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Visitors to Rotorua are spoilt for choice when it comes to the many activities and attractions available. Fortunately, there are also options available for a range of budgets; Rotorua has plenty of free activities for all ages that offer an authentic and unforgettable visit to the region.
Here are the top 5 free things to do in Rotorua:
Rotorua has many local markets where you can buy fresh local produce, sample the best local food as well as crafts and souvenirs. The best part? Most of these markets run weekly so if you are visiting you won’t miss out!
Get out early on weekends to catch the Kuirau Park Markets on Saturdays or the Farmers Market on Sundays (found alongside the Green Corridor at the City Focus). If you are after a great festival feeling with live music, check out the Night Markets open every Thursday from 5pm at the heart of the CBD on Tutanekai Street. Try a range of local and international cuisine from traditional Hangi, to Japanese pancakes, Spanish seafood paella and homemade brownies.
You cannot miss the great sight of geothermal activity and the steam rising from Kuirau Park right next to the city centre. This is a fantastic (and free) way to experience natural geothermal activity as you follow the walking tracks through the park. Don’t miss the footbaths to soak your feet in, as well as the mud pools, hot springs and crater lake.
Sulphur Bay is a warm, sulphurous area lying on top of an active geothermal field in Lake Rotorua, this well-marked path can be found beyond the Rotorua Museum. Beginning at Tudor bath house and following the lakeshore to Motutara point, the whole trail can take around 2 hours. Along the track, you will see many active geothermal features including steaming vents and boiling mud pools, interspersed throughout the unique scenery.
Worth the drive, Kerosene Creek is a natural hot spring 35kms south of Rotorua towards Taupo. The main bathing area lies below a small waterfall, where geothermally heated waters mix with the cool stream. This provides the perfect spot for bathing without the price tag. Easy-to-find car parking is available along the road. This amazing spot is a local secret and is generally not too busy, though popularity is growing.
With no less than 16 lakes throughout Rotorua there is no shortage of lakeside activities to keep the whole family busy. There are several lovely lakeside parks and beaches to enjoy a picnic or barbeque. It is recommended to take the short drive out of town to the Blue Lake and Lake Tarawera. The picturesque views will not disappoint and these spots are also perfect for swimming, kayaking and boating.
After a busy day exploring all that Rotorua has to offer, kick back and relax at the Silver Fern Accommodation and Spa, just minutes from the city centre.