With its unique volcanic landscape, living Maori culture, natural hot springs and plenty of options for adventure, Rotorua is one of New Zealand's most famous destinations.
An adventure, cultural and spa destination like no other
The region was the birthplace of New Zealand tourism in the 1800s, when people flocked here from around the world to see the amazing Pink and White Terraces - vast, naturally formed silica terraces that cascaded into a volcanic lake. The Te Arawa people were their local guides. The terraces were destroyed in the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption, but Rotorua's fame as a fascinating travel destination continued to grow. Today Maori guides can often be seen at the city's iconic attractions, following in the footsteps of their ancestors.
When explaining the appeal of their region, the people of Rotorua like to talk of five spirits. You can feel the spirit of the earth, as it rumbles beneath your feet and escapes, hissing, through fumaroles and geysers. You can witness the spirit of Maori culture, with authentic village and performance experiences. With a soak in a natural hot spring or a relaxing massage, you can rejuvenate your spirit. Or free your spirit with outdoor adventures - trout fishing, kayaking, waterskiing, swimming, hiking and mountain biking. And if it's excitement you crave, you can challenge your spirit with adrenalin-charged extreme activities such as sky-diving, jet boating and zorbing.
Apart from its surprising crater, mountain and lake landscape, Rotorua is memorable for striking Tudor-style architecture and beautiful public parks. The farmland around city is some of the most fertile in New Zealand. Watching a sheep show or staying on a working farm is a great way to get a different view of the region.
Dare to be adventurous
Roll downhill inside a zorb, try some 360-degree spins in a jet boat or race your friends on a luge cart. Rafting, kayaking and sledging are also popular - trips on the Kaituna, Rangitaiki or Wairoa Rivers are a blast!
Rotorua is known as ‘Nature’s Spa of the South Pacific’ and offers visitors many opportunities to rejuvenate their spirit. Soak in the healing waters of hot springs or unwind with a therapeutic massage or mud wrap.
Rotorua is the heartland of New Zealand’s Maori culture. Learn carving or weaving from master artists, sample contemporary food cooked using traditional methods or participate in Maori singing and dancing shows.
Located in the central North Island, Rotorua is a leisurely three-hour drive from Auckland.
Air New Zealand and Qantas service Rotorua with daily domestic flights from Auckland (40 minutes), Wellington (one hour), Christchurch (1.25 hours) and Queenstown (2.5 hours).
Rotorua’s central location means it’s an easy drive to other North Island attractions. Visit the beach at Mt Maunganui (one hour), Tongariro National Park (1.5 hours), North Island ski fields (2.5 hours) and the wine region of Hawke’s Bay (2.5 hours).