Recreation in Rotorua

Rotorua has something for everyone!


Hobbiton Movie Set Tours / Waitomo Gloworm Caves / Te Puia and Te Pō Combo
Experience the Trilogy

This unique trilogy combines some of the best that the North Island of New Zealand has to offer. Experience Hobbiton Movie Set, the picturesque setting for the Shire that featured in the Sir Peter Jackson directed films, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. This offer includes Te Puia, the home of Māori culture and cuisine. Be mesmerized by the world famous geyser Pohutu under the stars following a delicious indigenous meal. Descend into the magical Waitomo Glowworm Caves under a galaxy of glowworms and to ancient Ruakuri Cave, a spectacular cave full of legends and tales. Walk amongst magnificent cave formations and see sparkling glowworms up-close.

The Trilogy Package Includes
  • 1 hour 45 minute Tour of Hobbiton Movie Set Tours, Matamata
  • 45 minute Tour of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Waitomo
  • 2 hour tour of Ruakuri Cave, Waitomo
  • 4.5 hours exclusive guided tour of Te Puia; Māori welcome ceremony and cultural performance & Māori feast (traditional indigenous dinner), Rotorua
For more information and departure times click here.

Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park
467 Paradise Valley Road

Paradise Valley Springs is an immaculate wildlife sanctuary set amongst stunning native New Zealand bush. Wander along the accessible walkways at your own pace, feeding the wildlife as you go.

A first for Rotorua is our Rainforest Treetops Walk - a solid boardwalk up to 20 feet off the ground putting you right up amongst the native tree canopy to admire wild birds like Tui, Bellbirds, Fantails and Pigeons.

Flowing through Paradise Valley Springs is the Ngongotaha Stream. This is the major trout spawning stream for Lake Rotorua and Lake Rotoiti and approximately 20,000 trout spawn in this crystal clear stream annually. Trout food is available to feed them.

Our specially designed Lion enclosure allows you to get very close to these formidable wild animals in complete safety. Every day at 2.30pm our Lions are fed. This is a great time to get up close to our Lions and learn a bit more about them. When we have Lion Cubs born at the park, they are available for visitors to pat - a fantastic experience.


Lake Tarawera Water Taxi
93 Spencer Road, Lake Tarawera. Freephone 07 362 8080

Take a water taxi ride with Lake Tarawera Water Taxi to New Zealand's best Hot Water beach at Lake Tarawera, near Rotorua.

You will not only see the unusual geothermal activity, but feel it. Dig your hands into the water at the lake's edge and feel the warmth through the sand or immerse yourself in the warm water. Your trip highlight… sitting in a natural geothermal hot pool nearby, surrounded by native New Zealand forest… with fern fronds silhouetted overhead. Just you and nature!

We also provide trips to the Tarawera Falls Walk, regarded as one of the best short walks in New Zealand.

Lake Tarawera, just 20 minutes south of Rotorua city, is unspoilt and breathtaking. It's dominated by majestic Mount Tarawera, surrounded by native forests and imbued with Māori history. We share with visitors the cultural and volcanic history of Tarawera, continuing a legacy that the Tuhourangi ancestors started several hundred years ago.


Lakeland Queen
Rotorua City lakefront

Modelled from Mississippi river boats and the charm of yesteryear, the Lakeland Queen is undeniably the most romantic way to experience the stunning 360° vistas of beautiful Lake Rotorua. Unique to New Zealand and purpose built locally in 1986 for Lake Rotorua this style of boat is known as stern-wheel paddle driven and was originally designed for shallower waters - making it perfect to coast Rotorua's iconic lake. Take in the spectacular scenery, cruise past Rotorua's very own wildlife sanctuary that is protected by the Lake and learn of the famous tribal love story that even the Lake's vast waters could not deny. Lakeland Queen offers a truly unique dining experience with two licensed bars and two separate decks and can accommodate a total of 240 guests seated or 300 guests cocktail style. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and land marks of Rotorua while on our Breakfast and Lunch cruise or indulge yourself while taking in the sunset and beautiful lights of Rotorua city during our Dinner cruise.


