Rotorua offers breath-taking scenery and wonderful natural wildlife that can be appreciated without costing the earth
Some of the most incredible activities to experience here are showcased by eco-tour operators who are dedicated to sharing our precious taonga (objects), such as native flora and fauna, in order to protect them.
We’re so fortunate to have Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park, one of the world’s last prehistoric rainforests, in our backyard. Foris Eco-tours offers a guide hike through the unforgettable scenery where you’ll walk among 500-year-old trees standing up to 60 metres tall, hear and possibly see rare birdlife, and learn about the conservation challenges to protect some of the rarest creatures on earth.
One place that should be on everyone’s must-visit list looks after the preservation of our most treasured native bird. The National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa, located right here in Rotorua, opened its doors – and incubators – in 2008 and has since hatched more than 1,850 brown kiwi eggs.
Bird-lovers also won’t want to miss visits to Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre or Mokoia Island to see rare and protected species.
Eco-tours also include seeing incredible glow worm caves via canoe, kayak and paddle board, and Real Rotorua provides tours on foot to see these clever creatures. Bicycle, Segway, and even whitewater rafting are great ways to get close up and personal with nature.
Of course, you can also pick up a map or visit our team at one of Rotorua’s i-SITEs for self-guided tours. We recommend seeing plants and birds that have adapted to the hot, steamy and sulphurous environment in Sulphur Bay around Lake Rotorua.
Experience the unique landscape and history of Mount Tarawera, famous for its eruption on June 10, 1886, which created the world’s youngest geothermal valley of Waimangu.
Soar through the trees and experience New Zealand’s ancient forest like never before – in two award-winning zipline adventures. Lose yourself on this engaging encounter with the natural world, exploring ancient native forest via ziplines, suspended swing bridges, treetop platforms and more on this unforgettable nature adventure.
Come with us and ride through some of New Zealand's best ancient native forest on meandering mountain bike trails. This full day trip includes guide and transport, food, and bike hire. We can take it nice and easy close to the road, or we can go all out and fly deep into the heart of the Whirinaki!
Majestic and magical, the Redwoods Treewalk experience is truly a walk to remember. Suspended high above the forest floor, encounter 75-metre-tall California redwoods as you walk across eco-suspended bridges and platforms intricately designed to honour and accentuate the stunning natural environment.
Guided cultural and geothermal tours to Te Rātā Bay and Hot Water Beach, including a natural hot pool soak.
Featuring threatened New Zealand falcons, hawks and owls - the Wingspan Bird of Prey Centre is a unique conservation programme of national significance.
Adventure Games Rotorua gets your team out and about, working together to solve an exciting mystery. You’ll love the challenge of solving the puzzles and clues, at the same time learning something about local history, culture and nature. Developed by Escapade – NZ's best rated escape room business.
A glow worm tour with Paddle Board Rotorua is simply one of the best evening experiences to do in Rotorua.
The whole family will love the Kiwi Hatchery! It’s the only purpose-built kiwi conservation centre in the world that’s open to the public, and is New Zealand’s only open-to-view kiwi hatchery and rearing facility.
Connect with the culture, people, history and landscape that have made Rotorua the incredible place it is today.
Stand-up paddle (SUP) board tours and lessons on Lake Rotorua and surrounding waterways.
Foris Eco-tours offers guided tours of the spectacular Whirinaki Forest and Rotorua's premium rafting adventure down the gorgeous Rangitaiki River. Choose guided hiking or combined river and guided walking options.