Getting to Rotorua
Being centrally located in the North Island, Rotorua is one of the most accessible cities to get to.
Approximate Drive Times to Rotorua from:
- Auckland 3 hours
- Wellington 5 hours 30 mins
- Hamilton 1 hour 30 mins
- Taupo 1 hour
- Tauranga 50 mins
- Napier 2 hours 40 mins
Conversely, once you’re here, you’re never more than an hour from a coastal beach, or an hour or two from lots of interesting cities and towns to visit – making daytrips a breeze! Even Auckland is only three hours away, and our wonderful wine country is just a two and a half hour jaunt
Air New Zealand services domestic flights to a wide range of destinations around New Zealand, including direct flights from Rotorua to Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.
For flight information visit Rotorua Airport
For inter-city bus timetables visit:
Getting Around Rotorua
An attractive advantage of getting around Rotorua is that you don’t need to rely on using your own vehicle. You can easily bike, walk, catch a bus, shuttle or ring a taxi.
Travelling by car
Rotorua is fairly easy to navigate. A mostly grid-like layout with wide streets and drive-in parking (no tricky parallel parking, thank you!) in the inner city make getting around a treat. The city is also beautifully planted and maintained so walking from one shop to another is a pleasure. See if you can keep track of the many incredible sculptures along the way.
Parking in the central city
Car parking is available throughout the city. Most spaces are metred, cost $1 per hour, and the machines use a pay-by-plate model. Roughly half the machines accept payment by coins, the rest accept only debit and credit cards.
There are also spaces that are free for set periods of time. Signs on each parking block will indicate times from 15 minutes to all day. Some signs will show a dollar sign and number, which indicates the maximum amount of time you are allowed to pay for parking at this particular section.
At least two mobility parks per street are available in the central business district (CBD).
On-street parking in the CBD is monitored from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12noon on Saturdays. Parking outside these hours and on public holidays is free.
The city’s only public multi-storied car park is at 1222 Pukuatua Street and open seven days a week from 6am to 11pm. The first hour is free, after that it’s $1 per hour. Concession cards are available from Rotorua Lakes Council.
If you’d like a convenient spot to leave the motorhome while you explore Rotorua on foot of other form of transportation, a free daytime parking lot specifically for visiting campervans and motorhomes is located off Hinemoa Street between The Arts Village and Polynesian Spa in the Government Gardens. Spaces are marked out for the larger vehicles, as well as providing spaces for cars.
Please deter thieves by keeping your valuables out of sight, windows closed, and doors locked.
Travelling by bus
Cityride Rotorua bus service, operated by BayBus, includes 11 routes, all of which start at the central Arawa Street interchange.
View bus times, fares and routes online
Tickets are available on the bus from your driver (please have cash ready as there is no card payment option) or you may purchase a day-saver pass from the Visitor Centre & i-SITE.
Travelling by bike
Rotorua has an enviable reputation as an international mountain biking destination. But, it’s also New Zealand’s number one cycling destination due to its cycling friendly landscape, and easy riding throughout the city, and to and from surrounding suburbs.
Several routes into the central business district (CBD) have cycle lanes or share with care facilities. Why not try cycling to work? Even one day a week will help your fitness, your pocket, and the environment.
Travelling on foot
Many of our attractions, accommodation and facilities like the Museum, Library, Aquatic Centre, the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre and the Energy Events Centre are located in the inner city, for easy walking distance. With our city being flat, our residents with mobility vehicles also find it very convenient to get around. Local roads have plenty of footpaths which facilitate walking, including ‘Share with Care’ facilities on some commuter routes.