"Rotorua!" Top 5 Page for this destination Rotorua by allikat

Rotorua Travel Guide: 501 reviews and 1,294 photos

Rotorua ~ what a great place! I have visited a couple of times now, only managing to spend a couple of days here each time, and with so much to see, do and experience here, it is going to take me several more visits to fit it all in (so I have a great excuse to keep going back!). My advice is to plan your visit well, and make the most of your time ~ you wont regret it.

Located about 3 hours or so by car from Auckland, Rotorua is the geothermal heart of New Zealands North Island. Famous for its naturally occuring hot springs, bubbling mud pools and geysers, as well as its beautiful lakes and rich Maori heritage ~ the Maori culture here is very much alive and kicking and ready to be experienced.

Of course, the other thing that Rotorua is known for is the strong smell of sulphur that hangs in the air ~ if you have never experienced this smell, think of rotten eggs and you will have a fairly good idea! This is a result of all the geothermal activity in the area, Lake Rotorua is, after all, a massive volcanic crater!

New Zealanders will sometimes refer to Rotorua as 'Rottenrua" because of the eggy whiffs! Don't, please, let the smell put you off. After a short while, you will be unlikely to still be noticing it, and it is not as unpleasant as you might imagine. Go on ~ deep breaths!

In addition to the culture and the geothermal attractions, Rotorua is also big on adventure activities.

The Agrodome, as well as farm tours and sheep shearing shows, has an adventure park where you can bungee, swoop, jet boat, experience a simulated skydive, or go Zorbing (the picture here shows a zorb rolling down hill, with someone sloshing around inside!). Zorbing is brilliant fun!

Several companies offer scenic helicopter flights, not just over the Rotorua area, but going as far afield as White Island, an active marine volcano out in the Bay of Plenty.

There are lots of opportunities for activities out on the lake itself, including water skiing, fishing charters, dinner cruises or maybe you fancy a real skydive?

The town itself has a great selection of shops, bars and cafes.
If it's a quieter time that you're after, no problem, go enjoy a soak at one of the superb local spas, enjoy some trout fishing,or enjoy a walk in the nearby Redwood forest.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Heaps to do, see and experience, some beautiful scenery!
  • Cons:Very popular place, hence it can get very busy - they don't call it Rotovegas for nothing!
  • In a nutshell:An essential part of your New Zealand experience!
  • Last visit to Rotorua: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (19)

Comments (24)

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Jul 24, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    I learned about this area from our TV wherethey featured luxury stay and many things to see. What a great cover picture you have, and the comments are in such detail that I understand more that the TV show.

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2008 at 11:42 AM

    zorbing ? are you barking mad woman ?

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2008 at 1:09 PM

    Woah - who said NZ in MAY? Sorry - 4 weeks fully occupied by Australia. I DO however have an NZ trip in mind for late January/February 2009. Early planning stages though. Gillybob greetings

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2007 at 2:07 PM

    Very few people know, but New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth!:)

  • Anchovy56's Profile Photo
    Oct 8, 2007 at 1:11 PM

    Sshhh! I am working at the local Burger King but lets keep this under raps. You think the Spears/Hiton stories were boring and big..You ain't seen nuthin yet..For those about to rock!!

  • Vulindlela's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2007 at 10:29 PM

    Rotorua looks so relaxing! Great restaurant tips also.

  • Darby2's Profile Photo
    Jan 7, 2007 at 10:40 AM

    Wairoa reminds me of Liard Hotsprings in B.C. Lush growth all around. I'll put it on my itinerary. As for Zorbing....I plan to try it! :o))

  • frankcanfly's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2006 at 7:44 AM

    I've discovered that I'm completely obsessed with ZORB!

  • elpariente's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2006 at 8:23 AM

    your pages are really helping me to make my mind about NZ I will try the "New ZORBing"

  • kiwi's Profile Photo
    Mar 26, 2006 at 11:48 AM

    ZORB!!!!! YESS!!!!! Next time the Zorbmeister visits we'll have a VT Meet there - I'll be the photographer hahahahha xoxoxoxox


“Blessed are the cheesemakers.”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 5 9 2
Forum Rank:
0 0 7 5 0

Badges & Stats in Rotorua

  • 19 Reviews
  • 41 Photos
  • 3 Forum posts
  • 9,355PageViews

Have you been to Rotorua?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Rotorua

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)