Rotorua is a popular destination to visit on New Zealand’s North Island. Known for its breathtaking geothermal wonders, rich Māori culture, and stunning natural beauty, Rotorua offers a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re seeking relaxation in the soothing hot springs, cultural immersion, outdoor exploration or a blend of it all, Rotorua got you covered! Find in our complete guide the best things to do in Rotorua and get ready to plan your trip. 


Relax in the natural hot pools 

Visiting some of the hot pools is one of the must things to do in Rotorua. It offers a unique combination of relaxation, natural beauty, and cultural immersion. Whether you’re seeking therapeutic benefits, a serene environment, or simply a soothing soak, the hot pools provide an experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. 

Rotorua boasts a variety of hot pools, each with its unique characteristics. From natural hot springs set in serene surroundings to modern spa facilities with multiple pools of different temperatures, there’s a hot pool experience to suit every preference. Some pools offer private bathing options, allowing you to enjoy a more intimate and secluded soak. Others provide communal pools where you can mingle with fellow visitors. Here are our recommendations: 

Polynesian Spa 

If you had to choose one Rotorua hot pool experience, then it has to be the Polynesian Spa. With breathtaking views of Lake Rotorua and the tranquil spa gardens, the Polynesian Spa boasts a range of pools to suit different preferences and needs. You can choose from mineral pools with different temperatures, private pools for a more intimate experience, and family pools where everyone can enjoy the healing waters together.

Make sure to book your entrance tickets in advance as there are limited spots available.
Check here the availability and prices for the Polynesian Spa.


Waikite Valley Thermal Pools 

Another great pick are the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Nestled in a picturesque lush green valley you’ll be treated to stunning views of the surrounding hills while you soak in the warm waters. 

The pools are fed by pure, natural geothermal water that originates deep within the earth’s crust. The mineral-rich waters flow into a series of pools, providing a soothing and rejuvenating bathing experience. The mineral composition of the water, which includes elements like sulfur, silica, and potassium, helps relieve muscle tension, improve circulation, and promote overall well-being. 

In addition to the pools, the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools offer additional spa and wellness facilities to enhance your experience. You will have access to private spas, private bathing areas, steam rooms, or massage services. Besides that, the thermal pools have a family friendly environment with dedicated areas for children, featuring shallower waters and water play features.  

Make sure to book your entrance ticket in advance as there are limited slots available.
Check here the availability and prices for the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools.

Secret Spot hot tubs 

Another great hot pool in Rotorua are the Secret Spot hot tubs which offer a secluded and intimate bathing experience in a picturesque natural setting. The collection of twelve six-seater hot tubs are designed for privacy and comfort. They are beautifully crafted using natural materials like wood and stone, creating a rustic and charming atmosphere. The tubs are filled with pure, fresh geothermal water sourced from natural hot springs, ensuring a truly authentic and invigorating bathing experience.

After your soak you can relax a little longer on the veranda where you can enjoy a snack, ice cream or beverage from the on-site cafe.

Make sure to secure your hot tub way in advance as they are popular and sell out quickly!
Check here the availability and prices for the Secret Spot hot tubs in Rotorua.


Walk through the stunning Redwoods Forest

The Redwoods Forest, also known as Whakarewarewa Forest, is home to some of the tallest and most impressive California redwood trees outside of their native habitat. These 120 year old magnificent giants reach soaring heights, creating a stunning canopy overhead. Walking among these majestic trees is a humbling and awe-inspiring experience.

The forest features a network of well-maintained walking trails that cater to different fitness levels and preferences. Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or a more challenging hike, there’s a trail for everyone. The trails wind through the forest, meandering alongside streams and over bridges, offering a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

You can also book the Redwoods treetop walk which is a fun way to explore the forest high from the forest floor via eco-suspended bridges and platforms.


Go on a 4WD safari tour 

One of the most fun and adventurous things to do in Rotorua for an affordable price is this 4WD bush safari.  During this 45 minute self drive experience your guide will instruct two-way radio to navigate you over steep climbs and descents, rivers, lunges and tunnels. It is the ultimate self drive off road experience where you will experience the thrill of driving a 4WD yourself in the beautiful forest of Rotorua. 

