There’s nothing better than a New Zealand summer spent travelling around the country chasing the sun. Whether you travel with a tent, prefer to rent a lakeside bach, or stay in hotels or luxury lodges, Rotorua is full of unforgettable experiences and home to many bucket list ‘must dos’.
Just 2.5 hours from Auckland, escape the crowds on the beach and relax lakeside.
Ride the Southern Hemisphere’s best MTB trails
Want to get away from the hustle and bustle? Blow off some steam? Bring your own bike or hire one and head to the mountain bike trails in the Whakarewarewa Forest. Rated by Red Bull as the best trails in the Southern Hemisphere, there are rides to cater for everyone from newbies to pros.
Explore a native forest
Whiz above unspoilt native forest on a zipline with Rotorua Canopy Tours – the top rated North Island attraction on Trip Advisor. Explore this untouched reserve from above via a network of platforms, ziplines, and swing bridges while your guide tells you about the local native inhabitants and what’s being done to keep them happy.
Hurtle down a hill in a giant ball
Described by Fletch and Vaughan as a “rubbery, wet and insanely fun hamster wheel”. Jump inside a 3m transparent OGO and bounce and bash about downhill. Slide around in a water-filled H2OGO, or harness yourself in and go head over heels down the hill. Afterwards relax in the nearby spa pool while catching your breath before your next ride!
Land a Rainbow Trout
Spend a day in the sun cruising across Lake Tarawera. Is there a more relaxing way to catch a Rainbow trout? Once you’ve got your fish, head to Te Rata Bay, more commonly called Hot Water Beach, where you can cook your fish in the geothermal waters while you sit back and relax in your own private hot pool.
Want to scare yourself this summer?
Agroventures Adventure Park is the spot for you. Strap yourself into a body harness and plummet down to earth at up to 130kph with the Swoop, try your hand at flying (and feel like a super hero) with the Freefall Xtreme, race around the human-powered Shweeb monorail and bungy jump and jet boat – sure to get the adrenaline pumping.
Meet our national icon
Have you ever been face-to-face with our national icon? If not, get up close and personal with kiwi during a Rainbow Springs Kiwi Encounter tour. See the behind the scenes work that takes place in a working kiwi nursery and hatchery, including every phase a kiwi chick goes through before being released into the wild.
Watch the world-famous Pohutu Geyser erupt
One of Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Sights, see the world-famous Pohutu Geyser erupt. Take a tour of the Whakarewarewa Valley at Te Puia where you can see the geyser erupt up to 30m high, 20 times a day, depending on her mood. NZ residents now receive a discount with proof of ID.
Race down Mt Ngongotaha on a Luge
The Skyline Luge is famous for a reason - duck, weave and wind your way down the beginner, intermediate and expert tracks as you race your mates down Mt Ngongotaha. Afterwards calm your nerves at Volcanic Hills Tasting Room – also at the top of the mountain.
Tackle that 7m waterfall
This is a big one to tick off – raft down the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world… Tutea Falls! Choose from a number of companies who can take you on this jaw dropping adventure of a lifetime.
Getting clucky? Check out our chicks
They’re rarer than Kiwi and you don’t need to trek into the bush to find them! Wingspan are releasing a clutch of Karearea chicks on top of the Rotorua Museum in January so keep an eye out for these carnivorous babes when you’re next in Rotorua.