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Rotorua
Travel Guide

Visitors flock to this geothermal site to enjoy its hot springs, mud pools, watersports and fascinating Maori culture.

Rotorua, which sits squarely on the Volcanic Plateau and the Pacific Rim of Fire, is built over one of the world’s geothermal hotspots. Large numbers of visitors come to Rotorua every year for its numerous geothermal attractions, as well as its Maori cultural heritage and wide choice of adventure sports.

The city sits on the shore of Rotorua Lake in the Bay of Plenty area on New Zealand’s North Island. The area is well known for trout fishing and boating opportunities. Rent fishing equipment or enquire about local tour operators in town.

Many of the famous hot springs, colorful crater lakes and bubbling pools are located in parks and reserves such as Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Soak in a geothermal mud bath, marvel at geysers erupting almost 100 feet (30 meters) into the air, and take a scenic flight to nearby White Island, the country’s only active marine volcano.

Make time for a visit to The Buried Village. It was covered with ash when adjacent Mount Tarawera erupted in 1886. Today, the site has a museum, nature trail and teahouse. Nearby Rainbow Springs Nature Park has beautifully sculptured ponds filed with fish. See Kiwi birds and other creatures native to New Zealand.

Discover the culture of the Te Arawa people, who settled in the area more than 600 years ago. At Tamaki Maori Village, see how villagers used the hot springs to bathe and do laundry. Try a hangi feast, which is cooked by steaming the food in the ground, and watch performances of Maori songs and war dance.

Adventure seekers will find plenty of things to do in Rotorua. Try skydiving, mountain biking, whitewater rafting or zorbing. Activites are organised by various operators around the city. In winter, head for the North Island’s ski slopes, easily accessed via Rotorua’s international airport.

Rotorua Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Rotorua

Holiday Inn Rotorua
Holiday Inn Rotorua
4.5 out of 5
10 Tryon Street, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua
The price is ¥10,057 per night from Mar 11 to Mar 12

This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is steps from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village. Polynesian Spa is 2.5 mi (4 km) ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (961 reviews)

"I always stay here. You cant fault it. Great staff, facilities, comfy beds, great location."…"

Reviewed on Mar 7, 2021

Holiday Inn Rotorua
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
4.5 out of 5
9-11 Tutanekai St, P O Box 348, Rotorua
The price is ¥12,082 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10

This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is located in a shopping district, within a 15-minute walk of Matariki Hangi & Maori Cultural Performance and Polynesian Spa. ...

4.1/5Very Good! (969 reviews)

"Close to places to eat and the lake waterfront. Nice buffet for breakfast."…"

Reviewed on Feb 2, 2021

Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
All Seasons Holiday Park
All Seasons Holiday Park
4 out of 5
50-58 Lee Road, Hannahs Bay, Rotorua
The price is ¥6,986 per night from Mar 16 to Mar 17

Located near the airport, this family-friendly holiday park is within 6 mi (10 km) of Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest, Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village, ...

4.4/5Excellent! (299 reviews)

"The 2 bedroom family units are awesome and well suited for a family stay would definitely stay again"…"

Reviewed on Dec 21, 2020

All Seasons Holiday Park
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Quest Rotorua Central
Quest Rotorua Central
4 out of 5
1192 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua
The price is ¥11,407 per night from Mar 14 to Mar 15

Located in the heart of Rotorua, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rotorua Night Market and Polynesian Spa. Skyline Rotorua and Lake Rotorua are ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (709 reviews)

"Nice property, staff and room. Central location and exactly what I needed for my stay. Would reccommend and also stay again."…"

Reviewed on Jan 18, 2021

Quest Rotorua Central
Kings On Peace
Kings On Peace
4 out of 5
4A Peace Street, Fenton Park, Rotorua
The price is ¥13,837 per night from Mar 9 to Mar 10

Situated in Rotorua, this apartment building is within 1 mi (2 km) of Racing Rotorua and Polynesian Spa. Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Rotorua Golf Club are ...

4.9/5Exceptional! (99 reviews)

"Exceptionally clean, excellent facilities, quiet and handy to excellent restaurants and popular attractions"…"

Reviewed on Feb 24, 2021

Kings On Peace
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
3.5 out of 5
463 Old Taupo Road (South End), Rotorua
The price is ¥6,092 per night from Mar 11 to Mar 12

Situated in the suburbs, this campground is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and 2.5 mi (4 km) from Polynesian Spa. Te Puia New Zealand Maori Arts ...

4/5Very Good! (165 reviews)

"Highly recommend- great facilities and lots to keep the kids entertained- all in-site"…"

Reviewed on Nov 20, 2020

Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Rotorua

Top things to do in Rotorua

Reviews of Rotorua

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
112
5 - Excellent 54.106280193236714%
4 - Good
83
4 - Good 40.09661835748792%
3 - Okay
11
3 - Okay 5.314009661835748%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.4830917874396135%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 5, 2020

Such a neat town, so much to do and see. Tons of food options and activities Highly recommend

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 30, 2020

Saw lots of vacant buildings, seems a bit depressed. Really enjoyed activities in the area, especially the luge.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 27, 2020

Great spot to visit the geothermal pools, redwoods, lakes and enjoy the local scenery. Good options for eateries (Thursday night was local food street festival!!) and related items.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 10, 2019

Very quiet place, but plenty of attractions to choose from.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Dec 1, 2019

Not many dining options and most close early in off season

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Nov 26, 2019

Rotorua was amazing! Must go!

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