
The museum exhibits a series of stories relating to Rotorua’s cultural history continuing from its pre-European era to the present.
The museum has a famous gallery by the name Nga Pumanawa o Te Arawa gallery that showcases the history of the Maori Tribe.
For history buffs and knowledge seekers, this venue is a must to learn about the unique culture of the natives.
Wai-O-Tapu is another place with numerous geothermal oddities of Rotorua with the famous Lady Knox geyser that erupts at 10.15 am every day and shoots water up to the height of 20 meters.
Bubbling mud pools, fluorescent green-tinted water pools, and brightly yellow-orange shaded steaming terraces makes the place an otherworldly landscape.
In the early mornings, a Rotorua Eco Thermal group tour is organized led by professional guides is the best way to explore this superb place
This fantastic place is filled with such exciting geothermal activity and the visitors get a chance to see these magical phenomena through their own eyes.
4. Te Puia
Te Puia is a marvelous place to explore where some of the famous geysers and other exciting spots are present.
Pohutu Geyser is the main highlight of Te Puia which is also famed as the largest geyser in the Southern Hemisphere. It sprays water up to a whopping height of 30 meters and sometimes these eruptions can also last for many days.
Te Tohu is another active geyser present here with smaller eruptions. Apart from geysers steaming alkaline springs are also found in this area.
Te Puia also has a kiwi house where New Zealand’s national bird can be seen closely.
5. Hells Gate Geothermal Park
The Hells Gate Geothermal Park stands firm to its name with the largest hot waterfall in the Southern hemisphere Kakahi Falls and violently active bubbling hot mud pools covering 50 acres of an area full of steaming geothermal activities.
The Kakahi Fall cascade down over rocks at 40 degrees Celsius and Inferno area has steamy bubbling mud pools heating up to 100 degrees Celsius.
Hells Gate spa facility near it is a place to chill out which is less hot and violent. This place is a must to relax in hot springs and enjoy geothermal mud baths.
6. Waitomo Glowworm Caves
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves is a deep limestone cave system, thousands of glowworms illuminate the rock ceilings and walls of the cave giving it a spectacular twinkling look with tiny spotlights.
Waitomo is the main cave which is surrounded by many underground caves that are a great attraction to adventurers. Ruakuri and Aranui cave is the most famous of them where weird limestone formations can be observed up close.
These caves can be explored by boat tours by heading about 250 meters into the subterranean passages of these caves.
Fan of The Lord of the Rings trilogy must go to Matamata a small town in Rotorua for a tour of the film set of Hobbiton.
Peter Jackson the film director created the entire Hobitton village on private Alexander Farm, which is still standing and is being preserved by the owners who take tourists on the tour.
For fans and filmy buffs, this place is a must.
8. Kaituna River White Water Rafting
For thrill-seekers, Kaituna River White Water Rafting is a must to do an activity. The three-hour white water rafting will make you breathless at the end of the trip and along the trip amazing scenery of the canyons and rainforest will make you even more thrilled.
A plummet over Tutea Falls from a near-vertical drop down the pool below is one of the main highlights here.
All the equipment and safety wearable are provided in the tour package, experience the lifetime opportunity to make the heart skip the beat here.
9. Mount Ngongotaha Scenic Reserve
Mount Ngongotaha is a 757-meter tall volcanic cone having a thick forest-clad reserve with two spectacular and easy walking trails routes on the edge of Rotorua.
The Nature Walk trail is a three km long stroll alongside the native bush and the possibility of native fauna to be sighted is quite high here.
The Jubilee Trail is a longer and tougher route heading up to around five km hiking surrounded densely by tall trees and ferns through the array of green hues.
Amazing Panoramas over the lake Rotorua encounter with native fauna and scenic view of stunning flora makes it worth to take up this trail.
10. Mokoia Island
Mokoia Island is considered to be a sacred island and is also home to an important wildlife sanctuary of New Zealand.
For the Maori tribe, this island holds a special place as it is steeped in the ancient mythological love story of two star-crossed lovers namely Hinemoa and Tutanekai.
Many guided tours are offered and one can spot numerous important bird species such as kiwi, saddleback, and Kokako.
Along with the tour, the local guides also tells about the great significance of the island with Maori tribe and also explain the importance of native flora for cooking and medicinal purpose by Maori tribe.
11. Kaharoa Conservation Area
The Kaharoa Conservation Area is the natural habitat of one of the most endangered birds in New Zealand, the Kakoka.
The 1.2-kilometer track inside the area provides the opportunity to get a glimpse of the rare Kokoka Bird and also spot plenty of other beautiful birds such as bellbirds and tuis.
This place is worth going to, for nature lovers and bird-watchers.
12. Tarawera Trail
The Tarawera Trail is a 15 km track along the hilly shoreline of Tarawera Lake, surrounded by panoramic views with beautiful greenery along the countryside and a shining lake.
It is an excellent place for camping and hiking is very popular in Rotorua.
At the end of the trail famous Hot Water Beach, Te Rata Bay is situated with a natural hot spring that gorgeously flows into the lake.
This is a perfect place to spend time with loved ones and enjoy the natural beauty of the peaceful countryside.
Rotorua is full of surprises and wilderness with fascinating scenery and thrilling outdoorsy activities. It embraces many natural phenomena and unique experiences for all types of travellers ranging from a walk through the volcanic Valley to breath-taking rafting experiences.