20 Places to Visit in Rotorua, Tourist Places & Top Attractions

Rotorua Places to Visit

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Te Puia, Polynesian Spa, Lake Rotorua, Mount Tarawera, Champagne Pool, Government Gardens, Kuirau Park, Rotorua Museum, Buried Village of Te Wairoa and many more.

From steaming geysers to mud pools, places to visit in Rotorua are not only staggeringly scenic but leave the visitors awe-struck. Renowned for its geothermal natural wonders, azure blue lakes, majestic mountains, lush forests, stunning lakes, and ethnic Maori culture, Rotorua is blessed with an array of natural wonders.

Te Puia and Wai-O-Tapu are known for bubbling mud pools and natural geysers. The Living Maori Village and New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute are some of the interesting Rotorua places to visit, offering a great insight into the life, heritage, and culture of  its ethnic tribe. The town is also dotted with Rotorua Lake, Tarawera Lake, Rainbow Spring Nature Park, Redwoods, and many more sites featuring a unique blend of relaxation and indulgence. Feel the magic of geothermal activities, revitalize yourself with hot pool soaks, be amazed by the shooting hot water, learn about Maori culture, and much more by visiting these exciting tourist places in Rotorua and have a memorable vacation.

Here is the list of best places to visit in Rotorua:

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Home to several geothermal activities, the Wai-O-Tapu is amongst the most peculiar places to visit in Rotorua. Its Lady Knox Geyser erupts daily at 10.15 am with water rushing up to 20 meters high in the air and creates an amazing spectacle.

The area is packed with over 20 different volcanic activities like bubbling mud pools, fluorescent green water pools (Devil Baths), bright yellow or orange steaming terraces (Champagne Pool), etc. Each landscape amazes the visitors with a surreal appeal and a sight to behold.

Location: 201 Waiotapu Loop Road, Rotorua 3073, New Zealand

Timings: 
Winter: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 
Summer: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Entry Fees:
Adult: $32.50
Child: $11.00
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02

Te Puia

Another one of the extremely popular Rotorua places to visit, the Te Puia offers a complete package of thrills, entertainment, and food. It houses the famous Pohutu Geyser, the largest geyser in the Southern Hemisphere that gushes water up to 30 meters high in the air lasting for several days to months.

Along with geysers, the place also boasts of bubbling mud pools, Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, Kiwi birds, and Pātaka Kai restaurant.

Location: Hemo Road, Tihiotonga, Rotorua 3040, New Zealand

Timings:  
Day Pass: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Wednesday to Sunday)
Geyser By Night: 9:00 pm (Wednesday to Sunday)

Entry Fees:
Day Pass
Adult: $39.00
Child: $20.00
Geyser By Night
Adult: $50.00
Child: $25.00
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Located in the centre of Rotorua, the Polynesian Spa is amongst the best tourist places in Rotorua offering relaxation and adventures. It houses alkaline and acidic springs that feed 28 different hot mineral pools.

Relax your soothing muscles with a dip in a slightly acidic pool or nourish your skin with a dip in the alkaline Rachel Spring pool. Or, revitalize yourself with any of its exclusive three-hour spa packages, which includes a hot mineral soak, spa therapy and access to the relaxation lounge.

Location: 1000 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Timings: 9:00 am - 10:00 pm

Entry Fees:
Different for bathing and spa therapies
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The second largest lake of North Island, Lake Rotorua impresses with its magical green-blue hue, steam clouds, and the high sulphur content in water. Its calm and shallow waters provide a picture-perfect setting for boating, kayaking, fishing, and various water-sports.

The famous rhyolite dome, Mokoia Island, created due to slowly oozing lava is also located at the centre of the lake. The island is known as the setting point of New Zealand's greatest love story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai and can be visited by taking a guided tour. Guided tours also give a chance to soak in the Hinemoa's Pool.

Location: Rotorua District, Bay of Plenty Region, New Zealand
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Standing high above Rotorua, Mt Tarawera offers stunning landscapes and unmatched elegance. The place is revered by the local Maori tribe who does not permit outsiders but only Kaitiaki Adventures.

