Find out more about Rotorua before you visit.

We have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about the Rotorua region, including what to do, where to go and where to stay. 

You'll see why we are New Zealand's premiere tourist destination.

We look forward to seeing you soon in Rotorua - New Zealand's Coolest Hotspot!

 

FAQS

Answers to our most frequently asked questions.

WHAT ARE THE FREE ACTIVITIES IN ROTORUA?

Redwood Forest, Kuirau Park, Government Gardens, Lakes, Mountain Bike trails, forest walks and local markets

 

WHERE CAN WE FREEDOM CAMP?

Camping is not permitted on most of our parks or neighbourhood recreation reserves, however, there are specified overnight camping locations and many great holiday parks located in Rotorua.

Rotorua has a free daytime parking area, specifically for visiting camper vans and motorhome drivers located just behind The Arts Village in the Government Gardens. It has free all-day parking spaces marked out for the larger vehicles, as well as providing parking spaces for cars.

 

WHAT WALKS CAN WE DO IN THE ROTORUA AREA?

Visit the i-SITE for info on all the free walks in the region.

 

WHERE CAN WE SEE A GEYSER?

Te Puia, Whakarewarewa and Wai-O-Tapu

 

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUNG CHILDREN?

Rotorua Museum, Paradise Valley Springs, Rainbow Springs, Agrodome, Skyline, Duck Tours & Polynesian Spa.

 

DO ANY RESTAURANTS SELL HANGI?

Visit Kiwi Kai at Amohau Street or enjoy a full hangi and concert experience. Contact the i-SITE for more information.

 

WHERE CAN WE SWIM IN THE HOT SPRINGS?

Polynesian Spa, QE Spa, Waikite Valley Pools, Hells Gate, Manupiria Hot Springs, and the Blue Baths are all managed sites and an entry fee is required. Kerosene Creek, Butchers Pool, Hot Water Beach and Hot & Cold are free and not managed.

 

WHAT CAN YOU RECOMMEND ME TO DO IN ROTORUA?

Rotorua is Famous for Maori Culture, Geothermal Wonders, Mountain Biking, the large number of lakes and rivers and also its fun activities.

 

WHERE CAN WE SEE A KIWI?

Kiwi people you are able to see almost anywhere. The Kiwi Bird can be seen at Te Puia and Rainbow Springs.

 

WHERE CAN I SEE THE HAKA?

Te Puia, Whakarewarewa, are day time experiences and Mitai, Tamaki, Pohutu, Matariki, Sudima, Millennium are night time experiences.

 

HOW CAN WE WALK ON MT TARAWERA?

Kaitiaki Adventures offer guided tours of Mt Tarawera.

 

WHERE CAN I BUY AN AUTHENTIC MAORI CARVING?

Te Puia, Rotorua Museum, Whakarewarewa, souvenir shops and Ohinemutu Village.

 

CAN YOU RECOMMEND SOMEWHERE FOR ME TO STAY?

We have a range of accommodation options. Take a look at the accommodation pages of this website or visit the i-SITE for tips on where to stay.

 

WHERE CAN I VISIT A LAKE?

Lake Rotorua is a 5 minute walk from the centre of town and the other 17 lakes are about 20 minutes driving from the city.

 

WHY DOES ROTORUA SMELL?

Due to the thermal activity underground.

 

WHAT CAN WE DO IN THE RAIN?

Rotorua Museum, Agrodome, Drift kartz, Kiwi Encounter and other activities if you don’t mind getting wet. The i-SITE Rotorua has a free list for visitors.

 

WHERE CAN WE DRIVE TO GET A VIEW OF ROTORUA?

Either drive up Mt Ngongotaha along Mountain Rd or you can get a nice view from the Gondola at Skyline.

 

HOW SAFE IS ROTORUA?

New Zealand is one of the safest countries to visit in the world. Crime is low in Rotorua and problems can generally be avoided by using common sense.

 

HOW DO I KNOW THE SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES WILL BE OF A HIGH STANDARD?

Wherever you see a Qualmark® you can rest assured you’re in for superior service. Accommodation is graded between one and five stars within its category.

Activities and Transport are endorsed based on meeting safety standards within their category.

 

WHICH SIDE OF THE ROAD DO NEW ZEALANDERS DRIVE ON?

The left. So if you’re American, European or Asian, a bit of adjustment is required whereas English and Australians will feel right at home.

 

IS IT SAFE TO SWIM IN THE LAKES AND RIVERS?

With 18 lakes and three major rivers Rotorua is a haven for water babies.

However, there are some areas that can be a little dangerous (rivers with rapids) and lakes that are tapu (sacred) to Maori so if you’re ever unsure, see what the locals do and follow their lead. When taking a dip in natural hot pools, it’s advised you keep your head above the water.