Sitting within the Pacific Rim of Fire, Rotorua is a geothermal wonderland known for its bubbling mud pools, clouds of steam, shooting geysers and natural hot springs perfect for bathing and relaxing in. The city showcases fascinating Maori culture and offers a range of attractions and experiences for everyone, whether seeking adventure or just looking to unwind.
The faint scent of sulphur in the air and rising curls of steam are the first hints of the region's dramatic geothermal character and it's this volcanic activity that has drawn visitors to Rotorua for generations. It's impossible not to be impressed by the spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and colourful sinter terraces which can be viewed in the spectacular thermal parks.
Visit the amazing Waimangu Volcanic Valley, which is the youngest geothermal eco-system in the world with the largest hot water spring; watch the famed Pohutu Geyser, the undisputed star of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, erupt up to 20 times a day at Te Puia; at Hell's Gate see the largest hot waterfall in the southern hemisphere and the only geothermal mud baths in New Zealand; or admire the brilliant colours of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland where the Lady Knox geyser erupts every day high in the air.
The volcanic activity is only part of Rotoura's appeal, as the city has a rich history and Maori culture to discover. Take a journey back in time at a Maori village for a clear picture of their lifestyle and traditions, with singing, dancing and a traditional hangi feast to enjoy. Learn about Maori arts at the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (Te Puia) or explore the historic Government Gardens, which have a fascinating past as a battle and burial ground.
Rotorua is also an adventure playground with lots of activities, whether you want to take in a round of golf, fly fish on its lakes and rivers, take a scenic paddle steamer cruise on Lake Rotorua or board the Skyline Gondola for a scenic ride to the top of Mt Ngongotata. Thrill seekers will love Agroventures Adventure Park and its five iconic experiences: Freefall Xtreme; a ride on the Agrojet sprint boat; Shweeb, a bullet shaped capsule that you climb into, lie down in and then pedal as fast as you can around a circular track; Swoop, a super swing where you are slowly elevated before plummeting to earth; and a bungee jump with views of Lake Rotorua.
If you'd prefer to relax rather than exert yourself, Rotorua also offers visitors the opportunity to rejuvenate. At the Polynesian Spa you can relax in mineral hot pools and indulge in a range of therapies; at Hell's Gate you can be pampered with a traditional Miri Miri massage; or simply soak in natural thermal streams like Kerosene Creek and Twin Streams.
If you're travelling with children, stop at Rainbow Springs for an intimate peek at New Zealand's iconic Kiwi or head to the Agrodome to learn everything you need to know about sheep during a variety of shows.
- Geothermal wonders
- Maori culture
- Activities for all
- Superb spa facilities
- Skyline Gondola
- Family fun