We recommend visiting Te Puia – an excellent exhibition of Māori arts, crafts, culture and natural wonders. The history of Te Puia is one of survival and dedication to ensuring Māori arts and crafts were not lost forever. Here, you can visit the carving and weaving schools where masters and students share their art and stories; experience the thrill of Māori song and dance as performers enthrall and entertain at a cultural performance; step into the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, an ancient valley where geysers, mud pools and boiling waters still play after 40,000 years; visit the native kiwi bird inside a protected and enclosed natural habitat.
Rotorua Adventure Day:
Your adventure will take place in the beautiful Whakarewarewa Forest, one of Rotorua's most spectacular natural assets, famous for its magnificent stands of towering redwood trees. Today you'll enjoy 2-3 hours of scenic mountain biking, followed by some extreme Kaituna Waterfall Rafting (grade 5+), a delicious lunch in our local cafe and a beautiful hour-long kayak on Lake Rotoiti to thermal hotpools only accessible by boat. Allow a full day for this tour (ages 13 and up).
Mountain Biking in the Whakarewarewa Forest:
Rides for first-timers to hard-core mountain-bikers (2 hr rides to half day rides). A cycle friendly town famous for it's geothermal activity from boiling mud pools to huge geysers. Rotorua has some of the best mountain biking on the planet 'the best single track ever' is what Gary Fisher had to say. Surrounded by forest we have 40km of purpose built single track on our doorstep, beautiful lakes to cycle to and spectacular rides through thermal areas.
In the Māori language Rotorua translates as Roto (lake) and rua (two) meaning ‘second lake’. It was named by Māori chief Ihenga, as it was the second major lake he discovered while exploring the area.
Where great stories begin. Discover the essence of Rotorua; its people, culture and volcanic landscape. Uncover the great stories which have shaped the past and present of ths fascinating region. The history of the Rotorua spa, the reuption of Mt Tarawera, the treasures of Te Arawa and the moving story of the 28 Maori Battalion - our vibrant exhibitions capture the imaginationand include two dramatic cinema experiences.
Rotorua Sights including Hobbiton:
This morning, you will experience three of Rotorua's iconic visitor attractions: Te Puia, Rainbow Springs Nature Park, finally a sheep shearing display and sheep dog trials at the Agrodome. Following lunch in Rotorua, the Hobbiton Movie Set coach will take you on a scenic drive across the Kaimai Ranges to the picturesque 1,250 acre farm near Matamata where scenes from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies were filmed. Learn how this beautiful farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-earth. Your guide will show you Hobbit holes, the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and many other structures from the movies, before you return to Rotorua.
In the wet Zorb, we add water inside the Zorb so you can run, tumble, flip or slide inside as the Zorb hurtles downhill. This is great on your own (where you can attempt to stay on your feet for a free T-shirt!) or with two or three people inside. In the dry harness Zorb you are safely harnessed inside the Zorb before being sent head over heels downhill. Watch the world spin past the windows. A revolutionary experience. “A cross between a waterfall and a roller coaster, Zorbarific, baby!” - Butlers and Birrells, Atlanta, U.S.A.
White Island Hel-Tour:
Land on an active Volcano and one of the worlds only accessible island volcano. White Island carries a Grade A classification of international scientific importance. Glide over the Pacific Ocean above frolicking dolphins and fish. 'Feel the earth move' at the only active volcano in New Zealand, 32 miles off the coast. Upon arrival, you will spend an hour walking and exploring this moon like landscape. Stand on the edge of the active Crater Lake viewing steaming volcanic vents (fumeroles). Learn of the sulphar mining history and White Islands grim past. Duration approx 3 hours.
Mt Tarawera Heli Flight & Volcanic Landing:
The largest eruption in New Zealand's living memory was June 10, 1886 killing approximately 153 people, and destroying the Pink and White Terraces (the eighth natural wonder of the world). Experience the thrill of flying over and then landing on the spectacular craters and domes of Mount Tarawera. Enjoy informative commentary about the areas history and the events that formed the Mountains craters, destroyed the Pink and White Terraces and altered much of the surrounding landscape during the devastating 1886 eruption. This tour includes our spectacular crater Lakes, scenic reserve and views of the Rotorua city area.