But why stop at just one? For the ultimate adventure, combine the other two adventures with optional Raceline Karting, a Monster 4×4 Thrill Ride or both. Start with the heart-pounding 4×4 Monster Thrill Ride, where you’ll conquer the vertical slopes and defy gravity. Then, channel your inner race car driver and take on the challenge of Raceline Karting, feeling the adrenaline course through your veins. It’s a triple dose of excitement and some of the most fun Rotorua activities!

Book here your 4WD safari tour in Rotorua and explore the wilderness!

Indulge in a rejuvenating mud bath at Hell’s Gate

Hell’s Gate is a geothermal park known for its remarkable landscape and rich Māori history. It’s one of the most famous hot springs in New Zealand. The sight of steaming vents, bubbling mud pools, and the unmistakable scent of sulfur in the air feels like stepping into a surreal world. Here you can see the Earth’s powerful forces on full display.

The highlight of your visit to Hell’s Gate is undoubtedly the mud bath. Step into a warm pool of geothermal mud that has been naturally enriched with minerals and therapeutic properties over centuries. The mud is silky-smooth and pleasantly warm to the touch, creating a soothing sensation as you submerge yourself. 

The minerals present in the mud, such as sulfur and silica, are believed to have cleansing, exfoliating, and rejuvenating properties. As you apply the mud to your body, it can help to detoxify your skin, leaving it feeling soft, smooth, and nourished.

After your mud bath, you can further enhance your experience by indulging in a soak in the Sulphur Spa. Immerse yourself in warm geothermal waters infused with natural minerals, allowing your body to relax and rejuvenate. The Sulphur Spa is a perfect way to unwind and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.

Book here your ticket for Hell’s Gate mud bath
Check here the other options to explore Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park

Take a scenic helicopter flight over the volcanic landscape

The best and most memorable way to see the volcanic landscapes from Rotorua surroundings is during a scenic flight. There are several options available ranging from a 15 minutes crater lakes flight up to a three-hour scenic flight including two landings. It all depends on your interest. 

This three hour helicopter tour includes a landing on Mount Tarawera and at Orakei Korako where you can experience hot springs, gushing geysers and the natural geothermal beauty. 

These 40 and 60 minute helicopter flights include one landing on Mount Tarawera and both fly over different landscapes. Prices start at $250 NZD for the 15 minute flight up to $1205 NZD for the three hour flight.

An alternative for the scenic helicopter flight is this scenic flight by floatplane. These tours are slightly cheaper but don’t include a landing on Mount Tarawera or at Orakei Korako. However it is a truly unique experience to take off and land on water! 


See the glow worms in Rotorua

Rotorua is home to several caves, forests, and secluded spots where glow worms thrive. Therefore it one of the easiest places to experience the unique glowworm habitats in New Zealand. Seeing glow worms in Rotorua is a magical and enchanting experience and one of the must things to do in Rotorua. During this fun evening glow worm tour you will walk through picturesque native bush with your knowledgeable guide You will learn more about the life cycle, behavior, and habitat of these fascinating creatures. The glow worm tour takes place after dusk when the glow worms are most active. The total time for this tour is about 2.5 to 3 hours. 

Witnessing the ethereal glow of the worms in the darkness is a truly awe-inspiring experience and a must do in Rotorua. The soft luminescence creates a serene ambiance that transports you to a different world. It’s a reminder of the incredible diversity of nature and the hidden wonders that exist within it.

Go rafting from the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world

Grab a paddle, gather your courage, and get ready to take on the rapids of the Kaituna River in Rotorua! White water rafting is an adrenaline-pumping experience as you navigate through exciting whitewater rapids while enjoying the breathtaking natural scenery. The 7-meter (23-foot) drop of Tutea Falls is definitely the highlight of this tour. And besides that you will have the opportunity to jump in the river off a 10-foot (3-metre) cliff! This 3 hour white-water rafting trip from Rotorua is the best group tour and has only 5 star reviews. Including hotel pick up and drop off you don’t have to worry about anything else except bringing dry clothes.


