Hands up if you’re hanging out for spring!
With the daffodils in full bloom and fluffy lambs bouncing around in the paddocks, it’s getting easier to feel that winter has officially met its demise. Why not ring in the fresh new season with a microadventure in Rotorua?
What’s a microadventure, you ask? There might be a few definitions, but here we’re talking about a short visit – one night, maybe two – to get away and do something exhilarating and adrenaline-fuelled. It’s a great way to tick off bucket-list items, shake off the winter blues, and put that pep back in your step.
For the organised plannerIf you’re the plan-ahead, pre-book and pack-it-all-in kind of traveller, Rotorua is the perfect destination as there’s so much to do here and it’s easy to get around to it all. You can have a full day of non-stop, high-energy action.
Put your adventure pants on (and perhaps some warm layers) and head to your pre-booked, early morning Ultimate Tour at Rotorua Canopy Tours, voted TripAdvisor’s #11 experience on the planet, and this year named #1 Nature Activity in the world! This incredible 3.5-hour eco-adventure involves six ziplines, a 50-metre-high cliff walk (pictured at top), suspended swing bridges, an 18-metre-high controlled descent, and amazing guides who take you through a protected ancient forest.
Next up, grab a quick lunch and head to your 2pm whitewater rafting tour with River Rats Raft & Kayak or any of the other rafting companies. This incredible experience will take along the famous, historic, bush-clad Kaituna River where you’ll enjoy a thrilling mix of dropping over three waterfalls, pushing through 14 rushing rapids, and paddling across calm waters of recovery where you can look back in awe at what you have achieved.
This tour is famous and a bucket-list item because you’ll be tackling Tutea Falls, the world’s tallest commercially rafted waterfall at 7 metres (pictured above). But not to worry, you’ll have plenty of time with your guide to build up anticipation and practice your newly acquired skills in the rapids and two smaller waterfalls before the big drop.
Once you’re off the river, change into your dry clothes and head to dinner before your final activity for the day: a sunset tour to see magical glow worms in their natural habitats. Real Rotorua offers a two to three-hour walking tour, or you can opt to explore via three-hour kayak tour with Paddle Board Rotorua.
Well done, you’ve just blitzed your way through some of the best adventures in Rotorua!
For the free-form traveller
If you prefer to just hit the road and take things as they come, there are loads of options for you to just rock up to and enjoy.
Adventure Playground, Off Road NZ and Velocity Valley (pictured above) have multiple activities to get the blood pumping and the laughter flowing. The fun can include Freefall Xtreme, jet boat rides, 4WD self-drives, and so much more. Allow at least a couple hours to fit in two to three activities at any of these places.
Just down the road a bit is ZORB (pictured above), another massively popular adventure activity. This is an all-weather, year-round activity as you’ll be out of the rain and inside a giant inflated ball, with a bit of warm water pumped in, then rolling downhill and laughing uncontrollably all the way. Keep warm before and after your rides in the free hot tubs on site.
Further down the same road, you’ll come to Skyline Rotorua, famous for its Rotorua-invented Luge rides. First, make your way to the top of Mount Ngongotahā via the Skyline Gondola, quite a spectacular way to take in panoramic views of Lake Rotorua, the city and surrounding district. From here, you’ll encounter a world-first activity of racing a three-wheel, gravity-based luge cart down the mountain. A ski lift at the bottom will return you to the top where you can do it all over again on one of the other tracks. There are three track to choose from and more than 5kms of track to ride – once is never enough!
Skyline’s Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar is located here, too, perfect for filling hungry tummies after all this fun. Stratosfare is open daily for lunch and dinner, and renowned for its amazing buffet offering New Zealand cuisine, with the same beautiful views of Rotorua and beyond.