Start your morning aboard the Pure Cruise luxury sailing catamaran, Tiua, on Lake Rotoiti, one of 18 Rotorua’s beautiful lakes. It’ll be just you, the Tiua crew, and the wind exploring the stunning bays and coves, and learning about the history of this picturesque area. If you’re up for some adventure, help the crew sail the yacht or hop into the lake and onto a paddle board. Prefer to sit back and chill instead? No worries! Relax on the bean bags with breakfast and coffee (or a mimosa!) in hand, and take in the stunning, calm waters.
Day 1: On the water and in the forest
After returning to land, drive a bit further around Lake Rotoiti to the little village of Okere Falls, home to the Kaituna River. It’s time to kick things up a notch with a whitewater rafting experience like no other. Your highly experienced guides will expertly help you navigate the river which winds its way through a scenic, native forest-lined gorge and over three waterfalls, including the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall, the seven-metre high Tutea Falls. This is a definite Rotorua must-do and an incredibly exhilarating experience!
The sun is setting soon so it’s the perfect time to head to Whakarewarewa Forest for an unforgettable night-time experience. As dusk turns to nightfall, the Redwoods Treewalk is gently lit up like a magical outdoor theatre by 30 exquisite lanterns created by world-renowned designer and sustainability champion David Trubridge.
As you make your way across a series of 28 bridges and 27 platforms suspended up to 20 metres above the forest floor, info boards along the way explain how this eco-activity was created to protect the 118-year-old forest ecosystem.
It’s time for dinner, so once you’ve finished the Treewalk, you’ll make your way through the serene forest to find your dinner Under the Sails amid the towering Californian redwoods. You may even spot some glow worms along the way!
Let’s start today with a bit of adrenaline! Head out the southern edge of the Kaimai Mamaku Forest to the home of Off Road NZ. For nearly three decades, the team at Off Road have been showing the world how adventurous Kiwis play. Explore native bush with a muddy, rutty, steep and splashy self-drive 4WD safari. If you’d rather leave the driving to a professional, the Monster 4x4 is a white-knuckling, mind-blowing experience you’ll never forget. No roof, no doors, plenty of blush-clad tracks with impossible obstacles, and a driver who's as crazy as crazy gets. Or test your hand-eye coordination with clay bird shooting or archery. Once activities have wrapped up, head to Off Road’s Native Bush Camp venue for a classic Kiwi barbecue lunch.
Day 2: Adventures and thrills
Get the evening started at Te Puia with cocktails and canapés overlooking Pōhutu Geyser (she erupts twice an hour and up to 30 metres high!) from Pātaka Kai restaurant. Then, head down into the geothermal valley to the Geyser Marquee for an intimate dinner and front-row seats to Pōhutu just metres away. Grab a wine and have a seat on the geothermally heated steps, watching Pōhutu put on a show nearby.
Grab breakfast and your aviators because you’re hopping on a helicopter for an incredible Volcanic Air tour. Exploring Rotorua’s beauty from above will amaze you as you fly over our stunning lakes and forests. You’ll then land on Mount Tarawera, walk along the crater’s edge and peering into New Zealand’s version of the Grand Canyon and the site of New Zealand’s largest volcanic eruption in 1886.
Day 3: From mountain tops to hot pools
After a thrilling morning, spend the afternoon relaxing at Polynesian Spa. For something special, exclusively book out the Retreat Day Spa for access to the day spa as well as the Deluxe Lake Spa overlooking Lake Rotorua. Try out both the acidic and alkaline mineral pools, the cold plunge pool, or just lounge in the day spa – your mind and body will thank you well into the days after returning home.
Like these ideas, but looking for more? Get in touch, and we can work with you to create a bespoke itinerary.