Visit Whakarewarewa – The living Maori Village 

Whakarewarewa is a living village where Māori people still reside and embrace their traditions. You’ll have the opportunity to interact with community members who are proud to share their stories, language, and customs. Engage in conversations, ask questions, and immerse yourself in the vibrant Māori culture. 

Visiting Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village is a culturally enriching experience that offers a glimpse into the traditions, lifestyle, and warm hospitality of the Māori people. One of the remarkable aspects of Whakarewarewa is its geothermal landscape. Explore the bubbling mud pools, steaming geysers, and hot springs that are an integral part of daily life for the residents. Witness the power of nature as steam rises from the ground, providing warmth and energy for cooking, bathing, and other practical uses.  

To truly understand the village and its significance, make sure to join this guided tour led by knowledgeable local guides. They will share stories and legends which are passed down through generations. This will give you insight into the history, customs, and spiritual beliefs of the Māori people. Learn about the ancestral connections to the land and the importance of preserving cultural heritage.


Go on a guided kayak tour to Lake Rotoiti and the hot pools

This tour is the perfect combination of kayaking and relaxation at the stunning Manupirua Springs Hot Pools on Lake Rotoiti. It’s the ultimate experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. This 4 hour experience includes a fun kayak tour on Lake Rotoiti before you will go to the hidden gem hot pools which can only be reached by boat. Imagine being right on the edge of the lake, surrounded by a variety of hot pools with different temperatures. These pools are fed by a natural hot spring, creating a blissful haven for relaxation. 

But that’s not all! During your time on the lake the knowledgeable guide will share fascinating stories about the area’s history and local Māori legends. It’s a chance to connect with the culture and heritage of the place, adding another layer of depth to your kayak experience.

And here’s the cherry on top, you will have the option to explore a cave where you might catch a glimpse of mesmerizing glow-worms! It’s like stepping into a magical world as these tiny creatures illuminate the darkness. It’s truly a sight to behold and a must do in Rotorua! 

Visit Kuirau Geothermal Park (free entrance)

Right in the city centre of Rotorua you will find the only free, geothermal public park in New Zealand. This geothermal playground showcases the raw power and beauty of the Earth’s geothermal activity. You will see bubbling mud pools, several hot springs and the impressive steaming lake. The well-maintained walkways and boardwalks that meander through the geothermal area give you the opportunity to explore the various geothermal features up close. Informational signs along the way provide insights into the geology and natural processes at play. 

The park also provides picnic areas where you can relax, enjoy a meal, and take in the stunning surroundings. Restroom facilities and drinking water stations are available to ensure your comfort during your visit. It’s a perfect spot to have a leisurely picnic while immersing yourself in the geothermal wonders of the park. A must visit when you are in Rotorua!


Try White Water Sledging

One of the fun and unique things to do in Rotorua is a white water sledging trip on the Kaituna River. This 3,5 hour experience is a uniquely ‘Kiwi’ activity where you will enjoy the native New Zealand scenery while you are in charge of your own vessel, propelled by the flippers on your feet. You will negotiate your way downriver at eye level accompanied by experienced local guides which will be nearby to encourage and help where necessary. 

Hike to the summit of the sacred Mount Tarawera

If you love hiking and exploring volcanic landscapes, then you must add the hike up Mt Tarawera to your to do list in Rotorua. However you can’t do this hike by yourself anymore because the mountain belongs to a Maori tribe and is closed to the public. The only way to access Mount Tarawera is by booking this guided tour which includes pickup and drop-off from your Rotorua hotel. 

It is about a 4-hour hike total to Mt Tarawera crater’s edge and you will need some hiking experience. Although the summit is at 1,111 metres above sea level, you will only gain 200 meters incline over the 4 kilometre hike. 

As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding lakes, forests, and the iconic  mangu Volcanic Valley. The contrast between the volcanic terrain and the lush greenery is truly captivating. A beautiful combination of stark red color of the lavas and ash deposits set off by the deep green vegetation will blow you away. 

