Fearlessly perched on a volcanic fault line, Rotorua holidays are a hotspot for thrill seekers and nature lovers alike. Bubbling hot mud and steaming earth sets the scene for various adventures like white-water rafting and hurtling across the waters of Lake Rotorua in high-speed jet boats. Rotorua holidays offer a memorable mix of heart thumping experiences, breath-taking scenery and a look into a wondrous culture that is well over 1,000 years old.
Your first stop should be at the edge of the tranquil Lake Rotorua. While this natural beauty seems calm on the surface, there is so much more going on just beneath. Discover a host of hot pools and mud pools that are just perfect for revitalising and relaxing in. The Rotorua Skyline Gondola should be next on your list. It offers panoramic views of the traditional town and its countless natural wonders.
Waimangu Volcanic Geothermal Valley Rotorua is where you can witness the power of Mother Nature in full force as you take in the views of the many active geysers, geothermal displays, and one of the world’s largest hot springs. Kuirau Park is another must-visit, as it offers access to steaming foot pools and gorgeous, green vistas. Marvel at the beauty of your surroundings as the steam swirls around you and the fresh Rotorua air fills your lungs.
Rotorua holidays: Delving into Maori culture
Rotorua is often referred to as the heart of the Maori culture in New Zealand, which dates back over 1,000 years. Curious travellers can learn more by visiting the various local villages in the region, such as Whakarewarewa, which is otherwise known as The Living Maori Village. It’s home to two Maori sub-tribes and is located on a geothermal plateau. Here, you have the opportunity to take part in ancient Maori traditions, such as carving and ta moko (tattooing). You can also savour a succulent traditional Maori hangi feast, which includes limitless amounts of fall-off-the-bone meat and nutritious vegetables, all roasted in underground ovens.
Pair your trip with many more stunning New Zealand destinations. Book a Rotorua tour or multi-centre holiday and visit the country’s many cosmopolitan cities, including Auckland and Wellington. You can also experience the spectacular Fiordlands of the South Island, as well as pretty Christchurch and activity-packed Queenstown.
Great sample itineraries
Rotorua family holidays promise a culturally-rich experience amid an awe-inspiring volcanic landscape. Get inspired for your Rotorua tour by using our creative sample itineraries.
Self Drive Tour Of New Zealand South Island
Auckland To Christchurch Tour
For a relaxing day spent immersing yourself in the beautiful natural landscapes of Rotorua, take a wine tasting tour at one of the local vineyards. The Volcanic Hills Winery overlooks the valley and Lake Rotorua below and can be reached via cable car. The volcanic hills give the wines a rich and unique flavour, and guests can also enjoy local gourmet dishes.
This protected geothermal valley is a fascinating centre for Māori culture. Spend the day admiring the geysers and bubbling mud pools and see the endangered kiwi bird in its native bush. Learn to create your own clothes using Māori tools and methods, before watching a dance show. Finish the day with a feast consisting of meats and local produce cooked in pits dug into the warm earth.
Thermal Pools and Spa
Rotorua is home to thermal parks caused by dormant volcanos in the area. Spend a day of relaxation in the bubbling mud pools, before heading inside for a massage, manicure, pedicure and a range of other treatments. The warm pools are said to have relaxing and healing powers, caused by the minerals present in the water.
Best time to visit Rotorua
The Rotorua climate is best described as pleasant and temperate, with rainfall spread out evenly throughout the year. Peak season in Rotorua takes place between late spring and early autumn, which falls in November to March. This is also when the town is at its driest and warmest. Temperatures usually fall between 20°C – 27°C during this time, with February being the warmest and driest month of the year. Rotorua tends to see its highest levels of rainfall in March and its lowest temperatures in mid-winter during July, when it can dip down to around 9°C.
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“When visiting Te Puia, make sure you stay to see the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere. It only erupts once or twice every hour, so you have to be patient. Rest assured that it will be worth it – it’s capable of reaching heights of over 100 feet.”
“You can learn how to do the haka with Maori Warriors at the traditional Tamaki Maori Village.”
Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Rotorua holiday. Discover a favourite style of cooking during your trip.
Traditional hangi feast
A traditional hangi feast consists of delicious Maori food cooked underground in earthen ovens. Intricately-woven baskets are placed on hot stones within the oven and the heat is trapped within by sheltering the baskets with wet cloths and mounds of dry earth. The feast is cooked for three to four hours, resulting in tasty, tender meat and smoky, nutrient-rich vegetables.
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