Shoppers, this one’s for you. If you’re in need of some retail therapy, with plenty of awesome eateries to keep you going, come to Rotorua for the weekend.
Rotorua has some truly yummy places to find gorgeous treasures, from Rotorua-designed clothing to homewares, garden decor, DIY and interior design items, delightful children’s clothing and toys, and so much more. Here are just a few of recommended places to shop to your heart’s delight, followed by great spots to stop and fuel up with the help of dozens of excellent cafés and restaurants.
Grace & Glory | Living Room Collective is about celebrating all that makes a home beautiful with homewares, gifts and furniture. They champion the recycled and rescued with a great range of vintage-look paints, mouldings, transfers and hardware – perfect for DIY-ers looking for ways to create bespoke decorative pieces and vignettes.
For the fashionistas, you’ve got a range of beautiful linen clothing, and both designed jewellery and pieces made locally using gorgeous vintage china, beads, crystals and more.
Houseplants are so in and at Curiosity Blooms the prices are so affordable. Grab colourful pots, too, for your plant babies and you’re sorted.
For something decorative that’s out of the ordinary, check out Exotic Imports. Here you’ll find unique furniture, lighting, textiles and loads of décor items direct from Mexico, India and Morocco, and perfect for creating an eclectic, rustic, boho or industrial interior.
This is the perfect place to find something that’s a bit quirky and colourful, something possibly recycled, hand-painted and/or hand-carved.
If you prefer to support local artists and artisans, and love colourful glass, you must visit Heather Kremen at Amokura Glass. Glass blower extraordinaire and hot glass studio owner and instructor, Heather has been shaping molten glass for more than a decade. Her high-quality items like drinking glasses, vases and bowls and more are not only incredible to display and look at, but they’re functional pieces of art as well.
Pick out a set of wine glasses or an intricately patterned fruit bowl or platter. Visit during Heather’s working hours from 9:30am to 3pm Friday to Monday to see her in action and chat about her craft.
Bibliolaters will be happy to hear that there are enough like-minded people in Rotorua to support not one, but two independently owned bookshops located in the city centre.
McLeods Booksellers, nearly 80 years old, offers an excellent range of books, including Māori and New Zealand titles, children’s books, journals and more. The hand written book reviews by McLeods’ staff are so helpful! Also helpful is the subscription-based Cleod Crate, a box containing a book and a few other treats that tie in with the book’s theme, and sourced from local businesses.
Everything stocked in-store and online has been specifically selected for quality and style. Toys, games, adorable clothing and outerwear, and everything that educates, engages and ignites exploration.
While you’re out and about, these are some of the cafés and restaurants nearby.
Recommended for breakfast, lunch or dinner, daily from 7am.
Start your Sunday with a special treat. Pātaka Kai at Te Puia serves up delicious brunch and all-day breakfast. Plus, it’s probably the only place in the world where you can dine while overlooking an erupting geyser!
The menu is infused with New Zealand flavours and ingredients such as fried bread filled with blackberry and kawakawa compote, and topped with freshly whipped cream, or served with golden syrup and butter; hot smoked Akaroa salmon and hollandaise sauce; roasted pumpkin and barley salad balsamic and horopito vinaigrette; and much more. Their plate of waffles and buttermilk fried chicken is sure to become your favourite.
Recommended for buffet dinners, lunch and Sunday brunch. Check website for days and times.
Recommended for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Check website for days and times.
Their cinnamon brioche French toast is a hit, as are the Moroccan dukkah scrambled eggs, Bus Station Kofta Tagine, and more.
Recommended for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Tuesday to Sunday from 9am.
Poco opened earlier this year and has quickly become one of the best little spots for gathering with friends new and old, and enjoying delicious seasonal food to be shared (if you want to!) and paired with a great wine list in a warm, welcoming atmosphere with excellent service.
Recommended for dinner Tuesday to Sunday from 4pm. Reservations highly recommended.
Born in Venezuela to Kiwi parents, owner Sarah opened Sabroso with her partner John in 2007 to provide guests with a glimpse of the Latino warmth, hospitality and delicious flavours she experienced growing up. Inspired by their time spent in the barrios of Latin America, the couple provides excellent service, and delicious food and drinks.
Recommended for dinner Wednesday to Saturday from 5pm. Reservations highly recommended.
**Restaurant days and times were correct at the time this story was written but it always pays to check before you go.