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Rotorua Activities

16 Sep 2007  Recent Trip with Friend
4.0 of 5 stars based on 2 votes

Things to see and do in and around Rotorua

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Rotorua
  • Category: Perfect weekend
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Never been before
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Large groups, Seniors, Students, Budget travellers , Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Skyline Skyrides & Luge

    The gondola is a great way to see Rotorua, situated on the side of Mount Ngongotaha, giving 180 degree views of the city and lake. When you reach the top there is a restaurant, cafe, gift shop and toilets; plus other acitivites such as the Luge, Sky Swing and access to Helipro helicopter rides. The Sky Swing, is as it sounds... a swing! you are harnessed in and raised up before being released and swung out over the mountainside 50 metres above ground level and at 150kph! (not for those scared of heights). There are also scenic walks for the active with seats for those who need a rest or who just want to admire the view. The Luge consists of one-man 3 wheel carts which you ride down a choice of 3 tracks (scenic, Intermediate and Advanced). The Scenic track is a 2 kilometre ride with pull off rest areas; the Intermediate track is 1.7km with spirals and loops and the Advanced track is a 1 kilometre exhilerating ride with the famous 'Big Dipper' section. You can purchase a variety of ticket options: return gondala only, one way gondola one way luge, multi luge rides, gondola, luge, swing - you name it really! A basic return trip on the gondola starts at $NZ23 for adults up to $NZ42 for gondola & 5 luge rides. A great attraction for all levels of activity and one the kids are sure to love.

  • 2. Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland
    Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua, Rotorua District, Bay of Plenty Region

    Wai-o-tapu is located approx 27km/ 20 mins from Rotorua (on the way to Taupo). As you drive to the reserve you will pass signs for the Mud Pools - whatever you do, don't miss these!! A loop road leads you to a large pool full of bubbling, boiling mud - the sounds and sight of this pool are great fun. You enter Wai-o-tapu through the gift shop (you will know you've arrived by the smell of sulphar! (common to the whole Rotorua area - not so bad if you pick a windy day)!! The first few pools and craters aren't that impressive, but as you move through the reserve they become more impressive, colourful and diverse. Our favourites included the Artists Palette and Champagne Pool. You can walk across the terraces on the Boardwalk and take photo's as you disappear into a cloud of steam! There are a number of options for walking around the reserve: Walk 1 is 1.5km and takes approx 30 mins; Walk 1 & 2 is 2km and takes 40 mins and Walk 1,2 & 3 combined which is 3km and takes 75 mins. You will find the reserve is busier in the morning as people aim to arrive in time to watch the Lady Knox Geyser which erupts daily at 10:15am and reaches heights up to 20 metres. On site there is a cafe, toilets, gift shop, picnic area, baby changing facilities and lockers. The reserve opens from 8:30am - 5pm (last admission 3:45pm). Entry costs $NZ25 for adults and $NZ8.50 for children

  • 3. Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

    The Glow Worm caves are a must see if you are in the area. The tour takes approx 45 minutes and starts with a gentle walk through the caves (there are some steep steps and so may not be suitable for the less mobile). You will enter the fabulous Cathedral Cavern (if you have a good singing voice an ideal opportunity to try out the acoustics). You will see the feeding threads and then be led through to the boat boarding area. The boat travels silently through the dark caves and as you look up the glow given from the many glow worms is almost magical - often described as a grotto, it is a fantastic sight. No photography or videos are allowed in the cave. As you exit the caves a photo of you on the boat is taken - available to purchase from the gift shop. The Caves open from 9am-5pm with tours departing every 30 minutes. There are a variety of tour price options, including other caves, rafting etc however, the basic tour cost is $NZ33 per adult.

  • 4. Tamaki Maori Village
    Tamaki Maori Village, Rotorua, Rotorua District, Bay of Plenty Region

    If you want to learn more about the Maori people and their culture this is a great way of doing so. You will be picked up from your accommodation and taken to the main booking centre. Here you will listen to a story detailing the move of Maori people across the Pacific ocean to New Zealand (Island of the Long White Cloud). You will then board the coaches for the 15 minute drive to the Tamaki village. En-route you will be allocated into a 'tribe' and a tribal chief elected. The guides will advise you on the protocol of meeting Maori. On arrival at the village you go through to a welcome area where some of the Maori warriors come out and issue a challenge to see if you come in piece. Only after the welcome ceremony may guests move through to the village area. The village has a number of small huts scattered through the forest where guests can meet the people and learn about the culture, tools, weapons etc used. When called you move through to the Meeting House where you will hear a welcome speech, traditional maori songs, the Haka, dance and stories. After this you move through to the Dining Room (food house) for the traditional Hangi meal (method where food is cooked under ground). The meal is a buffet style with each table being called up and is quite a slick operation. There is a bar where drinks may be purchased. When the meal is over you are free to stand by the campfire, learn how the Hangi is prepared or to visit one of the little gift shop huts. You will then leave by coach and returned to your accommodation. The tour lasts approx 3.5hrs and costs approx $NZ65 per adult - varying depending on season etc.