Rotorua is world-renowned for its local Maori culture, geothermal wonderland, numerous lakes and stunning natural scenery. Rotorua is steeped in history, tradition and culture. The name Rotorua comes from Maori, the full name is Te Rotorua-nui-a-Kahumatamomoe and Maori of the Te Arawa iwi initially settled the area in the 19th century.
Rotorua is most famous for its Maori culture and geothermal wonders. When you first visit the area don't be surprised to see steam rising from cracks in gardens, pathways or streets, and of course you can't help but notice the distinctive scent of sulphur... welcome to the heart of New Zealand's most active thermal area! Bubbling mud pools, gushing geysers, Maori cultural displays, thermal health spas and breath-taking thermal scenery all make Rotorua "must see" on your holiday travels.
Today Rotorua is also considered one of New Zealand's top adventure playgrounds and the district boasts some of the world's top mountain biking trails, while the awesome natural setting of the region offers plenty of excitement - from walking on a volcano to white water rafting, high octane jet boating, hunting, fishing and bungy jumping... the list never ends of adrenalin pumping thrills to be enjoyed around Rotorua.
Of course not all outdoor activities have to leave your heart racing, with 16 lakes in the region, there is plenty of places to enjoy some serious rest and relaxation on the water. Considered a fisherman’s paradise, major fishing lakes include Rotorua, Rotoiti, Tarawera, Okataina and Rotoma, where anglers can test their skills against Rainbow Trout. If fishing isn’t your favourite water past time, there is plenty more on offer to entertain you throughout your holiday. Enjoy a relaxing scenic lake cruise aboard New Zealand's only stern-driven paddle vessel or eco-sailing on a luxury Catamaran, or simply enjoy lunch sitting on the lake front gazing across the tranquil waters.
The entertainment doesn’t end on the water! Rotorua is jam packed with attractions and activities on land and in the air!
For the action lover the choices are endless. How about bouncing down a hill inside a giant, bouncy ball at speeds of up to 30km/h? If that isn't exciting enough, add a friend and some water and you have the ultimate ZORB™ experience. Get a taste of off-road driving at it's best, enjoy a scenic horse trek, hike around a volcano, down-hill mountain biking, ATV tours, bungy jumping, take a wild luge down a hill, fly over a volcano, jump out of a plane... I told you the list was endless.
The CBD of Rotorua offers a relaxing ambience with plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars and shops to satisfy any cravings you may have for city action. Vibrant cafes, bars, nightclubs and restaurants offer fine cuisine and award-winning local and New Zealand wines. However, if your taste is for relaxing in a beautiful environment then the tranquil surrounds of one of the many lakes in the area is bound to appeal. From central hotels, motels and holiday apartments it is easy to walk to most of Rotorua’s entertaining and dining venues.
A short stroll, cycle or drive can take you to so many exciting activities and attractions; the challenge in Rotorua is to decide what to do first. Between sightseeing jaunts, health spas, mountain biking, lake cruising, Zorbing, wine tasting and enjoying fine cuisine, there is always the sublime peace of one of the 11 major lakes to escape to.
Visitors are sure to fall in love with Rotorua, it's proud heritage and the never-ending supply of things to see and do - 365 days of they year!
Website editor - Rachael de Hek