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Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua, New Zealand

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Whether seeking in New Zealand to experience Maori culture, geothermal earth forces, spa rejuvenation, thrills and adventure, or any of the other natural assets such as 18 lakes, some of the world’s best mountain biking trails, fantastic trout fishing and myriad of forest walking tracks – Rotorua delivers it all!

Rotorua is the adventure playground of the North Island in New Zealand! Whether you want to relax and unwind at one of our natural geothermal spas and indulge in a luxurious treatment, or find your inner adrenaline junkie at one of our pumping adventure experiences, Rotorua has something for you. To help you get the most out of your visit, I’ve put together a guide of top 10 things to do in Rotorua for y’all.

Globe-riding in Rotorua, the Birthplace of ZORB!

ZORB is actually an iconic adventure activity of Rotorua in New Zealand and I honestly think it’s one of most mind-boggling adventure for me! My head still hasn’t stopped spinning since my last zigzag roll!

The best part is that this is where the whole Globe-riding started. The Original ZORB NZ has been operating for over 19 years now and offers action packed, wet and dry rides down the hill while the crowd below watches you laugh and scream your way down the hill.

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ZORB Rotorua

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Enjoying a Mud Bath at Hells Gate Geothermal Park

You might never have thought you’d thank Mother Nature for dirt, but immersing yourself in a mud bath at Hells Gate Geothermal Park would change your mind.

Hells Gate Geothermal Park is treasured by Maori as a place of healing and revitalisation. The Ngati Rangiteaorere tribe of Maori in Rotorua have lived on this special site for over 700 years. It’s the only Maori-owned thermal park in the country.

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Hells Gate Geothermal Park and Mud Bath Spa

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Whizzing Down NZ’s Only Native Forest Zipline Canopy Tour

You’ll have an adventure like no other exploring the native forest on a 1.2km network of Rotorua ziplines, swing-bridges and treetop platforms!

Flying through the lush and healthy rain forest for three hours was beyond fun. Native ferns carpet the forest floor and rainfall brings everything to life. Their staff was awesome and they’d challenge you to do some fun tricks like flips, spins, acting drinking coffee, etc.

Rotorua Canopy Tours

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Taking a Scenic Flight Over Volcanic Peaks of Mt. Tarawera

Conveniently located at the Rotorua City Lakefront, Volcanic Air offers a selection of scenic flights in your choice of helicopter or floatplane. If you have a few hours to spare in Rotorua and want to do more than just discover the geothermal wonderland, why not try to fly over the area?

Who knew there were so many lakes in the area? I had my front head stuck to the window of the floatplane the entire flight over Mount Tarawera and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. The sights and colors were mesmerizing. I would never have suspected this landscape and it gives you a great perspective once back on the ground!

Volcanic Air

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Rafting on Kaituna River, World’s Highest Rafted Waterfall

New Zealand is known for it’s extreme activities and sports throughout the country. White Water Rafting on the Kaituna River is one of trips you should not miss on the North Island when you visit Rotorua.

Don’t let the water splashes and the crashing of the rapids scare you away. Grab your wet suit, helmet, paddle and hope you do not fall out over the Okere Falls, world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall (7-meter drop).

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River Rats Rafting & Kayaking

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Immersing into the Life of Maori Culture at Te Puia

Maori is everywhere in New Zealand. Maori is the indigenous people of New Zealand. They’re just like Indians in the United States. They came to New Zealand more than 1,000 years ago from Asia, South America, and others that researchers are still quite uncertain about where they come from. Maori make up 14% of NZ population and their history, language, and traditions are New Zealand’s identity.

Truth to be told, you’ll have an epic time watching their performances, learning their history, tasting their cultural food, creating arts and crafts, and checking out their geyser. The staff were very outgoing and communicative. They even sent a representative to guide us and show us different spots to capture unique angle of geyser. Amazing experience to have.

Te Puia – Steambox

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Experiencing NZ’s Only Ultimate Adventure Playground

There’s no where else in New Zealand you would find 5 types of adventure thrills featured in one attraction. The thrills include the Agrojet, bungy jump, a super swing, freefalling and aerodynamic racing pods.

This place is the closest I could get to be a super hero as I fly on a giant wind column and race against my travel buddy in the world’s one and only monorail raceway! Actually they have a world record on the fastest race time, and whoever beats it will get $1,000 NZD (~$650 US Dollars) in cash!

Agroventures Adventure Park

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Hurtling Towards the Ground in a Luge Cart

You’ll get plenty of Adrenaline action here with their luge ride and skyswing! On the luge cart, there’s no engine or electric. It’s purely run by your control with brake and speed! I raced with my travel buddy, Ryan, and he was too slow. So, I won!

The journey begins by taking a Cable Car to the top of the top of Mount Ngongotaha which sits 487m above sea level. The views are amazing – you can see the whole of Rotorua. It’s a great place to get a snapshot of Rotorua and what the city is really about! Then you take your adventure down to the bottom with two different options: luge cart or Zoom Zipline!

Skyline Rotorua

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Dipping in One of World’s Top 10 Thermal, Medical and Natural Spas

Do you love spas and soaking in mineral pools? Rotorua’s Polynesian Spa was voted as a top 10 world day spa resort by Condé Naast Traveller. Overlooking Lake Rotorua, The Polynesian Spa has 26 different pools with varying temperatures that include private pools, deluxe pools and adult-only areas. The waters are also well known for their therapeutic qualities.

Not only that, there was one extremely hot pool producing the heat of the pools that I jumped in without checking signs and I burned my ankle. They were quick to come and tender my ankle. I was okay after all, but it took me two days to heal the wound.

Overall, it was exhilaratingly relaxing experience to soak in the spas! Hot pool indulgence doesn’t come any better than this. Be sure to go there right before the sunset.

Polynesian Spa

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Hiking up the Mt Tarawera

Mount Tarawera, about 50kms out of the city, reminds you to be respectful of how mighty the earth can be. In 1886, it erupted with incredible violence, creating a column of ash and steam 11kms high, killing 153 people, and burying three villages with 20 metres of mud and ash.

Today, Mount Tarawera is considered a Maori sacred site, with three distinct peaks and six craters. Thus, hiking up to the summit of the mountain is a must! It was awesome crater-walking uphill on a rough track. But it was a bummer that we had to try seeing through endless layers of fog, so I couldn’t enjoy the views of all of Tarawera’s peaks and craters, as well as the peaks of some distant volcanoes poking above the clouds. Nonetheless, it was quite an exercise for me and I’d recommend this activity to anyone; however, be sure to keep out on weather to ensure you get the best out of the hike.

Kaitiaki Adventures

New Zealand: Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Centre

This wouldn’t have been possible if it weren’t for Rotorua NZ! They worked with me in arranging all fun and unique adventures in Rotorua for me and Ryan.

Destination Rotorua

Accommodations

Rotorua Top 10 Holiday Park

  • Address: 1495 Pukuatua St, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
  • Email: stay@rotoruatop10.co.nz
  • Website: http://www.rotoruatop10.co.nz/
  • Facebook: https://facebook.com/RotoruaTOP10/

Transportation

This wouldn’t have been possible without Ezi Car Rental‘s sponsorship for my mode of transportation in New Zealand.

Ezi Car Rental

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Calvin Young

Calvin Young

Hey buddy! I go by Calvin and I'm a Deaf traveler. I love exploring the world to discover and share amazing stories, useful tips, stunning photographs, jaw-dropping videos and many more with you all! I aim to empower and inspire the Deaf people that they can do anything they want through my travels.

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