Rotorua is a fantastic holiday destination for all ages and interests. If you’re wanting to explore our beautiful city without too much splurging, it’s always best to get some local recommendations. Whether you are looking for beautiful walks, fantastic swimming spots, or something else entirely, Rotorua has a wide range of brilliant activities for the whole family. Here is our guide for an activity-filled day in Rotorua, all for under $25.
Our day starts with a quick 5-minute drive from Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park to the Waipa entrance to the Redwood Forest. Although the forest has a reputation for some of the best mountain biking trails in the world, it also has some terrific walking tracks. Simply follow the walking signs around the forest, and see some of the beautiful scenery that Rotorua has to offer.
After a stroll in the forest, you may have worked up a bit of an appetite, or at least be in the mood for a cup of coffee. Fortunately for you, there are a couple of options at the Waipa carpark. Grab a bite at Trail Kitchen or go to Secret Spot and have a cup of coffee while you relax your feet in a “Shinny Dip” foot spa. Regardless of what café you decide to go to, don’t spend too long there – your day of activities has only just begun!
Have you ever wanted to swim in a natural hot pool? Just a 20-minute drive from the Waipa carpark, you’ll find yourself choosing between a couple of Rotorua’s most popular natural hot pools. Kerosene Creek is unique in that it is a swimmable hot spring with its own waterfall. This makes the hot pool somewhat reminiscent of the Pink and White Terraces. Alternatively, if Kerosene Creek is just a bit hot for your liking, try Hot n Cold Creek. As the name suggests, Hot n Cold Creek is the meeting point between a hot spring and a cold spring. This means that whether you want to sit in steaming hot water or something a little bit cooler, you can find the perfect temperature for you.
With both Kerosene Creek and Hot n Cold Creek, it is important to remember that you are swimming in thermal hot pools. This means that any swimwear may smell of sulphur afterwards, and it is not recommended to put your head underwater.
If you feel like going for a late afternoon or evening stroll, now is the time to visit Centennial Park. Head back towards Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park, and just before you reach us, turn left up Mokoia Drive.
Centennial Park is stunning year-round. Whether you are wanting to see the cherry blossom trees in spring, or the tones of orange and red of autumn, Centennial Park shows off different colours for each season. This beautiful park is a great place for dinner, with a few picnic tables and a public access BBQ. Just make sure to close all gates behind you, so the local sheep don’t decide to have their lunch with you!
Alternatively, if you feel like a swim take a quick detour to Lake Tikitapu, Blue Lake. This lake is famous for its clear blue waters as well as being one of the best swimming spots in Rotorua. In the summer, it is an especially popular swimming spot, so if it’s too busy consider driving an extra five minutes round the Loop Road to check out Lake Okareka. Swimming in the lake is a great way to spend a late afternoon or evening, especially as both Lake Okareka and Tikitapu have public access BBQs on some of the beaches.
If you are lucky enough to visit Rotorua on a Thursday Night, make sure to go to the Night Market. The Night Market has an enormous range of food options whether you are looking for a quick bite or a full dinner. Additionally, the Night Market often has live music from local musicians. This is a great way to spend the evening for all ages, and will be sure to have something for everyone.
After you’ve spent the day exploring some of Rotorua’s most beautiful areas, take some time to relax. Our onsite hot pools are free for paying guests and a great way to wind down. With our campsites starting from just $22 per person and cabin-style accommodation from $50 per person, Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park is a great home base to spend time with your friends and family.