The place is known for its notorious eruption of 1886, which resulted in the creation of the geothermal valley of Waimangu and destruction of the fabulous Pink and White Terraces. Opt for a guided tour to this one of the most famous tourist places in Rotorua to witness majestic vistas, surrounding panoramas, and an optional run into the heart of the volcanic crater.

Location: North Island, New Zealand

Timings: 
Guided Tour: 8:15 am and 1:15 pm (summer), 10:15 am (winter)

Entry Fees:
Guided Tour: Starts at $185
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Displaying a constant efflux of CO2 gas like the bubbling champagne, the Champagne Pool is a famous hot spring situated in the thermal Wonderland Waiotapu Geothermal Area. It attracts visitors from across the world to see one of the most unique and peculiar natural geothermal activities on North Island.

This terrestrial 213 feet crater is loaded with a geothermal fluid enriched in minerals and Silica that give it a unique turquoise, orange and emerald hues and is a sight to behold.

Location: Waiotapu 3083, New Zealand

Timings: 
Winter: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm 
Summer: 8:30 am - 6:00 pm

Entry Fees:
Adult: $32.50
Child: $11.00
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Attractions Explore All (11)
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Home to spas, geothermal pools, and a grand museum, the Government Gardens is one of the most-visited tourist places in Rotorua. Learn about the rich Maori culture or the brutal volcanic eruptions that rocked the region at the on-site museum.

Or, lie down and relax beside fragrant flower beds, or try your hands at cricket or pool, or feel rejuvenated with a soak in the geothermal pools. Do plan a visit to this place and relish some pleasant moments amidst picture-postcard scenery.

Location: 9 Queens Drive, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Timings: 8:00 am - 8:00 pm

Entry Fees:
Entrance to the gardens is free, however, its museum and spa charge different admission fees.
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Located at a walking distance from the city centre, Kuirau Park is New Zealand's only public geothermal park. Offering naturally boiling, bubbling, and steaming geothermal activities, this park is one of the best places to visit in Rotorua for free.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the well-paved pathways, or witness steams coming from the crater lake, hot springs, or mud pools, or soothe your aching feet with a thermal foot bath. The place is also a loved picnic spot amongst locals and offers a beautiful setting to have some unforgettable experiences with loved ones.

Location: 1371, Pukuatua St and, Ranolf Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand
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An architectural marvel, the Rotorua Museum is famous for its collections, historical importance, and Government Gardens. The magnificent Old Bath House building is now serving as the museum and exhibits rich heritage, culture, art, and geology of Rotorua from the pre-European era to the present.

Join a guided tour to learn about Maori culture and history and later enjoy the beautiful views of the Lake Rotorua, Sulphur Point, and Government Gardens.

Location: Government Gardens Oruawhata Drive, Rotorua 3046, New Zealand

Timings: 
11:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm (weekdays)
11:00 am - 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm (weekends)

Entry Fees:
Adult: $20.00
Child: $8.00
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One of the iconic places to visit in Rotorua, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa is the country's most famous archaeological site. It comprises a museum, waterfalls, lake, an excavated village, and guided tours.

View historical exhibits telling the stories of 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption and destruction of the ancient Maoris village and Pink & White Terraces at the Museum of Te Wairoa and on a guided walk along the Wairere Waterfall Trail.

Location: 1180 Tarawera Road, Lake Tarawera, Rotorua 3076, New Zealand

Timings: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Wednesday - Sunday)

Entry Fees:
Adult: $23.00 - $30.00
Child: $5.00
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Image Credit : waimangu.co.nz/waimangu
Waimangu Volcanic Valley is one of the most popular Rotorua places to visit and offers stunning views of the seething mud and fuming silica terraces. It has a series of well-paved walkways that lets the visitors observe the acid-yellow and lime-green terraces and smoke-filled craters safely.

Boat cruises on Lake Rotomahana also take the visitors close to the famous site of destroyed pink and white terraces and geothermal wonders. Plan a visit to this amazing destination and don't forget to view the inferno crater.

