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24 Hours in Rotorua, New Zealand

You may leave Rotorua exhausted after 24 hours — there's so much to do. Its thermal wonders are famous worldwide, while Maori cultural experiences provide a unique window into New Zealand’s past.

Redwood Forest, Rotorua, New Zealand

WHERE

Located in the Bay of Plenty, Rotorua sits within one of the world's most active volcanic regions and is peppered with natural hot springs, boiling mud pools and steaming geysers.

It also sits on a vast lake which is actually a volcanic ‘caldera’ - a huge collapsed crater. As well as its geothermal attractions, Rotorua is also known as the cultural capital of New Zealand. With a rich indigenous history, the city is home to several prominent Maori tribes - and visitors can choose to partake in an authentic experience including visiting a traditional living Maori village.

WHAT

There is such an abundance of things to do in Rotorua it can be hard to choose! We recommend spending an evening at Mitai Maori Village for a hangi dinner and Maori performance. Book in for some relaxation at the Polynesian Spa and choose between a mud wrap, coconut oil massage or private mineral pool soak - or perhaps just get them all!

Mitai Maori Village, Rotorua, New Zealand

Land in a helicopter on White Island, New Zealand's most active volcano and traverse the crater for a once-in-a-lifetime hike. For a calmer day out, head up the Skyline Gondola for awe-inspiring views of the lake. While you're there, grab a night luge pass for an extra thrill.

If walking is your thing, explore the many walking and biking trails in the Whakarewarewa Forest - home to magnificent Californian Redwood trees.

A fifty minute drive to nearby Matamata will land you directly in ‘middle earth’ Hobbiton and is must see for even the most half-hearted Lord Of The Rings fans. For the die-hard however, spend the night at one of the many nearby farm stays to maximise your time in movie-land.

Round off your Rotorua stay at the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and see the multicoloured hot springs, geysers and boiling, mud pools.

TOP TIPS

  • For beautiful, local, cuisine be sure to visit the Rotorua Night Markets held on Thursday evenings from 5.00pm to 9.00pm.
  • Make time to visit some of the outer lakes Such as Rotoiti and Tarawera.
  • Take a guided tour of Hobbiton (if you're Lord of The Rings fan that is) You’ll learn insider secrets and behind the scenes movie gossip.