10 unforgettable night-time Rotorua experiences

Just because the days are shorter, doesn't mean there's less time for fun in Rotorua.
After you've ticked off your list of daytime activities like rafting the famous Kaituna River or ziplining through an ancient forest canopy, there's still heaps to do in Rotorua by the light of the moon.

1. Erupting geysers under the stars

When Te Puia guides sneak you in through a secret passage and down a dark tunnel, you’ll feel like you’ve been given special back-stage access to this famous geothermal valley at night after the park has ‘closed’.
Starting at dusk and armed with a flashlight, you’ll be escorted through the park’s 3kms of trails that end at the world-famous Pōhutu Geyser. Along the way, your hosts – some who are fifth generation guides – will share the history and stories of the valley, the geothermal features, and the Māori iwi who made this spot their home 170 years ago.
While we don’t want to give everything away, stops in the tour provide tasty treats, including one cooked using traditional methods.

2. Nature by night at Redwoods Nightlights

Feel the spirit of our iconic Whakarewarewa Forest from a bird’s-eye view as you traverse 700 metres of walkways eco-suspended up to 20 metres high between towering California redwood trees. The award-winning Redwoods Treewalk can be enjoyed during the day but by night, the experience is brought to life by beautifully designed David Trubridge lanterns, including the newest addition, the nine-metre-tall Horoeka Lantern which you can walk through. This unique experience is a great way to explore nature at night.

3. Journey into the heart of Māori culture

Mitai Māori Village, Te Pā Tū (pictured above), and Te Puia each showcase ancient Māori concepts, traditional performance, rituals and kai (food), all in their own special ways – and all include the spine-tingling haka. If you’re having trouble choosing, you can visit Te Puia by day for their Te Rā Guided Experience + Haka combo, saving time in the evening for another activity or even another Māori cultural experience.

4. Galaxies of glow worms

Glow worms are the highlight of any evening, and when found in abundance they can be as breath-taking as our starry skies.
There are a few ways to find these fascinating creatures. Three local companies offer guided tours across a lake to hidden caves – you just choose your vessel: aboard a paddle board (SUP) with Paddle Board Rotorua (pictured at top), kayak with River Rats, or Waimarino Kayak Tours’ sea kayak or Canadian canoe.
If you’re more comfortable with feet on terra firma, a walking tour into the native bush with Real Rotorua (pictured above) is just the ticket. You’re likely to experience other New Zealand wildlife, and you’ll top off this stellar evening by relaxing under the stars.

5. Hot pools by moonlight

Discover why Polynesian Spa has been voted a World Top 10 Spa multiple times by the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller magazine. Although there 28 thermal pools to choose from, we highly recommend reserving a private pool to enjoy a truly relaxing soak alongside the lake and under the stars.

6. Luge down a mountain

After 14 months of construction, three new Luge tracks have been built at Skyline Rotorua, not only adding more twists and turns, and four new corkscrews, but transforming the Night Luge with four amazing tunnels lit up with 430m of LED strip lighting!
With the addition of these new tracks, Sklyine now boasts a total of five Luge track that cover a total of length of 7.3 kilometres – the longest in the world!

7. Night-time mini golf with live bunnies

Mini Golf Rotorua at night is a whole new ball game! The 18-hole course is set in a tranquil garden complete with waterfalls, beautiful birds, and roaming rabbits that love your attention. But the best part comes at night when this slice of paradise transforms into a magical wonderland with thousands of twinkling lights. Visit this course for a romantic date or fun night out with friends and let the good times roll.

8. Meet up at the Night Market

Go for the countless cuisine options and enjoy a spot of shopping for crafty treasures at Rotorua Night Market every Thursday (weather permitting) from 5-9pm along two blocks of Tutanekai Street. Entry is free.

9. Go for a moonlit stroll

The newly redeveloped lakefront, with its beautifully lit boardwalk and gorgeous sculptures along the shore of Lake Rotorua, is the perfect place to wind down. Access is free.


10. Grab a bite

Your adventures are bound to leave you feeling peckish. There are heaps of great dining options in Rotorua, including a wide variety of ethnic foods. Head to our Eat & Drink page for ideas, or check out the dining precinct Eat Streat (pictured above). You can also find suggestions onwhere to find Rotorua's five best burgers or where to refuel and quench your thirst after an epic mountain bike ride.

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