Essential Rotorua Information
All you need to know about Rotorua
The Rotorua district has a multi-cultural population of approximately 70,000 people; some 35% are Maori. Rotorua city is located on the southern shore of Lake Rotorua , while the district includes a number of rural and lakeside communities.
An international tourism icon, Rotorua is renowned as the heartland of Maori culture.
There are 16 lakes in the vicinity of Rotorua, many of which are fishable lakes packed with rainbow and brown trout. The lakes, all formed from the craters of extinct volcanoes, are a popular attraction for many water-based activities. From the moment visitors enter Rotorua they know they're somewhere quite different. Whether it's the sneaky threads of steam finding unlikely escape routes in parks, pathways and streets or the distinct scent of sulphur wafting through geothermal hot spots, Rotorua offers an impressive welcome.
How to get here
Located in the central North Island, Rotorua is well connected to the rest of New Zealand, and the world, through a network of air and road links. The city is a leisurely three-hour drive from Auckland (234km), and a 5-6-hour drive from Wellington (457km). Rotorua Airport is one of the busiest domestic terminals in the country, offering services to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. Trans-Tasman services are likely to be offered from mid to late 2009. Click here for more information about how to get to Rotorua.
How to get around
Rotorua's well-developed infrastructure and excellent public transport system means minimal travelling time within the city. To explore the outer environs and lakes, rental cars and shuttles are the best options. Most major rental cars companies have depots in Rotorua. Shuttle and coach services leave from the i-SITE Tourism Rotorua Visitor Information and Travel Centre in Fenton Street. Click here for more information about how to get around Rotorua.
What's the weather like?
Rotorua enjoys a pleasant climate; plenty of sun shin e in summer with crisp, clear days in winter. Rotorua averages more than 2000 sunshine hours and just over 140cm of rain annually.
- Summer (Dec – Feb): Daytime 21 – 29ºC
- Autumn (Mar – May): Daytime 15 – 26ºC
- Winter (Jun – Aug): Daytime 9 – 16ºC
- Spring (Sep – Nov): Daytime 13 – 21ºC
To find out what the weather is like in Rotorua right now, visit the New Zealand MetService website.
Goods and Services tax
All purchases in New Zealand are subject to 15% GST (Goods and Services Tax). This is usually included in published retail prices for all goods and services. Overseas visitors who get their purchase sent home directly by the retailer do not have to pay GST.
Passengers departing from Rotorua Airport must pay a NZD$5 departure tax after check-in and prior to proceeding to the departure lounge.
Rotorua city centre has over 250 shops to choose from, including specialty department stores, fashion stores, book shops, pharmacies, arts, crafts, and photographic outlets. Generally, city trading hours are 9am until 5pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 9am until 1pm. Many larger chain stores and some specialty stores are open 9am until 4pm on Saturday and 10am until 2pm on Sunday. Free copies of the Rotorua shopping guide and Rotorua map are available from the i-SITE Visitor Information Centre.
With more than 50 restaurants to choose from, Rotorua offers a wide range of casual and formal dining options. Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Korean, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean and European restaurants abound. Visitors to the city should also try a traditional Maori hangi.