Rotorua
Culture & history tours

Culture & history tours
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Rotorua

Rotorua

Our most recommended Rotorua Culture & history

Mitai Maori Village: Cultural Experience and Dinner Buffet

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 maidens. 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.

Waiotapu: Thermal Park and Lady Knox Geyser Entry Ticket

Waiotapu: Thermal Park and Lady Knox Geyser Entry Ticket

Discover Wai-O-Tapu, an active geothermal area at the southern end of the Okataina Volcanic Center, just north of the Reporoa caldera, in New Zealand's Taupo Volcanic Zone with this entry ticket. Let the eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser take your breath away.  Experience the Wai-O-Tapu park which means “sacred waters” in Maori, and which is the homeland of the Ngati Whaoa tribe who descended from those on the Arawa waka. Admire the colorful hot springs, such as the Champagne Pool, Artist’s Palette, Primrose Terrace and the boiling mud pools. The striking appearance of these springs is due to dramatic geothermal conditions beneath the earth. Get access to this 18 square kilometer geothermal area. Arrive in the morning and the see the 10:30 AM eruptIon of the Lady Knox Geyser. Marvel as hot water is shot sky-high from deep within the earth.

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

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

Discover the best of Hell's Gate Geothermal Park in Rotorua with daily guided tours, a map for a geothermal walk, and multiple spa experiences. Enjoy mud baths, a mud foot pool, sulfur spas, Māori carving, and more. Located approximately 15 minutes from the town's center, Hell's Gate awaits. When you arrive, choose to start your visit by discovering the geothermal features using an included map or join one of the daily guided tours. After learning about the history, features, and uniqueness of the geothermal area and the unique healing muds of Hell's Gate, experience New Zealand’s historic spa 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 sulfur spas give your skin gentle exfoliation and deep cleansing. 

Rotorua: Te Pa Tu Māori Cultural Experience with Dinner

Rotorua: Te Pa Tu Māori Cultural Experience with Dinner

Discover the traditional Māori way of life during a cultural experience in Rotorua. Enjoy an evening of performances, dance, and a 4-course meal based on seasonal cuisine that is served under an al fresco (outdoor area). Indulge in Māori songs and traditions aligned to and changing with the Maramataka (Māori lunar calendar). Watch a cultural performance and learn local indigenous customs. Be immersed in towering Tawa trees, blazing bonfires, and a forest-formed amphitheater. Start your dinner off with forest canapes that culminate in a lavish 3-course fusion feast designed by award-winning Māori chefs, and prepared in-house. Enjoy your meal outside or take in views from the indoor area (weather dependent).

From Rotorua: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with Festive Lunch

From Rotorua: Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with Festive Lunch

Venture to the lands of Middle Earth on this half-day Hobbit movie set tour from Rotorua. Visit the working sheep farm that director Peter Jackson transformed into the Shire. See where Bilbo Baggins lived and the quest for the ring began, and enjoy a festive lunch. After departing the Lake Rotorua area your coach will take you across the scenic Mamaku Ranges and through the native Fitzgerald Glade, before arriving in the Waikato Region and the rolling hills of the Shire. While exploring the Hobbit film set, your guide will recount fascinating details on how the set was created as well as hear inside stories on the making of the films. During your tour, you'll see the famous movie locations of the Green Dragon Pub, the Mill, the double arched bridge, and the famous Party Tree.

Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

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 short 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 or bathe in the geothermal waters of the Polynesian Spa! Or you can simply choose to explore the city at your own pace before your return to Auckland. Please note that if you choose an option with no activities you will be spending free time in Rotorua while other guests are doing their booked activities.

Rotorua: Te Puia Geothermal Valley Guided Tour with Tickets

Rotorua: Te Puia Geothermal Valley Guided Tour with Tickets

Enjoy a guided experience to explore the magic within Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley in Rotorua, home to Te Puia. Explore breathtaking local landscapes surrounded by mud pools and geysers. Pay a visit to the Kiwi Conservation Centre and the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute. Start off by checking in with the team and meeting your guide, who will help you connect with the Te Puia experience. Walk through native bushland, steaming geysers, and mud pools, and even see the largest geyser in the Southern Hemisphere explode before you. Get up close and personal with kiwi birds with tickets to the brand-new Kiwi Conservation Centre. Access the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute and see demonstrations of traditional wood, stone, and bone carving. Browse a range of handcrafted taonga created by local artists at Āhua Gallery.

Rotorua: Kaituna River Rafting Experience

Rotorua: Kaituna River Rafting Experience

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

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 20-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: Secret Spot Hot Tubs

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. For a refreshing twist, take a dip in our complimentary cold plunge tubs during your soak. After your 45-minute hot tub soak has finished, feel free to slip your feet into a “Shinny Dip” tub to end the experience.

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What people are saying about Rotorua

Overall rating

4.4
(346 reviews)

Loved the tour put together the popular activities into 2 days. The drivers/guides Phillip, Dallas and Chris were all friendly and very knowledgeable of the sights and areas around. It’s understandable there is a fixed schedule on the tour, but would have been nice to include time for the museum part of Te Puia.

We loved the entire excursion! We had a problem the second day, they didn't pick us up from the hotel, it was chaos, they solved it, but they should have a person attentive to this and who will call you when something like this happens! In general, the two-day excursion is great, everything you can see!

Loved this jade carving workshop. As someone new to the country, it was wonderful to learn more about the significance of Jade and see process of the carving at the workshop. We also really liked the little souvenir :)

This was a lovely opportunity. We enjoyed the jade carving and that we got to select a piece for ourselves, thanks so much

The friendliness of the staff and the little takeaway greenstone 😊