Explore Wai-o Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu is renowned for its vibrant and colorful geothermal features. As you explore the park through the network of well-maintained walking trails, you’ll encounter a diverse range of thermal pools, geysers, and mud pools. The Champagne Pool, with its striking orange and turquoise hues, is a major highlight. The Artist’s Palette is another mesmerizing attraction, with its multicolored mineral-rich deposits that resemble a painter’s palette.

Another spectacle to witness is the daily eruption of Lady Knox Geyser at 10.15 AM. The eruption can reach impressive heights, creating a memorable sight.

Check here the availability for a Waimangu and Wai-o Tapu tour to see the best of both geothermal landscapes.


Go zip lining with Rotorua canopy tours 

Soar through the treetops and embrace the thrill of flying while zip lining in Rotorua. This Rotorua zipline tour takes you through a centuries-old forest canopy as you switch between the six zipline cables suspended 72 feet (22 meters) above the ground. Get a bird’s-eye view as two expert guides suit you up with safety equipment and teach you about the forest environment. This is the ultimate canopy tour experience from start to finish in the beautiful scenery of Rotorua. The entertaining and knowledgable guides are extremely competent with the ziplines and have a lot of passion for conservation which makes the educational part of the experience as enjoyable as ‘flying’ through the canopy! 

There are two different biplane tours available.
The ultimate canopy tour is a 3.5-hour zipline canopy tour including a suspended cliff-walk and 18-meter abseil.
The original canopy tour is a combination of six zipline cables suspended 72 feet (22 meters) above the ground.


Visit the National Kiwi Hatchery 

Visiting the National Kiwi Hatchery is a fun way to learn about the fascinating life of kiwis but also support their conservation. If you didn’t know, Kiwis are flightless birds unique to New Zealand and face numerous threats, including predation by introduced species and habitat loss. That’s why its so important that they get protection which is what the hatchery does. 

Located at Rainbow Springs Nature Park, The National Kiwi Hatchery offers an interactive and educational experience for visitors. The facility provides guided tours so you can learn about kiwi conservation efforts, the life cycle of kiwis, and the challenges they face in the wild. You may have the opportunity to witness the hatching of kiwi chicks or see young kiwis being cared for in their early stages of life. 

Book here your entry tickets for the National Kiwi Hatchery.

Explore the mountain biking trails of Rotorua 

Known as the mountain biking capital of New Zealand, Rotorua offers a wide range of trails that cater to various skill levels and preferences. The extensive trail network that spans through lush forests, volcanic landscapes, and scenic reserves are suitable for beginners, intermediate riders, and advanced mountain bikers.

One of the best trails to explore by mountain bike are only five minutes from downtown Rotorua. The Whakarewarewa Forest features 100 miles (160 km) of twisting mountain bike trails and is considered one of the region’s top trail networks. Book here your bike hire for a half-day ride through this redwood terrain on this self-guided bike tour.

Eat typical Maori food called Hangi dinner

A Maori Hangi dinner in Rotorua is a unique and immersive cultural experience that combines traditional Maori cuisine with a glimpse into the rich Māori heritage of New Zealand. During a cultural experience in either Te Pā Tū Māori village or Mitai Maori Village you can immerse yourself in the rich traditions and customs of the Māori people. 

This cultural experience includes a traditional earth-cooked hangi dinner and you’ll have the opportunity to witness and participate in various cultural demonstrations. These may include traditional Māori performances like the haka (war dance), poi (dance with balls on strings), and waiata (songs). Talented performers will showcase their skills and share stories about the significance and meaning behind these cultural practices.


Roll down the hill in a ZORB  

ZORB is an exhilarating adventure activity that originated in Rotorua and has gained international recognition. It offers a unique and thrilling experience that you won’t find anywhere else. ZORB was invented in the 1990s by two Kiwi entrepreneurs who came up with the idea of rolling down a hill inside a giant inflatable ball. They created a special type of inflatable ball called the ZORB, and Rotorua became the birthplace of this adrenaline-pumping activity. 