Location: 587 Waimangu Road, Rotorua 3043, New Zealand

Timings: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Entry Fees:
Adult: $42.00 - $30.00
Child: $14.00
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Amongst the most thrilling Rotorua places to visit, the Skyline Rotorua is a high-tech adventure centre settled on Mt. Ngongotaha. It offers a great combo of adventure, ambience, and panoramic dining.

A myriad of thrilling activities like Gondola ride, Luge experiences, Zoom Zipline, Sky Swing, etc. are also available here. Its superb location is perfect to enjoy stargazing, while well-paved trails are perfect for mountain biking. Be there with your family and enjoy a day of fun, food, and shopping.

Location: 178 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand

Timings: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Entry Fees: (For Gondola)
Adult: $34.00
Child: $17.00
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Packed with the native trees and lush forests, the Rainbow Springs Nature Park is amongst the best places in Rotorua. It houses a wide variety of wild animals and exotic birds and lets the visitors learn about them through interactive encounters.

Take a guided tour to explore native flora, fauna, kiwi hatchery & interactive animal encounters. Opt for a splash ride or try your hands at the hands-on play installations and have a great experience.

Location: 192 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015, New Zealand

Timings: 8:30 am - 2:00 pm (Thursday - Sunday)

Entry Fees:
Adult: $30.00
Child: $15.00
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A magical geothermal attraction at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, the Lady Knox Geyser is one of the most stunning Rotorua places to visit. It erupts every morning at around 10:15 am when a park guide induces it with soap.

The site of geyser eruption is so fascinating that a multitude of visitors from across the world come here to see this geothermal charm. The eruption can vary in size and length and go as high as 65 ft.

Location: 201 Waiotapu Loop Rd, Rotorua, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand

Timings: 10:15 am

Entry Fees: Entry by Wai O'Tapu Geothermal Wonderland ticket
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Lake Tarawera is one of the most pristine places to visit in Rotorua and is flocked by hordes of visitors to enjoy some pleasurable moments in a picture-perfect setting. It lies underneath the grand Mount Tarawera and is an idyllic place for a relaxing dip in the geothermal pools or picnics by the lakeside.

It also boasts of its network of walking trails that take to the campsites, picnic spots or cascading waterfalls. Be there to indulge in swimming, fishing, hiking, camping, or immersing in natural beauty by a boat cruise.

Location: Bay of Plenty Region, North Island, New Zealand
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Be at this one of the most verdant woodlands in New Zealand that promises an everlasting experience. Known as the ‘The Redwoods’, the Whakarewarewa Forest houses a variety of towering Californian Redwoods and exotic trees and reflects a spectacular sight to behold.

It has designated trails for walking, hiking, biking and horse riding and offers brilliant views of the geothermal landscapes of steaming lakes and thermal pools. Do plan a visit to this one of the most thrilling places to visit in Rotorua and capture the best shots of natural sceneries.

Location: Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3074, New Zealand

Timings:
Summer: 8.30 am - 6:00 pm
Winter: 8.30 am - 5:00 pm
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Image Credit : whakarewarewa.com
Discover Rotorua’s rich past and culture at Whakarewarewa, The Living Maori Village, which is amongst the top Rotorua places to visit. The village lies around natural geysers and hot pools and is the home to Tuhourangi-Ngati Wahiao tribe.

Traverse through this devotedly preserved village to learn about how the native tribe perform their daily chores like cooking, bathing, etc., using geothermal resources. Enjoy a cultural performance or savour a traditional hangi meal prepared in geothermal vents and collect some cherishable reminiscence.

Location: 17 Tryon St, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Timings: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Entry Fees: 
Adult: $35
Child: $15
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Renowned as the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere, the Pohutu Geyser is a majestic natural wonder. It is amongst the most terrific places to visit in Rotorua and is part of Te Puia in Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley.

This geyser may rush water up to 30 m. As the geyser erupts constantly, hence got its name Pohutu meaning constant splashing in the Maori language. Do visit this natural wonder to experience a scintillating eruption and surreal surroundings.

