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When you’re in the North Island in New Zealand, Rotorua is always on the must-see list. There is no shortage of things to do in this adventure wonderland. From bungy jumping to parasailing, jet boats to giant plastic balls you can bounce around in, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. If you’re travelling with younger kids, Rotorua can be just as fun for your little ones. The city offers a number of family-friendly accommodation options – from holiday parks to big family suites in hotels and motels.
Here are a few things you can enjoy in Rotorua even with the youngest member of the pack:
• Agrodome – The popularity of this attraction will never wane, thanks to New Zealand’s farming and sheep raising roots. Learn about all-things farming, pet cute animals and watch the popular farm show.
• Rainbow Springs – See more of the country’s incredible wildlife and support the kiwi conservation effort at this nature park. The park also has an impressive playground area, a scheduled bird show and the thrilling Big Splash water ride.
• Paradise Valley Springs – Interact with a variety of wildlife in this amazing nature park. Hand-feed deer, pigs and wallabies, get friendly with farm animals such as alpacas, goats and sheep, walk through the wetlands and see native birds or get close to the African lion pride during feeding time.
• Railcruising – Ever wanted to drive along the train tracks? Now you can! This powered self-drive, 4-seater vehicle lets you travel along the railway lines – from Mamaku Railway Station to Tarukenga Railway Station.
• Skyline Gondola – Jump on-board one of the eight-seat Gondola cabins to see spectacular 360 degree views from up high. Skyline also has nature trails, the luge, skyswing and ziplines that are perfect for older children. For lunch, you can stop in at the marketplace-style café and the Jelly Belly store for dessert.
• Rotorua Museum – Discover more about New Zealand’s culture and history in this world-clas museum. Get a guided tour of the galleries and exhibitions. Don’t forget to take pictures in front of this iconic Bath House building and the stunning English garden.
• AmazeMe – A 1.4 kilometer hedge maze that offers great family fun. After you get lost and find your way out of the maze, you can visit McGregor’s Garden (from Peter Rabbit), the small animal enclosure area and the butterfly enclosure.
• Rotorua Duck Tour – Explore the city by land and lake with this unique amphibian vehicle that can let you cruise through central Rotorua exploring geothermal areas and learning about the rich history of the place before splashing down the beautiful lakes district.
• White water rafting – Looking for a more adventurous experience with kids? Check out the different white water operators for their Grade 2 and family options. Some trips have age limits (usually 13 years) but may accept younger riders for the tamer parts of the river. It is best to call ahead to check for age restrictions.
• Agroventures Adventure Park – Ever heard of the Swoop or the Shweeb? You’ll find unique adventure activities at Agroventures for kids and adults alike. Enjoy the Agrojet, Freefall Xtreme or Rotorua Bungy -- there’s plenty of fun for everyone. They also have family packages available.
Rotorua offers different activities for all age groups. Some activities like the Skyline Luge or the Shweeb at Agroventures allows ride-alongs for younger partcipants.