If you’re scratching your head over how to keep the whole family entertained this summer, head to Rotorua where choices for activities and experiences abound. In fact, there are several new things and new ways to experience our tried-and-true favourites.
Pulling g-forces at Velocity Valley
Adventure seekers will be spoiled for choice with the “launch” of Velocity Valley
’s latest adrenaline-pumping ride, V-Force reverse bungy.
Experience what it might be like to be a fighter pilot at take-off as you’re launched 45 metres into the air at speeds of up to 80km per hour and with a 4.6 g-force.
The new ride adds to the extremely popular suite of high adrenaline activities available at the park.
Hyper Inflation is here
The masters of inflatable fun, ZORB
, have added an adventure course that is, you guessed it, full of air.
Hyper Inflation offers seven crazy games like human foosball, the Sweeper, Mount Doom, a maze and more. Test your skills, agility and funny bone – perfectly suited for kids and big kids at heart.
Three cool ways to get hot
Who doesn’t love a good soak in a hot pool to relax and de-stress?
If you haven’t been to the secluded Lake Rotoiti Hot Pools, there are a number of different ways to get there.
A Katoa Lake Rotorua
jet boat tour across two lakes (Lakes Rotorua and Rotoiti) offers thrills and then a chance to chill, all in one.
A more relaxing and luxurious mode of travel is aboard Pure Cruise
’s 53-foot sailing catamaran, which departs from VR Rotorua on Lake Rotoiti and allows you to enjoy the serene views and lakeside homes as you glide effortlessly toward hot pool nirvana.
Make a splash as you arrive at the hot pools via Volcanic Air
’s floatplane from Lake Rotorua over to Lake Rotoiti.
Another way to enjoy the rivers
If you've already been rafting and kayaking, and you're keen to try something new, get in touch with Riverbug.NZ
. Several tours on the Rangitaiki and Wairoa rivers allow you to experience exhilarating whitewater rapids, or serene hidden canyons, fun water games, or a mixture – all from your own funky inflatable "riverbug".
Riverbugging is perfect for families (children must be at least 5 years old), groups and individuals.
New tours through a Māori living village
One of our cultural icons, the Māori village of Te Whakarewarewa
is set to re-open on December 10. As the original people of tourism in Aotearoa, Whakarewarewa villagers have been guiding manuhiri (visitors) to Rotorua since before the eruption of Mt Tarawera in 1886.
To complement their Living Village Tour, Whakarewarewa – The Māori Living Village has added a new self-guided option called Whaka Geothermal Trails which takes in areas previously only available to village locals. Amazing views and Jurassic Park-like geothermal features await.
Two-day family pass at Te Puia is perfect for whānau
Head to Te Puia
to walk alongside an incredible landscape of bubbling mud pools, steaming vents, natural bush, and the majestic Pōhutu Geyser, the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere.
Fun for the whole whānau, with the Kids Zone offering free activities including poi making and much more. For a limited time this summer, all day passes will ‘Double the Adventure’ as they’re valid for two consecutive days.
Light up your nights
There's a new reason to visit Redwoods Nightlights
in Whakarewarewa Forest! Three new David Trubridge lanterns have been hung, and they're bigger than ever.
The new lanterns, constructed out of aluminium, are 1.6 metres in diameter, the largest ever created by the award-winning Hawke’s Bay design studio.
Be sure to go check them out as you make your way across Redwoods Treewalk's 28 bridges and 27 platforms suspended up to 20 metres high!
Experience a real Jurassic forest
Go back in time – wayyy back – to the Jurassic era with a guided cultural tour with Kohutapu Lodge
into the Whirinaki native rainforest. Here a Jurassic podocarp forest of giant proportions awaits.
Learn the history of this majestic forest and land, and how Māori relied on the plants for medicine and other uses. Hear and see (and hopefully meet) native birds as your guides call them down from the canopy of the trees above.
A picnic lunch infused with traditional local delicacies will be enjoyed by a waterfall, and the day concludes with hot kawakawa tea over the billy, as your guide regales more stories of the local people and landscapes.