Rainbow Springs Nature Park
192 Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua

Rainbow Springs Nature Park has been a favourite destination since 1932. Spread over 22 acres of parkland, Rainbow Springs offers a truely unique experience, and is a must-see for anyone who wants to get to know New Zealand's wonderful environment and animals, both during the day and at night. Your ticket allows unlimited entry for 24 hours so there is no additional charge to visit the nocturnal animals.

Learn more about kiwi conservation with a visit to Kiwi Encounter. Operated by the National Kiwi Trust and located on site at Rainbow Springs, this unique scientific attraction allows you an insight into the entire process of kiwi conservation - from kiwi egg collection in the wild, incubation, hatching and then raising of the Kiwi until it's ready to be released back into the wild. Other native species in the park include Tuatara, Rainbow Trout and various bird life.


Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre
1334 Paradise Valley Road, Ngongotaha, Rotorua

Featuring threatened New Zealand falcons, hawks and owls, Wingspan provides a rare opportunity to see these magnificent birds up close and personal. Visitors to the Wingspan Centre are able to view a museum area and sneak previews into the incubation and service areas before entering the main aviary - a landscaped, all-weather walkway themed with native plants.

At 11.30am each day begins the spectacular flying display where several birds are released for their daily exercise and feeding where visitors can admire their fast flight, steep climbs and swoops. Visitors are able to hold the birds and feed them wearing a special leather glove.

Wingspan is not only a rehabilitation centre for injured birds but is also a breeding centre aimed at increasing the population numbers of these endangered birds. Donations to Wingspan are welcome.


Skyline Rotorua - Gondola, Luge, Restaurant and more!
Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua

The Skyline Rotorua complex is situated just minutes from central Rotorua, high up Mt Ngongotaha.

To begin your Skyline Rotorua adventure, take a leisurely 900m uphill Gondola ride and enjoy the extensive 180 degree views of Rotorua, the surrounding lakes and geothermal areas.

Once you reach the Skyline Rotorua complex, select from one of the three exciting Luge trails. Take off downhill on your luge through twists and turns to a backdrop of dramatic scenery and down through our Redwood forest. Once at the bottom, ride the scenic chairlift back to the top of the track.

Enjoy the best of New Zealand and International cuisine for lunch or dinner at the Skyline Rotorua buffet and grill restaurant. Based at the top of the Gondola, the restaurant offers the best views of Lake Rotorua, Mount Tarawera, and the city below.

For a casual dining experience visit our Food Market Kitchen, a marketplace style cafe that has something for everyone - from great coffee to real fruit ice cream.

Everyone will enjoy the fun Jelly Belly (Jelly Bean) gallery and store or just for the adults is the new Volcanic Hills winery and tasting room (see separate listing below).


Volcanic Hills Wine Company
Fairy Springs Road at Skyline, Rotorua

Volcanic Hills wines are a result of a tectonic collision between winemakers Brent Park and Sean Beer. Between them they have 20 years of experience with top wineries. Now they are making their own - Volcanic Hills Wines.

The winery is established at the base of the Skyline Rotorua site where visitors are able to see how the wine is made before taking a gondola ride up to Volcanic Hills HQ to our tasting and wine sales room.

Grapes for Volcanic Hills Wines are sourced from New Zealand's favourite regions Marlborough, Central Otago and Hawke's Bay.

Volcanic Hills aims to stand out like the legendary peaks Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Rangitoto - distinctive, majestic and renowned for producing something quite spectacular!

Volcanic Hills invite you to sample our handcrafted wines from New Zealand's most recognised and respected wine regions.


The Redwoods
Longmile Road, Rotorua
If you love the outdoors this area is for you!

Escape into the beautiful Whakarewarewa Forest, one of Rotorua's most spectacular natural assets. Famous for its magnificent stands of towering Californian Coastal Redwoods it is just five minutes drive from the city centre. Here you can experience some of the finest walking and mountain bike trails in the world. Not to mention taking in superb panoramic views of Rotorua City, Lake and surrounding district.

If mountain biking is your thing the Whakarewarewa Forest has one of the oldest mountain bike networks in the country. These master crafted trails are an unbeatable blend of riding surfaces, topography and scenery. With around 90km of continually evolving trails, there is something to cater for all levels of rider, from beginners and family groups through to experts looking for extreme action.