When booking your ZORB experience, you can choose from different track options, each offering a unique experience. The sensation of rolling and tumbling as the ball spins and bounces is both thrilling and loads of fun. The most popular option is the ZORB Globe Riding, where you can enjoy a wet or dry ride inside the ball. The wet ride involves a splash of water, adding an extra element of excitement. There are also options for tandem rides, where you can share the experience with a friend or family member. 

Go on a jetboat tour on Lake Rotorua

Buckle up for this 30 minute action-packed jet boat ride on Lake Rotorua. This adrenaline pumping experience shows you Mokoia Island, Sulphur Bay and Kawaha Point while blasting around on Lake Rotorua. Your expert driver throws the boats into 360° spins and explains more about the history of the area. It’s an adventure that combines heart-pounding thrills, stunning views, and a whole lot of laughter. Get ready to ride the waves and make memories that will last a lifetime!

Explore Waimangu Volcanic Valley 

Exploring the Waimangu Volcanic Valley in Rotorua is like stepping into a world shaped by the forces of nature. This geothermal wonderland offers a unique and mesmerizing experience, showcasing the raw power and beauty of volcanic activity with a mix of vibrant colors, steaming geysers, bubbling hot pools, and striking mineral formations.

The lush native forests, pristine lakes and a diverse range of geothermal features create a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere.

Exploring the Waimangu Volcanic Valley is best done through this guided tour. Knowledgeable guides will accompany you and provide fascinating insights into the valley’s geology, history, and ecological significance. They’ll share stories about volcanic eruptions, explain the formation of the geothermal features, and highlight the unique plant and animal species that call this area home. 

But you can also explore the volcanic valley by yourself via the network of well-maintained walking trails. The Highlights Walk is only 1.5km long, but the full experience is via the 4km full walk from the Waimangu Entrance to Inferno Crater, then over Mt Haszard Hiking Trail. 

Another option is to book the Waimangu and Wai o Tapu tour so you can explore the best of both geothermal wonders in Rotorua.

Learn more about the Maori culture 

Learning more about the Māori culture in Rotorua and visiting the Māori villages is an enriching and immersive experience that offers a deeper understanding of the local heritage and traditions. Therefore I highly recommend to book this guided Maori village tour which provide a deeper understanding of the Māori way of life, history, and values. Knowledgeable guides share stories and legends, explaining the significance of different landmarks, ancestral connections, and the natural environment. They may discuss concepts like kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the land) and whakapapa (genealogy), offering insights into the strong spiritual and cultural foundations of the Māori people.

Explore the Blue and Green Lakes

The Blue and Green Lakes, also known as Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi, are two stunning natural lakes located just a short drive from Rotorua. Lake Tikitapu, or the Blue Lake, lives up to its name with its vivid blue waters, while Lake Rotokakahi, or the Green Lake, displays mesmerizing shades of green. The reason why these two lakes have such a different color is because of the differences of the bottom of the two lakes. Surrounded by lush native vegetation and rolling hills, the lakes offer a picturesque setting that is worth visiting. 

Because the Green Lake is privately owned by the local Maori and is considered a sacred lake, swimming, boating or fishing is not allowed. However, water activities are allowed on the Blue Lake where you can swim in the crystal-clear waters, relax at the beach, kayak or paddleboard across the serene surfaces.

Book this ‘explore the lakes tour’ to see some of the most spectacular volcanic lakes in Rotorua district.


Go up with the Rotorua Skyline gondola

The Rotorua Skyline Gondola is a fun attraction that offers a thrilling and scenic experience in Rotorua. As you ascend in the gondola, prepare to be amazed by the stunning panoramic views of Rotorua and its surrounding landscapes. The gondola ride takes you high above the city, providing sweeping vistas of Lake Rotorua, the geothermal areas, and the lush forests that define the region. It’s an excellent opportunity to capture unforgettable photos and soak in the natural beauty of the area. 

At the top of the gondola ride, you’ll arrive at the Skyline complex, which offers a range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. The complex is perched on the side of Mount Ngongotaha, providing even more stunning views from its elevated position. 

