Backpacking New Zealand itinerary for Rotorua

Backpacking New Zealand itinerary for Rotorua


Rotorua is a backpacker paradise, with a unique mixture of Maori culture, adventure and geothermal activity. Rotorua should be at the top of your New Zealand backpacking itinerary.

Day one

Start your day off with a 4WD buggy ride or drive your own Quad Bike if you’re feeling adventurous at Adventure Playground. Surrounded by native forest you will learn the history of Mt Ngongotaha taking in the fantastic views over the city.

Head next door to OGO Rotorua where you are offered multiple wet and dry ride options! Plus a warm spa to relax in before and after your ride. OGO is owned and operated by the inventors of ball rolling and they’ll even let you have a peek in the factory where their OGO’s are lovingly handmade.

After a fun filled morning, check into your accommodation at the YHA. Perfectly located in the middle of town with fantastic modern facilities.

In Rotorua, you are spoilt for choice for dinner options. Take a stroll down Eat Streat, where you will find a variety of bars and restaurants to suit all tastes. After dinner head to Sobar for a drink or wander down to Polynesian Spa for a relaxing soak in natural mineral waters.

Day Two

Start your second day in Rotorua hanging in native New Zealand forest with Rotorua Canopy Tours. Suspended 22 metres in the treetops, enjoy a three hour fully guided tour with six ziplines, swing bridges and platforms.   

After exploring Rotorua by land, it is time to gain a different perspective. Kawerau Jet provides exhilarating jet boat tours on Lake Rotorua. Hear the stories of local Te Arawa people including the famous love story of Tutanekai and Hinemoa.

An evening visit at Tamaki Maori Village is the perfect end to your second day in Rotorua. Enjoy an authentic Maori cultural performance before feasting on a traditional Maori Hangi, cooked in the ground on hot rocks.

Day Three

The third day of your backpacking itinerary begins early with a Mt Tarawera and Te Puia Combo. The fully guided Mount Tarawera Crater Walk with Kaitiaki Adventures is followed by a steam box lunch at Te Puia seated on the warm rocks in front of the world famous Pohutu Geyser.

After lunch, head to Skyline Rotorua and take a scenic gondola ride up Mt Ngongotaha. At Skyline you are spoilt for choice with plenty of activities to get the adrenaline pumping. Ride the luge - with three track options to choose from and 5kms of track, one ride is not enough. Don’t forget to pop into the Jelly Belly store and check out the awesome Jelly Belly artwork!

There you have it, three days packed with adventure, culture and the wonders of Rotorua's geothermal area. See you soon in NZ's Coolest Hot Spot!