Whirinaki Rainforest Guided Walk:
This small group walk takes you into the Whirinaki Rainforest where you'll see some of the most magnificent indigenous podocarp forest found anywhere in the world. Your Maori guides bring the forest alive through storytelling. From Rotorua we drive about 1.5 hrs to the start of the trek and enter the forest following a loop trail through enormous podocarp trees including rimu, matai, miro, kahikatea and more. Along the way you will experience the abundance of native birdlife including bellbirds, tui, kereru, kaka, and fantails. Lunch is by a lovely waterfall. On the way back to Rotorua we stop off at some natural hot pools for a soothing dip. This walk follows well formed trails of gentle to moderate grade and takes approx 4-5 hours.
Rotorua is located in the region that geologists call the Taupo Volcanic Zone. It is a distinctive area of majestic mountains, crystal clear lakes and a fascinating landscape with some of the largest and most amazing silicate and mineral formations on earth. Without exaggeration, it can be said that Rotorua is one of the geothermal wonders of the world. It is full of magnificent colored pools and lakes. This excursion leads you through some of the area's most prominent volcanic landmarks from the stunning Crater Lakes to the unique Tarawera Falls, Waimangu and Wai-O-Tapu.
A New Zealand first, Kiwi Encounter is a unique kiwi rearing centre where visitors can 'get closer to New Zealand's unique flightless bird, the kiwi. Kiwi Encounter is a dedicated hatchery and nursery where the young chicks are raised by specialist husbandry staff for release back into the wild. An open-plan noctural area is home to adult kiwi, along with excellent educational exhibits.
On 10 June 1886, tremendous eruptions of Tarawera Volcano and Lake Rotomahana devasated their surrounding area. The legendary Pink and White Terraces. Lake Rotomahana exploded to 20 times its original size and seven new craters were erupted forming Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Today, you can explore our rich social, cultural and antural history. We offer a boat cruise, eco-focused walks and hikes through the Worlds newest geothermal area that is the home of many geothermal features of Worldwide importance including the Worlds largest hot spring, and mysterious Inferno crater.
Kaituna White Water Rafting:
The Kaituna boasts the Highest Commercially Rafted Waterfall (7m) in the World. In fact, there are 3 waterfalls among the 14 rapids; two smaller waterfalls to practise on before attacking the 7-meter drop named Tutea Falls. In amongst beautiful, clean/green NZ lives a great deal of Maori History - the area is renowned for the tribal wars of the past. Behind and around the Waterfall exists caves used for the hiding of women and Children, and later the burial ground of Chief Tutea. There are many Māori Myths and Legends associated with this River known to the locals as Okere (waterfall). The Kaituna River is situated at Okere Falls, between Rotorua (20 minutes drive) and Tauranga.
Eco Thermal Park Tour:
This tour visits Rotorua's most natural and popular geothermal parks: Wai O Tapu, Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Rainbow Mt. Your local naturalist guide will explain the volcanic processes of Rotorua and New Zealand as you tour farmland, native and exotic forest, volcanoes, geysers, New Zealand's largest boiling mud pool, and hot springs. The two parks offer a variety of thermal activity; at Wai-o-tapu the colourful hot springs and moonlike landscapes are the key features along with the famous Lady Know geyser. At Waimangu Volcanic valley the guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption, native flora and fauna and the geothermal features that were blown open. This is now a spectacular, bush covered, geothermal park.
The Tarawera Erupt Tour:
The afternoon is spent learning about the history and legends of the eighth wonder of the world, the pink and white terraces, then the great eruption of Mount Tarawera. To bring the story alive visits are made to: the Buried Village; Lake Tarawera and Lake Okareka; and Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake). The Buried Village is the site of a former Maori village, destroyed during the 1886 Tarawera volcanic eruption. Here visitors can enjoy a guided walk through excavations/museum of the Buried Village and learn the stories of the how the eruption affected the land and the people of this time. The tour includes a beautiful native bush walk to a waterfall and Lake Tarawera lookouts.
Elite Cultural Tour:
Spend an afternoon gaining an appreciation of New Zealand’s Maori culture with visits to settlement sites and living villages. Visitors will learn about Maori customs, traditions, history and protocols new and old, with a guided visit to Te Puia, Rotorua's premier cultural centre. The guided tour through Te Puia includes a visit to the wood carving school, art and craft gallery, Rotowhio Marae, weaving display, kiwi house, boiling mud pools and NZ’s largest geyser Pohutu. You will visit Rotorua’s lakefront area and Government Gardens to learn more about Maori history and customs. Then the day finishes with a visit to the pristine and tranquil lakes of our amazing volcanic region, Lake Okareka, the Blue and Green lakes including views of the volcano and Lake Tarawera with interpretation.