One of the main highlights of the Skyline complex is the thrilling luge ride. Hop on a purpose-built cart and race down the specially designed tracks at your own pace. With multiple track options available, you can enjoy a leisurely scenic ride or challenge yourself with high-speed twists and turns. The Skyline complex also offers mountain biking trails catering to different skill levels and boasts a range of dining options, allowing you to savor a delicious meal while enjoying the breathtaking views. From casual cafes to gourmet restaurants, there’s something to suit every palate. 

Another unique opportunity at the Skyline complex is to join a stargazing tour and discover the wonders of the night sky. Away from city lights, Rotorua offers excellent conditions for stargazing, and knowledgeable guides will help you navigate the constellations and share fascinating insights about the universe above.

Secure here your Skyline Gondola ticket and skip the line!

Visit the Waitomo Glow worm caves and Hobbiton Movie set 

One of the day trips you can do from Rotorua is visiting the Waitomo caves and Hobbiton Movie set. This easy full day tour is some of the North Island’s greatest experiences showing you two of the most famous attractions in New Zealand. Nature lovers will enjoy visiting the Waitomo Caves where you’ll take a boat ride on an underground river. Here you can gaze at thousands of twinkling glow worms. 

Movie lovers and fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit don’t want to miss the guided tour of Hobbiton where you will explore the iconic hobbit holes that were meticulously built for the films. These whimsical and intricately designed houses are nestled into the lush hillsides and provide the perfect backdrop for memorable photos. As soon as you arrive you’ll instantly feel like you’ve been transported to the Shire, the idyllic homeland of the Hobbits. Rolling green hills, picturesque gardens and charming hobbit holes dot the landscape, creating a whimsical and captivating atmosphere.


Explore the stunning architecture of Rotorua 

Rotorua’s architectural landscape is a reflection of its diverse cultural heritage and the unique blend of influences that have shaped the town. From Māori-inspired structures to Tudor-style buildings, Victorian-era charm, and contemporary designs, Rotorua offers a range of architectural styles.

Some of the beautiful buildings which you can easily explore are the Government Gardens. Home to several iconic buildings that showcase the architectural charm of the early 20th century, the Government Gardens are worth to check out. The Tudor-style Rotorua Museum, located within the gardens, is a prominent feature. 

Rotorua also features some examples of Art Deco architecture, particularly in commercial buildings from the early 20th century. Art Deco elements, such as geometric shapes, bold lines, and decorative motifs, can be seen in facades, entrances, and signage. This style adds a touch of glamour and nostalgia to certain parts of the town.


Best time to visit Rotorua 

Rotorua is a year-round destination with each season offering unique experiences. Consider your preferred weather, activities, and crowd levels when deciding the best time to visit. Keep in mind that Rotorua’s geothermal attractions and natural beauty can be enjoyed regardless of the season, so you’re bound to have a memorable experience whenever you choose to visit. However depending on your interest and activities you’d like to do, here’s a breakdown of the different seasons in Rotorua:

Summer (December to February)

The pleasant weather makes the summer months a popular time to visit. It is an ideal time for outdoor activities like hiking, water sports, and exploring the natural attractions. Keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season. So expect larger crowds and higher accommodation prices.

Autumn  (March to May)

Autumn offers mild temperatures, ranging from 10°C to 25°C (50°F to 77°F). The foliage starts to change colors, creating a beautiful scenic backdrop. It’s a great time to visit if you prefer fewer crowds and more affordable accommodation rates. Autumn is also a fantastic time for nature walks, mountain biking, and exploring the geothermal wonders.

Winter (June to August)

Winter in Rotorua brings cooler temperatures, ranging from 5°C to 15°C (41°F to 59°F). It’s the off-peak season, meaning you’ll find fewer tourists and better deals on accommodations. If you enjoy winter activities like skiing or snowboarding, Rotorua is within driving distance of ski fields like Whakapapa and Turoa on Mount Ruapehu. Winter is also an excellent time to relax in the geothermal hot pools and experience the geothermal wonders surrounded by mist and steam.

Spring (September to November)

The spring months are characterized by mild temperatures, ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F). The landscape begins to come alive with blooming flowers and vibrant colors. It’s a lovely time to enjoy outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and visiting the gardens. Spring also offers a good balance between smaller crowds and pleasant weather.

