Explore Rotorua, a nature lover’s playground set amidst a geothermal and volcanic wonderland where modern life is infused with ancient Maori traditions.
Sail our 18 pristine lakes from atop a luxury yacht, or get closer to nature and kayak or paddle board across them, stopping to bathe in lakeside geothermal hot pools. If you’re more adventurous send yourself down the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall.
Challenge yourself as you tackle the 145km (and growing) labyrinth of Mountain Biking trails in the Whakarewarewa Forest – voted by Red Bull as being in the top eight in the world – situated among thousands of hectares of native forest.
The cultural influence of the Te Arawa people have been pivotal in shaping Rotorua into the world-class destination it is, first hosting visitors to the Pink and White Terraces in the 1800s – a legacy they continue today with kapa haka and cultural performances.
Relax in the many thermal springs spas, bathe in mineral enriched mud, and experience Maori massage in a geothermal wonderland dotted with crater lakes, erupting geysers and boiling mud that has been attracting visitors to Rotorua since the 1800s.
Thrill yourself at world-class adventure parks (many featuring world-first products created in Rotorua), and take part in the yearly festivals that celebrate what makes Rotorua unique.
Rotorua has 14,000 beds on offer, catering for all budgets, offering everything from luxury lodges, first-class hotels, ultra-chic boutique hotels, to familiar names in lodging and budget friendly flash and backpackers.
Tourism in New Zealand started in Rotorua with the famed pink and white terraces - considered one of the eight wonders of the world.
Tourists came from around the world to see the wonder once found on the shores of Lake Tarawera.
Unfortunately they were reclaimed by Mount Tarawera when it erupted late in the 19th century.
The grief was terrible for the Tuhourangi and Ngati Rangitihi people who guided tourists on the lake – they lost family members, their livelihood and the bones of their ancestors in one terrible night.
Many of the survivors were offered land at Whakarewarewa and Ngapuna – the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley became the new home for many and the tradition of guiding continues in the thermal area today.
Since then Rotorua has been, and continues to be New Zealand’s premiere tourism destination.
The total size of the Rotorua district is 261,906 hectares. This consists of 41% forest, 43% agriculture and 8% lakes. Rotorua’s central business district (CBD) is located on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua.
The city is nestled in a huge, ancient caldera 20km across at its widest point and 16km at the narrowest, with Lake Rotorua nearly 300 metres above sea level.
The region includes:
800 hectares of parks, gardens and reserves free for public use
3 major rivers
7 geothermal fields with hot pools and spectacular steam eruptions,
More than 100,000 hectares of native and exotic forests - with the largest commercial plantation forest in the Southern Hemisphere
More than 100,000 hectares of farmland
Stunning volcanic landscapes with Mt Tarawera, Rainbow Mountain, Mt Ngongotaha and Mokoia Island as local icons
Hundreds of kilometres of walking, cycling and mountain biking tracks.
The forests, coupled with extensive trees and gardens in the city, suburbs and parks, support a rich and varied bird life, both native and introduced. Some of New Zealand’s rarer birds, such as the formerly endangered kokako and the spectacular native falcon, karearea, thrive in the district.