Top 10 Things To Do in Rotorua New Zealand
Are you venturing on one of the New Zealand adventure tours and looking for things to do in Rotorua, look no further. Our carefully selected top 10 guide will walk you through the most spectacular Rotorua attractions. Pack your bags and let’s go!
1. Lake Rotorua tops the list of main Rotorua attractions. This lake was formed by the volcanic activity that still remains active in the area. Lake Rotorua formed over two hundred thousand years ago, as the magma chamber of the volcano collapsed. Eventually this filled with rainwater, creating the sixteen lakes that surround the Rotorua area. Hot bubbling mud pools, geysers and steam escaping through the cracks in the earth add the aura of mystery to the lake views. Fishing is especially great here, perhaps you will be lucky to catch a rainbow or brown trout that calls Lake Rotorua its home. Swimming and picnicking are among the favorite activities in the Lake area. Hiking, bike and guided tours are abundant, and in few places in New Zealand can so much of its splendor be seen in one location.
2. A trip to the Tongariro National Park is a must on the list for things to do in Rotorua for any nature lover. This national park is the oldest in New Zealand, the fourth largest state park in the world. The greatest activity in the park is hiking along numerous trails that stop at various natural wonders such as volcanic sites and waterfalls—or the six-day Round the Mountain track, which is one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. This park is also home to 3 active volcanoes that are under close monitoring. Camping accommodations are available in the Tongariro National Park at any of the ‘serviced’ or ‘basic’ huts around the park, or at the beautiful and historic Bayview Chateau Tongariro. And do not forget Frodo’s visit to Mount Doom in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of The Rings” movie. It was filmed here, too. Tongariro National Park allow its visitors to take a look at the primal and untouched beauty of New Zealand.
3. Located in the Rotorua region, the remote and secluded Te Urewera National Park is a wondrous palette of some of New Zealand’s greatest beauty. The natural splendor of the park is due largely to how difficult it is to reach its interior, which has allowed the over six hundred fifty species of plant life, and myriad fauna to live unthreatened. Hunting and fishing grounds cover the park; but for true adventurers, hikes through any of New Zealand’s “Great Walks” are things to do in Rotorua. Te Urewera has the well developed Lake Waikaremoana Track of the Great Walks, which winds for forty-six kilometers. Here you can witness rare species of birds and other representatives of flora and fauna of New Zealand. Enjoy hiking in Te Urewera since it offers a variety of all level trails ranging from relaxed walking to high-endurance rugged paths!
4. Waterfalls are especially beautiful in the Rotorua area and should be seen by all tourists coming to this region. Most of these natural wonders are fed by the mountain glaciers and come streaming down from beautiful rocky cliffs. One waterfall Kakahi Falls deserves to be specially mentioned due to its geothermal nature. Of great importance to the native Maori of New Zealand are the Kakahi Falls, also known as the Hell’s Gate Falls. These falls are warmed by some of the dynamic geothermal activities in the world, and consistently remain the temperature of a hot shower. Once these falls were sacred to Maori tribes, a place where warriors would bathe to heal after battle. The high sulfur content of the water did have some regenerative qualities, and its value was seen by settlers as well. Now the Falls are home to many relaxing things to do in Rotorua including full spas, and cleansing mud bath treatments. This waterfall is super hot giving off steamy mist to all tourists coming to see it.
5. Rotorua is one of the greatest geothermal wonders of the world that are well worth seeing. Visiting geothermal sites are one of the most interesting things to do in Rotorua. See multiple active geysers forcefully flying into the air, bubbling mud pools and steam literally seeping from the ground. Whakarewarewa “The Thermal Village” is home to the largest geyser and over 500 hot springs for your enjoyment. For two hundred years members of the Tuhourangi – Ngati Wahiao tribe of the Maori have lived around the fiery village of Whakarewarewa. Geothermal activity and the various springs it creates have been a part of their everyday life for all that time, and since 1998 guided tours of their sequestered village have been offered. For those seeking to learn more of the Maori culture a Whakarewarewa village tour is one of the most fascinating things to do in Rotorua. By actual members of the tribe guests are shown their way of life, tribal dances, and numerous traditions. Tours packages may also include views of the geysers, and lessons in Wahiao art and language.
6. Many of the most commonly sought things to do in Rotorua are all in one spot: Waimangu Valley. This lush valley surrounded by dense rainforests is a prime location for hiking and for viewing volcanic activity up close. The Waimangu Valley’s geothermal system is the youngest in the world, and causes their many springs, steaming waterfalls, and bubbling mud pools. In order to experience Waimangu’s many natural wonders there are tours ranging from hikes to a leisurely river cruise. The longest of these last up to eight hours and consist of a walk through the rainforests, down the volcanic paths, and on a lake cruise with a lunch included.
7. Go rafting in Rotorua since the area is surrounded by beautiful lakes, rivers and waterfalls. You can pick from fast or relaxed rafting experiences and do not forget to relax in a thermal bath afterwards to compete you Rotorua enjoyment.
8. There’s a variety of things to do in Rotorua for a thrill seeker. Take for example, jet boating in Waikato River that is truly an experience of a lifetime offering spectacular views of the waterfalls and adrenaline rush of the ride. The Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand, located in the northern island of Rotorua. Various things to do in Rotorua are found along its banks, including nearly one hundred kilometers of nature trails—quite a number of which are brand new. For a more pampered retreat than hiking there are choices of Waikato River Cruises. A river cruise will pass by the springs, waterfalls, and rainforests of the Waikato with grilled lunches provided for its guests. There are also shorter cruises with a breakfast offering of tea or coffee, and muffins and scones; and evening cruises that have live music in addition to barbecue dinners.
9. Visit Mitai Maori Village in Rotorua where you will travel back in time and have a taste of the ethnic aboriginal heritage of the Maori people. Here you can marvel at Maori’s way of life, admire its spectacular combat armory and weapons and perhaps enjoy the poi dance performed by the great people of Maori. The Maori culture makes up a good thirty-five percent of the population of Rotorua, and things to do in Rotorua are devoted to the education about and preservation of their culture. The Mitai Maori Village tour gives those seeking to learn of the Maori a chance to experience their customs first hand—from basket weaving and art demonstrations, traditional dance and song, to a savory Hangi feast of native foods included in admission. After viewing the war canoe (Waka) passing and the tribal war dances (Haka) as night falls there are tours through the neighboring forests to view glow worms in their natural habitat.
10. The last but not least of our top 10 things to do in Rotorua guide is Te Puia guided tour to view the spectacular beauty of the geothermal wonders of Rotorua mixed with incredible cultural and historical submersions into the Maori people past. Learn the art of carving and basket weaving, one of the founding crafts of Maori culture. Lots of displays and live expositions will help visitors learn more about New Zealand and its people. To the Maori culture centered around Te Paui, a guided tour of the natural and cultural wonders is actually an ancient tradition tracing its roots to the beginnings of their settlement of Te Puia. Those ancient lore keepers and history teachers have continued on through direct lineage to those who lead any Te Puia Guided Tour today. The tours walk through the village to observe and learn of the culture, and how modern influence has kept it alive; through the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley; and into a kiwi house dedicated to shelter the endangered bird of New Zealand. Of the things to do in Rotorua, the Te Puia Guided Tours are a truly authentic experience.
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