Top attractions in Rotorua
Our most recommended things to do in Rotorua
1. 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.
Sean was an awesome guide, funny and has a great sense of humor. Some of the "dad jokes" he says sarcastically are really well scripted and adds great value to the trip. Got to be the best trip I've ever been on and I've done most of NZ
2. Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa
Located just a 15-minute drive from Rotorua, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa features an interactive museum, scenic walking trails, and a look at the devastating effects of one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters: the Mt. Tarawera volcanic eruption of 1886, which wiped out a natural landmark known as the Pink and White Terraces. The award-winning museum sheds light on the hardships suffered by this once-bustling European and Maori village settlement. Expect to spend at least 1 and a half hours at the site to get the most out of the experience, which includes audio guides, living history tours, and talks by costumed guides scheduled throughout the day. Gain firsthand insight into the chaos of the night that Mt. Tarawera erupted and destroyed Te Wairoa, a village of Maoris and missionaries excavated under the Kaitiakitanga of the Smith family for nearly 90 years. Refresh at Smit...
Absolutely loved learning about the history of the land we stood on and the stories shaped our future today. Honestly such an amazing place with interesting displays to accompany the stories as they are being told! Worth the price for sure!!!
3. 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.
We had a great time, very relaxing. Don’t wear your own clothes, hire them or you’ll be sorry :)
4. Rotorua: Local Birdwatching Full-day Tour
Depending on the wishes of the group, you will set off either to see shorebird or forest birds in their natural habitats. The forest bird watching experience will take place in Whirinaki Forest, among tall 1000-year-old trees. Come face to face with rare and endangered New Zealand birds including the North Island parrot, yellow-crowned parakeet, North Island robin, New Zealand falcon, blue duck, long tailed cuckoo, wood pigeon and more. If your group chooses the shorebird experience, you will head to different sites spread around the Bay of Plenty. You will see New Zealand dotterels, royal spoonbills, white-fronted terns, various cormorants, and many more.
5. 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, w...
A lot of pools to choose from which was fantastic. I did enjoy going during the week as you have less people there and more time to soak in the pools which was really relaxing.
6. Rotorua Forest 3-Hour Zipline Canopy Tour
Join in a small-group zipline tour that will have you soaring through Rotorua's forest canopy. Switch between the six zipline cables suspended 22-meters above the ground and see the forest from a different perspective! When you arrive at the base, you'll receive a warm welcome from the front office team. Check-in and meet your down-to-earth highly experienced kiwi guides who will kit you out with all necessary equipment for the day's weather. A quick 10-minute van ride and you'll arrive at the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve. Your guides will share fascinating New Zealand eco-tour knowledge with your group, which is limited to just 10 people. At the first platform after a safety briefing, you’ll be off, exploring the native forest on 1.2 km network of Rotorua ziplines, swing bridges and treetop platforms. In total there are 6 ziplines totalling more than 650 meters, the highlight for most...
A must do, excellent experience and so much fun. Way out of my comfort zone but I would do it again. Awesome guides thank you Matt, Paul and Scott.
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 g...
Beautiful weather and excellent commentary from pilot Jo. Very professional and gave us plenty of time for close up look at Whakarri [White Is] and Whale Island. Best viewing for photos probably from the rear seats. Interior of plane warmed by heater. Very comfortable
8. 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 y...
Our guide, Grant, was so full of knowledge!! He not only drove the van, but also was the tour guide. Because we were such a small group, he gave us a lot of individual attention. He was funny, and as hands-on, or hands-off, as we wanted him to be. We had a great time
9. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia
Enjoy the magic of Middle Earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set and delight in Maori culture at Te Puia Maori Village in Rotorua on a day tour from Auckland. Travel in comfort with a small group and an experienced local guide in a late-model Mercedes or a similarly configured the vehicle to provide extra leg room and space for your comfort. After the pick-up from your hotel, journey through gorgeous Waikato scenery to Hobbiton. On arrival, set off on an official 2-hour guided tour through the picturesque twelve-acre site. Learn fascinating details of how a beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth. At the end of your tour, savor a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn. Climb back into the vehicle for the 55-minute drive to Rotorua. Arrive at Te Puia Maori Village where you will have a freshly prepared hangi lunch featuring traditional Maori ...
Awesome tour for both. Drivers were amazing made the whole tour a seamless experience.
10. Rotorua: Ultimate Zipline Forest Canopy Tour
Take on the Ultimate Canopy Tour for a 3.5-hour zip line experience in Rotorua. Self-drive to a central meeting point or enjoy complimentary pick-up. Check-in and meet your authentic kiwi guides, before you are strapped into your ziplining harness. Climb aboard a scenic shuttle transfer to the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve, just 10-minutes away. Step into a lost world and come face to face with towering trees and native flora untouched for centuries in one of the most intact native eco-systems you’ll find anywhere in New Zealand. Journey in small intimate groups, deep into 500-hectares of ancient forest. The experience includes a network of zip lines, suspended swingbridges, spiral staircases, treetop platforms and forest trails. Take on thrilling iconic features including a suspended cliff walkway and 18-meter abseil. Immerse yourself in this breathtaking country. Hear the inimitable bi...
A great morning out, I like heights so not too much bother there for me, but definitely still enough for a thrill on most of the lines.
Frequently asked questions about Rotorua
What top attractions are a must-see in Rotorua?
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Which tours in Rotorua are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?
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Other Sightseeing Options in Rotorua
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What people are saying about Rotorua
Our tour was fantastic, from the moment we stepped onto the bus. From the awe-inspiring vista, to the knowledgable, passionate guardians of the land, we will treasure the memories forever.
I went with Sam and he was just amazing. Really funny guy, if you get the chance to choose, go with him. Would definitely do it again and can only recommend everyone to do.
Great experience, so many activities to do - worth the price. Please note although they say duration is 3 hours, you are able to spend as long as you want.
Awesome tour for both. Drivers were amazing made the whole tour a seamless experience.
Amazing experience, my first time and hopefully not my last!