Entry to the forest, tracks and Gift Shop and Visitor Centre is FREE.


The Redwoods TreeWalk
Longmile Road, Rotorua

Redwoods TreeWalk is Rotorua's newest Eco-Tourism attraction. Using ecologically friendly engineering, the TreeWalk is suspended from 100 year old majestic Redwoods. Featuring a series of suspension bridges and living decks, elevated from 6 metres to 12-metres at its' highest point. Designed for use without harnesses or protective gear, it is suitable for all ages.

Visitors can walk at their own pace and take time to enjoy the unique views from the living decks. Allow up to 30 minutes to complete the walk. The only pre-requisite is that all users must be able to walk the entire 553 metres.

You can buy tickets from the Redwoods I-Site and Visitor Centre.


Real Rotorua Tours
Pick-up from our door

Real Rotorua offers 3 exciting and unique tours.
The Lakes Morning Tour is a tour of our favorite lakes, natural springs and best view points. Enjoy breath taking scenery, take photos at your own leisure and learn more about Rotorua's colourful history (8:30am - 12:30pm).

The Thermal Path Tour visits some of Rotorua's "off the beaten track" mud pools and best examples of thermal areas. Dip your toes or fully immerse yourself in our favorite hot springs (1:15pm - 5:00pm).

Rotorua's Nocturnal Adventure is an amazing night-time experience. Glow worms are the highlight of any night-time stroll in New Zealand, and when found in abundance they can be as breathtaking as our clearest night sky. Join our experienced guides on a trip into the native bush at dusk to witness this phenomenon for yourself (Duration 2-3 hours). For more info on departure times and current prices please visit the website.


Happy Ewe Cycle Tours
Tour starts at the City Focus (cnr Hinemoa & Tutanekai Streets)
10:00 and 2:00pm daily (except Wednesdays)

Here at Happy Ewe Cycle Tours we ride bicycles and showcase Rotorua. Our guides are born and raised here and know the city well. They are more than happy to share with you any tips and advice about Rotorua, highlight its compelling history and point out its unique landscape.

Rotorua has it all; famous battles, healing waters, love stories, a unique aroma and more. Come with us, and we will take you on an unforgettable cycling adventure through a place that is our home.

Tour includes guide, bicycle hire, helmet and hi-vis vest (optional).
Maximum of 6 people per tour. Duration approximately 2.5 hours.
Phone 022 622 9252


The Buried Village
1180 Tarawera Road, RD 5, Rotorua

The Buried Village with its award-winning museum, recreated pioneer cottage, Māori whare and excavated sites is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Rotorua.

The excavated village offers a first-hand insight into the chaos and mayhem that transpired on the night Mount Tarawera erupted. It is an authentic appreciation of the people of Te Wairoa, both Māori and European, on how they lived… and died.

Established by the Christian missionary in 1848 as a model village, Te Wairoa survived for fewer than 40 years before it, and the nearby Pink and White Terraces were obliterated by the eruption of Mt Tarawera.

On June 10 1886, spewing rock, ash and mud killed more than 150 people, engulfed several settlements and destroyed the marble-like terraces at Lake Rotomahana, which were internationally regarded as "the eighth wonder of the world".


The Basement Cinema
1140 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua

The Basement Cinema is Rotorua's answer to an alternative cinema. In the opinion of many, "Indie" movies are not given the respect they deserve with cinema goers being over exposed to blockbusters by the Hollywood machine. The result is that the Basement Cinema presents a more varied programme than most of the cinemas in the region. It boasts a wider range of material from the world of cinema taking in films from as far as Europe and Africa to the more close-at-hand Samoa.

More recently the cinema has taken on a new look by extending the bar to take in an extensive range of New Zealand wines and craft beers. Relax with a wine or tuck into some wedges before the show.

The two screens offer an escape from the colossal corporate cineplex with its two snug screens giving the feeling that you're watching a private screening with the film's producers. The comfy lounging seats mean no jostling for arm-room and seating only 13 and 23 seats means no panic to find good seats as they all have a perfect point of view.


