Top things to do

Cultural Centre in Rotorua

Te Puia

Te Puia dials up the heat on Māoritanga (things Māori) with explosive performances from both its cultural troupe and from Pōhutu (Big Splash), its famous geyser which erupts around 20 times a day, spurting hot water…
Forest in Rotorua

Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest

This magical forest park is 3km southeast of town on Tarawera Rd. From 1899, 170 tree species were planted here to see which could be grown successfully for timber. Mighty Californian redwoods (up to 72m high) give …
Bird Sanctuary in Rotorua

Wingspan

The Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre is dedicated to conserving threatened NZ raptors, particularly the karearea (NZ falcon). Learn about the birds in the museum display, then take a sneaky peek into the incuba…
Traditional Music in Rotorua

Tamaki Māori Village

Tamaki offers a 3½-hour twilight Māori cultural experience starting with free transfers from Rotorua to its recreated precolonial village, 15km south of Rotorua. The encounter is very hands-on, taking you on an inte…
Arts & Crafts in Rotorua

Rākai Jade

In addition to purchasing off-the-shelf pounamu (greenstone, jade) pieces, you can work with Rākai's on-site team of local Māori carvers to design and carve your own pendant or jewellery. A day's notice for 'Carve Y…
Village in Rotorua

Whakarewarewa

Unlike made-for-tourists experiences of Māori culture, Whakarewarewa is a living village where the local Tūhourangi/Ngāti Wāhiao people have resided for centuries. Villagers lead the tours (departing hourly from 9am…
Park in Rotorua

Kuirau Park

Want some affordable geothermal thrills? Just west of central Rotorua is Kuirau Park, a volcanic area you can explore for free. It's a wonderful juxtaposition of genteel gardening and nature at its most unpredictabl…
Village in Rotorua

Ohinemutu

Ohinemutu is a lakeside Māori village that is home to around 260 people. Highlights include the 1905 Tama-te-Kapua Meeting House (not open to visitors), many steaming volcanic vents, and the wonderful Māori-British …
Agricultural Centre in Rotorua

Agrodome

Learn everything you need to know about sheep at this model Kiwi farm. Shows (9.30am, 11am and 2.30pm) include a parade of champion rams, lamb feeding, and shearing, milking and doggy displays. Yes, some of the joke…
Notable Building in Rotorua

Rotorua Museum

Constructed in a striking faux-Tudor style, Rotorua's most magnificent building opened in 1908 as an elegant spa retreat called the Bath House. In 1969 it was converted into a museum, with an art gallery added later…