Where to stay in Rotorua 

When it comes to booking accommodation in Rotorua, you have a variety of options to suit different preferences and budgets. From family rooms to budget Holiday Parks or campgrounds. Or for luxury travel couples who prefer more privacy or wellness retreats has Rotorua plenty of options. From stunning lakefront accommodation to Geothermal Spa Retreats, find here some of the best picks

How to get around in New Zealand 

To experience New Zealand to the fullest and at your own pace, renting a carcampervan or motorhome is the best way to get around. Which one of these options you choose depends on your preference and budget. If you love camping, being outdoors all day and you don’t mind a smaller living space, then renting a camper van is the way to go. It also gives you the freedom to sleep at some of the most beautiful camping spots. But for some of them, you’ll have to make a reservation and plan your trip accordingly. The same goes for a motorhome which is bigger than a campervan and fits about 4-6 people. Here’s what you need to know about renting a car, camper van or motorhome in New Zealand. 

Car rental in New Zealand

Renting a car in New Zealand is the easiest and cheapest rental vehicle available. It will get you to all the best destinations with ease and gives you the freedom to stop for a break wherever you want. However, you should keep in mind that some roads in New Zealand are still gravel or that you have to cross shallow rivers to some destinations in National Parks. Therefore we recommend a mini SUV or SUV model to have enough clearance for this kind of road. We rented for 6 weeks a Mitsubishi ASX model and were super happy with this car! 

The best place to book your rental car in New Zealand is on Discover Cars where you can compare different car models, prices, companies, and terms and conditions. Make sure to secure the booking of your rental car as soon as possible to have the lowest price possible. Prices go up the closer you get to the pickup date.


Campervan rental in New Zealand

Traveling around in a campervan is one of the most popular ways for a road trip in New Zealand. With a bed, small kitchen, and seating area you will have all the (basic) needs on four wheels. Make sure to check if your campervan has a shower because this might influence where you want to camp. A campervan allows you to camp at plenty of beautiful places, sometimes for free, sometimes for a fee. It will give you a true feeling of freedom and connect you with nature.

We recommend booking your campervan with Travellers Autobarn as they have a wide range of Station wagons, 2-berth campervans & 3-5 berth campervans to hire for all budgets. All Travellers Autobarn campervan hires in New Zealand come with free unlimited kilometers, 10% discount to premium campgrounds, 24/7 roadside assistance & long-term rental discounts. Check the availability and prices today to secure your campervan for a New Zealand dream road trip!

More New Zealand travel guides

I hope you enjoyed this complete guide about the Rotorua things to do. Make sure to put this awesome destination on your New Zealand North Island itinerary!

There are many amazing other things to do and places to visit on the North Island of New Zealand. So if you’re looking for more inspiration and ideas, head over to our other New Zealand travel guides!

North Island 

20 best photo spots on North Island New Zealand – The Ultimate Guide

Best things to do in the Coromandel – The Ultimate Guide

15 best things to do in Taupo – The Ultimate Guide

Best things to do in Whangarei – The Ultimate Guide

12 best things to do in Hawkes Bay – The Ultimate Guide

Best things to do in New Plymouth Taranaki – The Ultimate Guide

7 best KeriKeri waterfalls – The Complete Guide

Pouakai Tarns walk – All You Need to Know

Whangarei Falls walk – The Complete Guide

Tama Lakes track – The Complete Guide

10 best Rotorua Hotsprings – The Complete Guide

South Island

35 best photo spots on South Island New Zealand – The Ultimate Guide

20 best day hikes on South Island New Zealand – The Ultimate Guide

30 best things to do in Queenstown – The Ultimate Guide

16 best hikes in Queenstown – The Ultimate Guide

20 best things to do in Lake Tekapo – The Ultimate Guide

20 best things to do in Milford Sound – The Complete Guide

Milford Sound Cruise – The Complete Guide

20 best things to do in Glenorchy – The Ultimate Guide

15 best walks in Franz Josef – The Complete Guide

Kaikoura whale watching – Everything you need to know

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