Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations all-year round. Rain or shine, there is so much to do! We have compiled a list of our favourite winter-friendly activities in Rotorua. No matter your budget or group size, we have something for you.
Rotorua is well known for its geothermal activity. Whether you want to see some amazing geothermal sights, or bathe in some geothermal hot pools – Rotorua is the place for you. Kuirau Park is New Zealand’s only geothermal public park, and it’s completely free to visit! Take a scenic walk through to see the mud pools, hot springs, and rest your feet in the thermal foot spa. Come through on a Saturday morning to enjoy the delicious food at the farmer’s market and let the kids enjoy the playground.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the world’s youngest geothermal valley with dramatic landscapes and lots of activity options. Perfect for the whole family, you can take a scenic walk, boat cruise, or even kayak through the steaming cliffs. Afterwards, grab a bite to eat at their café and some local treats from the store.
At the end of the day, come and relax in our private hot pools here at Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park. Free to use for all park residents, these are perfect for a soak after a winter’s day.
Rotorua’s landscape is one of a kind, but there are plenty of great indoor activities too. Motion Entertainment is “New Zealand’s number one entertainment mall”. There’s something for all-ages: bowling, Chipmunks, mini golf, escape rooms, Timezone arcade, laser tag and more! It’s easy to spend a whole day here. We recommend booking a bowling lane or other activity slot in advance as it’s very popular.
Another fun indoor activity is the Fancy Meow Cat Café, New Zealand’s only cat café with purebred cats and kittens. Chill out with a hot drink and enjoy some cat cuddles.
Rotorua is also famous for its rich Māori culture and history. At Te Puia you can experience several aspects of Māori culture, from a sacred Marae to a Kiwi Conservation Centre. You can also see the geyser by night, with a unique interactive guided tour. If you just want to have some great food, you can visit their restaurant without a park pass. Te Puia and their restaurant are currently open Wednesday to Sunday with a special Hangi buffet on the weekends and a Sunday brunch buffet.
If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, Mitai Māori Village is a great choice. Eat a delicious meal while enjoying a unique Māori and Pasifika blended performance. Open Thursday to Sunday, this is an educational and entertaining activity for the whole family.
Rotorua is truly home to the great outdoors. Hiking and mountain biking are just some of the activities that Rotorua has to offer all-year round. The Redwoods forest is a great place to do these, in addition to the famous Treewalk lit up at night.
No matter the weather, hopefully there’s something on this list for you.