The Best Activities in Rotorua, According to Trip Advisor Reviewers

If you are looking to take a visit to Rotorua, New Zealand, then you will be met with an abundance of things to do. To narrow down your list, and cut out some of the research you have to do, here are some of the best things that Trip Advisor says you should be doing on a visit to Rotorua.

Explore the Thermal Wonderland of Wai-O-Tapu

This surreal Wonderland is a geothermal natural area which covers around 18 sq km. You can either have a guided tour or go self-guided, depending on your budget and preferences. You'll see mud pools with geothermal activity, astonishing volcanic rock formations, and glimmering lakes. Your camera will be full in no time with the hot springs and stunning backdrop.

Some of the things you'll see as you explore Wai-O-Tapu are the sinter Terrace formations, the Champagne Pool, plenty of bubbling mud, huge volcanic craters and the Lady Knox Geyser, which erupts steam and water into the air every day.
As one person on Trip Advisor noted, " This is one of the most surreal places in the world ".

The Maori village of Tamaki

Rotorua is a hotbed of not just thermal activity, but also Maori culture. When you visit Tamaki Maori village, you'll see plenty of cultural performances, Maori games and Maori artisans at work. You'll also enjoy a delicious Hangi buffet meal.

This trip will give you a taste of the culture and ceremonial rituals of the Maori people. You'll enjoy the ancient ceremony of the Powhiri and experience what a Maori village would've been like pre-western influence.

You'll be amazed by the diversity of activities including carving, tattooing, weaving, warrior training and, of course, the Haka. You'll also be able to, as a family, enjoy the activities by getting involved. You'll be left with feelings of awe and inspiration at how the Maori people live.

Tour Te Puai

The area of Te Puai covers around 70 hectares and is situated within Te Whakarewarewa Valley. You may have heard of this place because of the Pohutu geyser, which is famous around the globe.

You'll also see hot springs, silica formations and plenty of bird life. The bone carving, stone weaving, and wood carving national schools are here, so you'll also be in the hotbed of art and culture.

Why not take on a guide and get to know more about the geysers. There are around 500 hot springs that will leave you flabbergasted, including the big splash which spouts water almost a 100ft into the air a couple of dozen times a day.

You'll also enjoy traditional Maori cuisine and cultural performances. This is one of the highest-rated and best-known attractions in Rotorua.

Velocity Park

If you love adventure and adrenaline, then Velocity Park is for you. Around 15 minutes to the north of the Rotorua area is a human-powered monorail, Agrojet (a jet Sprint that is faster than any other in New Zealand), and the Rotorua Bungy. According to visitors of Trip advisor, this is the best value bungee jump in New Zealand, so it must be really amazing.

That's not all of it, though: you can also enjoy giant swings, free falls, jet boating and much more in this extreme adventure trip.

Canopy Tours

Canopy tours are a must when you visit Rotorua. With over 150,000 people have done them over the years, and many going back again and again, there's simply something special about being up in the canopy of an ancient forest, enjoying the wildlife and zip wiring to your heart's content.

Families can enjoy this activity, as long as the youngest is over six, and it's an adventure that can be had in any weather, sure to leave you exhilarated and full of wonderful memories. Want to pump up the fun a little more? Then how about trying the thrilling cave and canopy combo? See details at

The Living Maori Village

Whakarewarewa is known as the Living Maori village and is within a geothermal geographical area. It's only 10 minutes' walk from the town of Rotorua and is a great place to explore the geological features that make the region so famous. The Maori people of the area have used the hot springs and water to cook, bathe, and prepare for battle for centuries.

There are regular guided tours and also plenty of cultural experiences to enjoy. The visitors who reviewed on Trip Advisor suggest a stay overnight in the Maori village to really get a feeling for the rich cultural heritage of these magnificent warrior people.

Rotorua is a place packed with fun and adventure, and people rate just about every experience within the region extremely highly on Trip Advisor. Make sure you get a flavour of the culture and experience the above experiences, which truly are once in a lifetime.


Carol is a freelance writer with a passion for travel and adventure.