Location: 42 Tukiterangi Street, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Timings: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (Thursday - Sunday)

Entry Fees: Entrance with Te Puia entry ticket
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Sightseeing Tours Explore All (12)
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An award-winning recreational activity, the Redwoods Treewalk features eco-friendly walk across 28 suspension bridges. These bridges well connect 115-year-old redwood trees without disturbing the tree's natural growth.

The walkway is 700 metres long and lets the visitors walk over a height of 6 to 20 metres. Enjoy a unique walking experience and be amused by the birds’ eye views of serene landscapes. The views become magical during the night when 30 lanterns illuminate the area.

Location: 1 Long Mile Road, access off Tarawera Road, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Timings: 
9:00 am - 10:30 pm (Thursday - Sunday)
9:00 am - 11:00 pm (Friday & Saturday)

Entry Fees: 
Adult: $30
Child: $20
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One of the popular  places to visit in Rotorua, the Kerosene Creek offers perfect ambience to rejuvenate your senses without putting a burden on your pocket. It is a geothermally heated stream where hot water from natural spring meets with freshwater and offers perfectly warm water for a relaxing bath.

Locals have created tiny pools using smooth rocks to enjoy swimming amidst pleasant ambience. Plan a visit to this stunning location with your friends or family and mark your vacation with memorable memories of fun, enjoyment, and excitement.

Location: Old Waiotapu Road, Waiotapu 3073, New Zealand
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People Also Ask About Rotorua

  1. Which are the best places to visit in Rotorua for free?

    1. The Rotorua Redwoods: With six walking tracks offering different levels of difficulty, this is amongst the best free Rotorua places to visit. The place is perfect to have a great time with your family, friends, or partner.

    2. Kuirau Park: Another free destination in Rotorua, this park offers opportunities to indulge in a hot foot soak, shopping, dining, nature walks, and a peaceful and serene ambience.

    3. Kerosene Creek: A geothermal wonder located at a half an hour drive from Rotorua, this creek is a wonderful destination to enjoy swimming, warm water soak, and feel refreshed and relaxed without paying any price.

    4. Maori Village of Ohinemutu: Discover the culture and art of Maori tribes at the Ohinemutu village and visit attractions like Tama-Te-Kapua marae (Maori meeting house) and St Faith’s Anglican Church, all free of cost.

    5. Lake Rotorua: Soak in the amazing surroundings of calm and shallow waters at this one of the free places to visit in Rotorua and collect everlasting memories.
  2. Which are the best places to visit in 3 days in Rotorua?

    1. Wai-O-Tapu: Amongst the must Rotorua places to visit, this geothermal wonderland must be included in your 3 days itinerary. Witness a natural geyser Lady Knox, mud pools like Devil Baths and Champagne Pool and enjoy beautiful surroundings.

    2. Lake Rotorua: Indulge in boating, kayaking, fishing, or enjoy a refreshing soak in Hinemoa's pool or learn about a famous love story associated with Mokoia Island.

    3. Skyline Rotorua Gondola: Enjoy thrills of Gondola ride, zipline, biking, trekking, sky swing, and satisfy your hungry palate with mouth-watering local food.

    4. Government Gardens: Relax amidst lush landscape, or visit the museum, or soothe your aching muscles with a hot pool soak, visit this one-stop destination to enjoy, indulge or relax.

    5. Te Puia: Learn about Maori culture and be amazed by hot pools, constantly shooting Pohutu Geyser, Kiwi in their natural habitat, and savour local food delicacies.
  3. What is famous in Rotorua?

    Rotorua is famous for its lakes, mud pools, active craters, natural hot springs, picturesque waterfalls, and tremendous natural beauty. The city is also known for its ethnic Maori people who still live here and use geothermal resources for completing their daily chores.
  4. Is Rotorua worth visiting?

    Definitely, Rotorua is worth visiting as it has several attractions like geothermal wonderlands, beautiful waterfalls, historic museums, lush forests, and much more. Witnessing the natural geysers, soaking in a geothermal pool, or enjoying nature walks, are some of the fascinations that make it worthy.
  5. How many days do you need in Rotorua?

    Three days are plenty to explore the most famous places to visit in Rotorua. But if you are short of time 2 days and 3 nights will also cover a plenty of must visit places in and around the city.
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