Explore Rotorua and its stunning backyard
Rotorua is a multi-winner of New Zealand’s annual Most Beautiful City Award. It's home to 18 lakes and three major rivers, more than 100,000 hectares of forest, and world-class mountain biking trails, including New Zealand's newest Great Ride trail, the Whakarewarewa Forest Loop.
The Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, located at the Lake Rotorua end of Fenton Street, and the Redwoods i-SITE Visitor Information Centre on Tītokorangi Drive (formerly Longmile Road), are both open seven days a week. The friendly travel experts here offer free advice and recommendations on what to do, where to dine, where to sleep, how to get around, and anything else that will enhance your stay in our incredible city. They'll make bookings and ticket purchases for you, too, and have maps available to take with you.
Use the Google Map to explore our city and lakes region.
Known to locals as "The Redwoods", the 55,000 hectare Whakarewarewa Forest is the perfect playground for walkers, hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers among magnificent towering native and exotic trees.
If you're on foot, an array of hiking and running trails from short and easy circuits to full-day hikes are on offer. Following some of the longer trails will reward you with spectacular views overlooking Rotorua and beyond.
Rotorua is New Zealand’s mountain biking mecca with Red Bull rating the Whakarewarewa network of trails in the top eight in the world and Australian Mountain Bike Magazine claiming them to be the best. You’ll see why when you explore some of the 200 kilometres (and growing) of more than 60 trails catering for everyone from absolute beginners to professional down-hillers alike.
The forest is always open and always free. Some areas are dog friendly. Please enquire at the Redwoods i-SITE Visitor Information Centre on Tītokorangi Drive, and please always clean up after your dog and dispose of waste responsibly.
The city centre is easy to navigate, with all streets laid out in a grid pattern and providing plenty of parking (some free, others metred at $1 per hour). Citywide bus and taxi services are available daily, as well a small Uber network, making it easy to get around if you prefer to leave the car parked.
Within the city centre you'll find loads of cafés, restaurants and bars – including the all-weather dining precinct Eat Streat. There are also boutique shopping and entertainment options, two movie theatres, an indoor climbing wall, gyms, the weekly Thursday Rotorua Night Market, grocery shops, and even the free-to-visit geothermal Kuirau Park.
If you're staying in the city centre, these attractions are easy to walk to: the world-famous Polynesian Spa, Government Gardens, the free geothermal Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge, and the new $40 million Lake Rotorua Lakefront boardwalk and playground.