It’s no secret that Rotorua is a treasure trove of activity. With plenty to do for people of all ages, skills and fitness levels, Rotorua is great place for a family-friendly holiday. Here are some popular options for visiting Rotorua with the kiddies in tow.
Whakarewarewa (Redwood) Forest
Rotorua’s Famous Whakarewarewa Forest (Redwood) isn’t just for the mountain-biking dare-devils. There are trails for all sorts, including wide, relatively flat, multi-use tracks – good for prams, kid’s bikes, runners and walkers alike. Paired with good public facilities, a Visitor’s Centre and café, and a close proximity to town, The Redwoods are an excellent way to spend a day of exploring. Start from the Redwood Visitor Centre, wear your comfy gear, pack a snack and water, and you’re ready for an adventure.
There are the well-known spots around town, which include Rotorua's Lakefront Volcanic Playground, Kuirau Park, and the Government Gardens. However, within a 10 minute drive of the CBD, there are actually over 30 other playgrounds or reserves in the Rotorua area. Spend a day exploring different parks and playgrounds to burn off some excess energy.
The Rotorua area didn’t earn the name “Lakes District” for nothing; there is a variety of beautiful lakes surrounding the entire Rotorua area. With a range of activities available, including fishing, boating, water-sports, swimming, and even hiking; there’s something to keep each member of your family occupied. Many of the popular lake recreation areas also provide good public facilities, playgrounds, and cafes or food and coffee carts.
If the rain is pouring, there are loads of kid-friendly indoor options in Rotorua too. The Rotorua Museum is a no-brainer, it’s rich in history and activities, and has continually changing exhibitions. The Buried Village of Te Wairoa also has a beautiful indoor museum and kid’s discovery centre; the trails and archaeological sites are also fairly well-sheltered from adverse weather, provided you pack a bit of wet-weather gear.
Cafes and Restaurants
Rotorua has a great selection of restaurants and cafes that cater to kids of all ages. Abracadabra has a great outdoor play area, while Cobb & Co., Capers Café and Third Place Cafe have dedicated play rooms. Most restaurants also provide colouring in activities, kid’s cups and kids menus on request, so don’t hesitate to ask.
Skyline Gondola and Luge
A family favourite for locals and visitors alike, Skyline offers package deals, reduced pricing for kids, and plenty to do; the visit up the Gondola is well worth it. Once up top, you have access to a range of activities, including dining at the Stratosphere restaurant (kids under 5 eat free!), riding down the Luge, flying on the SkySwing, and more.
Don’t forget the kid-friendly component of finding a place to stay! With Family Packages, family suites (with private spa pool!), a long list of amenities, and an easy, centralised location, the Silver Fern Accommodation and Spa is the perfect option for travelling families. Their friendly staff are also baby-ready and can provide cots, bedding, highchairs, buggies, or even babysitters, as required. With an on-site spa and nearby golf courses, there’s even an opportunity to sneak in some fun for Mum and Dad. View the Silver Fern website for more information and easy, online booking.
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