RotoruaNew Zealand

Image for Rotorua featuring a hot spring

Visit Rotorua

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.

Where to stay in Rotorua

Hot hot hot springs #rotorua #newzealand #spooky

Fenton Street

4/5Very Good!(81 area reviews)

One reason travelers love spending time in Fenton Street is the luxurious spas, and Whakarewarewa Hot Springs is a top place to visit.

Fenton Street

Top Hotels in Rotorua

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Rydges Rotorua
Rydges Rotorua
4 out of 5
272 Fenton St, Rotorua
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
¥9,434
per night
Feb 14 - Feb 15

Located in Fenton Street, this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Racing Rotorua, Tamaki Maori Village, and Polynesian Spa. Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and ...

4/5Very Good! (1,677 reviews)

"Location is perfect. The room was quite big and suitable for my family. My kids loved the spa."…"

Reviewed on Jan 20, 2020

Rydges Rotorua
Holiday Inn Rotorua
Holiday Inn Rotorua
4.5 out of 5
10 Tryon Street, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua
¥10,207
per night
Feb 2 - Feb 3

This family-friendly Rotorua hotel is steps from Whakarewarewa Hot Springs and Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village. Tamaki Maori Village and Polynesian Spa ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,820 reviews)

"Great facility with pool, awesome buffet. Kids stay and eat fee is great. Luxurious bathroom. Only problem was the bed. If one person moved you really felt it! Maybe single kings instead of queens would do the trick. Other than bed all great and we’ll be back."…"

Reviewed on Jan 20, 2020

Holiday Inn Rotorua
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
Novotel Rotorua Lakeside
4.5 out of 5
9-11 Tutanekai St, P O Box 348, Rotorua
¥17,027
per night
Jan 22 - Jan 23

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

4.2/5Excellent! (1,457 reviews)

"Friendly staff. Comfortable and relaxing reception area."…"

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2020

Novotel Rotorua Lakeside

Popular things to do in Rotorua

Lake Rotorua
Image for Lake Rotorua

Lake Rotorua

4.5/5(142 reviews)

One of the largest lakes on the North Island, this location offers an abundance of exciting activities as well as a fascinating geological and cultural history.

Lake Rotoiti
Image for Lake Rotoiti

Lake Rotoiti

4.5/5(19 reviews)

Marvel at the pristine Nelson Lakes National Park as you kayak across this magnificent lake to thermal pools and glow worm caves. 

Skyline Rotorua
Image for Skyline Rotorua

Skyline Rotorua

4.5/5(55 reviews)

Take in the splendid scenery during a gondola ride and jump in a luge cart to navigate your way down the exciting mountain track.

Polynesian Spa
Image for Polynesian Spa

Polynesian Spa

4.5/5(39 reviews)

Set among the serene Government Gardens on the shores of Lake Rotorua, these hot pools are an idyllic place to relax and unwind.

Tamaki Maori Village
Image for Tamaki Maori Village

Tamaki Maori Village

4.5/5(41 reviews)

Explore the exhibits at Tamaki Maori Village, a favorite museum in Rotorua. Stroll along the lakeside or visit the spas in this relaxing area.

Lake Tikitapu
Image for Lake Tikitapu

Lake Tikitapu

4.5/5(21 reviews)

Explore one of the region’s most beautiful lakes and relax on the beach beside the sparkling water.

Top activities in Rotorua

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour
Image for Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour

¥6,071

Step into the world of Middle-earth, the Shire, and Hobbiton as you head to the movie set where acclaimed director Peter Jackson brought J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved books to life. Find out how this once-sleepy sheep farm was turned into a movie set and take an up-close look at real sets and props.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Boat Tour
Image for Waitomo Glowworm Caves Boat Tour

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Boat Tour

¥3,962

Venture inside the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and enter a magical world shimmering with thousands of tiny glowworms. After discovering the incredible acoustic properties of the chamber known as the Cathedral, board a boat and glide beneath a dazzling ceiling illuminated by living lights.

Tamaki Maori Village Cultural Discovery & Hangi Feast
Image for Tamaki Maori Village Cultural Discovery & Hangi Feast

Tamaki Maori Village Cultural Discovery & Hangi Feast

¥9,364

Experience the authentic Tamaki Maori village nestled in the lush Rotorua forest. Discover the unique culture, customs, and traditions of the Maori people, then feast on a delicious Hangi-cooked meal and witness the traditional Maori war cry, the famous Haka dance.

Whakarewarewa - Guided Tour & Maori Cultural Performance
Image for Whakarewarewa - Guided Tour & Maori Cultural Performance

Whakarewarewa - Guided Tour & Maori Cultural Performance

¥2,881

Combining authentic Maori culture and Rotorua’s geothermal activity, Whakarewarewa – The Living Maori Village is one of New Zealand’s oldest and most unique attractions.

Skyline Rotorua Gondola & Buffet Lunch or Dinner
Image for Skyline Rotorua Gondola & Buffet Lunch or Dinner

Skyline Rotorua Gondola & Buffet Lunch or Dinner

¥4,682

Set amongst the stars atop Mount Ngongotaha, Skyline Rotorua’s Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar is home to some of New Zealand’s best award-winning cuisine. Enjoy a delicious Lunch or Dinner featuring a stunning array of freshly prepared buffet and cooked-to-order dishes highlighting locally sourced seafood, meat and produce.

Rotorua Eco Thermal Wonderland Small Group Morning Tour Wai O Tapu Lady Knox Geyser Hot Mud
Image for Rotorua Eco Thermal Wonderland Small Group Morning Tour Wai O Tapu Lady Knox Geyser Hot Mud

Rotorua Eco Thermal Wonderland Small Group Morning Tour Wai O Tapu Lady Knox Geyser Hot Mud

¥10,935

This tour operates as a small group tour: which allows for a more personal and flexible, enjoyable day rather than large coach tours! Your day trip starts with pickup by 2017/2018 air conditioned minivan in Rotorua, then travels south through farmland and forests on a 20-minute drive to Wai-O-Tapu, the North Island’s geothermal wonderland.

Reviews of Rotorua

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
101
5 - Excellent 53.439153439153436%
4 - Good
76
4 - Good 40.21164021164021%
3 - Okay
11
3 - Okay 5.8201058201058204%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.5291005291005291%

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!

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

Nov 24, 2019

Very tourist driven town

4/5 - Good

MT

Nov 14, 2019

The Maori activities are a must do in Rotorua

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Oct 14, 2019

Loved all the activities! Matai maori show, wai ta mo thermal park, waimangu thermal park, hells gate mud bath! No complaints. All worth the money and time.

Other places like Rotorua

Hamilton
Image for Hamilton
Hamilton
Queenstown
Image for Queenstown
Queenstown
Tauranga
Image for Tauranga
Tauranga
Tweed Heads
Image for Tweed Heads
Tweed Heads