10 free things to do in Rotorua, New Zealand’s coolest hot spot
The Redwoods Whakarewarewa
Declared by the International Mountain Biking Association as one of only six gold level ride centres in the world, the Redwoods have trails for all skill levels so be sure to bring the bikes. If two wheels aren’t an option, they also present an idyllic location for a family stroll.
Kuirau Park is New Zealand’s only geothermal public park. Discover hissing, bubbling and steaming geothermal activity right in the heart of the city. The free footbaths are also a fun place to soak your feet in between making your way around the well-developed walking areas.
Natural Hot Pools
Rotorua has a number of free natural hot springs scattered across the region. Kerosene Creek is a local favourite while Hot Water Beach on Lake Tarawera is perfect for resting weary muscles after hiking the Tarawera trail (paid transfers are available with Tarawera Water Taxis)
Okere Falls Track
The Okere Falls Track is a stunning bushwalk with scenic lookouts over Okere River and information panels along the track describing the human and natural landscape. Stop and watch rafters plummet over Tutea Falls, the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world.
The 18 sparkling lakes dotted around Rotorua makes the area an aquatic paradise. Whether you prefer to be swimming or bathing, partaking in activities, on the water or just relaxing lakeside, the family will be spoilt for choice here in Rotorua.
Enjoy a boutique style shopping experience at one of New Zealand’s ultimate markets. With the best the region has to offer in arts, crafts and produce from local growers, be sure to taste a variety of delectable ethnic cuisines while being entertained by local musicians.
Locals and visitors alike flock to the Kuirau Park market for great buys and delicious treats. This fun local market takes place from 7am to 1pm every Saturday, regardless of the weather. Consider stopping in for breakfast, lunch or the week’s supply of produce.
The Government Gardens are of legendary and historical importance to local Maori people as a site of many significant battles. Strike a pose outside Rotorua’s iconic Tudor-style museum, one of NZ’s most photographed buildings, and snap a few shots for your new Facebook profile.
Lake Okareka Walkway
Visit the picturesque Lake Okareka Walkway to experience a stunning walk along the edge of one of the region’s smallest lakes. Meander past native trees and shrubs before entering onto a timber boardwalk through wetlands rich with aquatic birdlife.
Rotorua has a plethora of playgrounds in picturesque locations that the kids will love. Take a coffee and relax while the young ones tire themselves out. The Volcanic Playground near the Village Green is a real gem and is conveniently located for sourcing a caffeine hit.