Even though winter has returned, there’s no need to pack away the suitcases and swim gear. There’s still so much to do and see in Rotorua, including great ways to stay toasty warm.
1. Explore otherworldly geothermal landscapes
The steam rising from our famous geothermal features creates a captivating spectacle in the winter air. Yes, you’ll be outdoors exploring the geothermal parks, but you’ll be surprised at how comfortable the temperatures will be. Being surrounded by boiling mud pools, steaming fumaroles, hot lakes, and even warm ground makes the geothermal parks a great place to enjoy a sunny day outside.
Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland (pictured above)
Waimangu Volcanic Valley (pictured at top)
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge
+ MORE geothermal wonders
2. Stay toasty in hot pools and thermal spas
Embrace the chilly weather by soaking in invigorating hot spring-fed pools, relaxing in the soothing mineral-rich waters or New Zealand’s only mud bath, all the while surrounded by picturesque landscapes that’ll surely melt away the winter blues.
Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park & Mud Spa
Polynesian Spa (pictured above)
Secret Spot Hot Tubs Rotorua
Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa
Waikite Valley Thermal Pools
+ MORE hot pools and spas
3. Get active outdoors
Experience the thrill of strolling through a native forest before encountering a wetlands reserve, walking or mountain biking up a colourful mountain, hiking along a volcano’s edge and into its crater, walking or running among giant California redwoods, enjoying the newly redeveloped lakefront alongside the city centre, tramping to a hot water beach, and many more options.
Lake Ōkareka Walkway
Mt Kakaramea (Rainbow Mountain) Summit Track
Mt Tarawera Crater Walk (pictured above)
Rotorua Lakefront and Boardwalk
+ MORE outdoor activities
4. Take the passenger’s seat
Leave the driving to someone else! Simply climb aboard and get ready for adventures galore along muddy 4WD tracks, through scenic farmland, on a lake in a vintage WWII watercraft, from the air, or in a giant inflatable ball.
Off Road NZ (pictured above)
Rotorua Duck Tours
5. Experience indoor activities
If Mother Nature isn’t playing fair and you’d rather stay warm and dry indoors, it’s no problem. This is when galleries, museums, animals and more keep you occupied and entertained.
3D Trick Art Gallery
Agrodome Farm Show (pictured above)
Buried Village of Te Wairoa
The Arts Village
The National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa
6. Shop ‘til you drop
Last but certainly not least, enjoy a bit of retail therapy. Whether you’re looking for a few gifts to take home to the family, home décor, houseplants, a new outfit for a special occasion, locally crafted jewellery and carved pounamu (jade), or a vintage treasure, Rotorua has options for even the most discerning shopper.
Grace & Glory
Juniper Art + Home (pictured above)
Rotorua Antiques & Collectables
+ MORE shopping and markets
Rotorua in winter is a captivating destination offering a wide range of activities that cater to every taste. From geothermal wonders and outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and relaxation, our beautiful city has something for everyone. So, grab your winter gear and embark on an unforgettable journey through the magical wonders of Rotorua.