Experience traditional Māori culture amid magnificent North Island scenery in this city known for its redwood forests, expansive lakes and delightful geothermal spas.

Discover the beautiful attractions of Rotorua, which was founded by a Māori explorer in the 14th century. Enjoy the area's sweeping beauty, fertile lakes and geothermal pools, which have barely changed since Ihenga’s time. 

Rotorua is known for its scenic waterways, including 18 lakes and three rivers. Experience Lake Rotorua with a rented kayak and explore caves illuminated by glow worms. Enjoy the calm as you fish by the lakeside or watch the sunset from a paddle-steamer cruise.

Refresh and revitalise your body at one of Rotorua's many spa attractions. Return to nature with a dip in a forest thermal stream. For a total pampering experience, visit one of the many spa complexes and feel the healing power of geothermal waters, Māori massage and herbal treatments.

Farther afield, try waterskiing on the artificial Lake Ohakuri. Wrestle with white water on a fast-paced tour down the Kaituna River Rapids. For something with a slower pace, take a relaxing daytrip to the isolated Lake Rerewhakaaitu and camp by the water's edge. 

Cycle or hike within Rotorua's lofty forests. The Redwoods is 5,600-hectares (12,800-acres) of forest stretched over rugged terrain. Over 70 trails pass through the Redwoods, offering options for all skill levels. 

Discover Māori culture while watching traditional dance performances at Whakarewarewa Māori Village. Visit the Buried Village of Te Wairoa to learn about the disastrous 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera. See items recovered from the aftermath.

Rotorua is situated on New Zealand's North Island. Travel between attractions using a rental car or book tour buses from local operators. Finish your day exploring the area with a Twilight Spa at the Hells Gate Mud Bath and Sulphur Spa Complex, which opens until 10pm for this special experience. By day you can explore the Hells Gate geothermal park on a guided walk past bubbling mud, hot water lakes and coloured pools. After your walk, relax in the warm mud baths, get a massage and enjoy a meal at the on-site café. Hells Gate is just under 20 minutes’ drive east from the centre of Rotorua.

Guide to Exploring Rotorua

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