Western Road, Ngongotaha, Rotorua

Located just 10 kms north of the Rotorua CBD, the Agrodome is home to the multi award winning Sheep Show. This famous Rotorua attraction features live sheep shearing, 19 breeds of champion rams, cow milking, lamb feeding, dog demonstrations as well as a full New Zealand dog trial. There are three exciting shows a day at 9.30am, 11.00am and 2.30pm. Each Sheep Show is an hour duration.

Also join the Organic Farm Tour for a hands-on experience with a variety of farm animals including Cattle, Deer, Alpaca, Bison, Ostrich, Sheep and much more. You will also visit the Organic Orchard for honey and kiwifruit juice tasting. The Farm Tours depart daily at 10.40am, 12.10pm, 1.30pm and 3.40pm.

Complete your Agrodome experience with a visit to the Woollen Mill and Shearing Shed to see the full process of wool from the Sheep's back to yours.


Rail Cruising
Mamaku Railway Station, Rotorua

Never before have everyday people been able to travel independently by rail, but now you can! With RailCruisers you can experience remote and breathtaking scenery that you just can't see anywhere else.

You don't have to load into a large train carriage with everyone else, you can experience the railway independently and in complete comfort and safety in your own 4-seater, self-drive RailCruiser.

Groups of RailCruisers are spaced 150m apart and travel together in one direction at a leisurely 20kph providing a safe, self-drive experience.

Onboard commentary enriches the experience that can be done in all weather due to clear drop-down sides and onboard heating.

Trips range from 2 hours (19kms) to full day excursions (86kms).


Rotorua Paddle Tours
Phone 0800 772 384

Rotorua Paddle Tours offers the ancient Hawaiian sport of Stand-Up Paddle Boarding - one of the fastest growing sports in New Zealand and the world. SUP is a cross between a canoe and surfboard used by young and old alike, it offers everyone a fun way to get on Rotorua's lakes & rivers. In fact, it's a great way to get above the water where you can see more than you can sitting in a kayak.
It's also a great workout; anyone can do it!

There are 3 Paddle Tours to choose from; the Blue Lake Tour, the Ohau Channel to Okere Falls Tour, or the XL Stand up paddle boarding on the Blue Lake or the Ohau Channel. Which ever trip you choose Rotorua Paddle Tours will take you on a serene journey you'll never forget.

One of the best ways to experience Rotorua's natural beauty - walking on water!


The Big Splash
Inside Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua

The Big Splash isn't just the adrenalin rush at the end as you accelerate towards the water creating a spectacular and exhilarating plume of water; it is a 9 minute journey through time as we explore the ecological evolution of New Zealand. State of the art animatronics and projection technology bring to life extinct dinosaurs, Moa, the incredible Haast Eagle, the arrival of humans and so much more.

Take your seat in one of the boats and get ready to be thrilled.

The cost of The Big Splash ride is included in your Rainbow Springs entry ticket and you can ride it as many times as you wish, although you will have to rejoin the queue at the end of each ride.


Duck Tours
1167 Fenton Street, Rotorua

Rotorua Duck Tours has been providing amphibious sightseeing and history tours of Rotorua since 2003. With 16 magnificent lakes in the Rotorua region, there is no shortage of places to visit. On a guided tour you will experience the thrill of riding in an authentic WWII amphibious craft, effectionately known as 'duck', view spectacular scenery and 'splashdown' into pristine lakes.

The experienced Conducktor will bring Rotorua alive by retelling the most famous stories and ledgends of the past, as well as providing information about local flora and fauna and many natural and cultural landmarks.

Rotorua Duck Tours has two tours available, the very popular Rotorua City Lakes Tour (90 min) and the new Tarawera and Lakes Tour (120 min).


Mamaku Blue Blueberry Experience
311 Maraeroa Road, Mamaku, Rotorua

Discover the wonderful world of blueberries, the only Blueberry Experience and Winery of its type in New Zealand. Sample the many products made from these little globes of health; the unique taste of blueberry wine, blueberry jams and chutney's or enjoy a real fruit icecream. There is a cafe to indulge in healthy home-made blueberry lunches, teas and refreshments. Guided tours by appointment (includes refreshments and product tastings).

Free entry.

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