Rotorua is a city in the Southern Shore of Lake Rotorua with a population of almost 55.000 people. It is surrounded by nature, waterfalls and offers a lot of outside activities. Famous amongst travelers and backpackers thanks to the amazing hiking trails and natural water springs, this city welcomes thousands of visitors every year.
You can choose to stay in the city and enjoy the nightlife and shopping or bathe yourself in natural springs and mud pools. Rotorua has a rich Maori history which dates back to the 1300s, so be ready to get the best of history and entertainment.
What to do in Rotorua
Rotorua will entertain you with many activities in nature and help you relax after a long day of walking in the waters of natural springs.
Some of these places might come with a charge, but remember that the money goes to the animal and nature welfare.
Swim in Hot Springs – Rotorua is full of spas that are filled with pure spring water, waterfalls, and stunning nature. We recommend Waikite Valley Thermal Polls for a full relaxation experience;
Hang out at the Rotorua night market every Thursday night, Tutanekai Street is filled with music, entertainment, and delicious food;
Ride down the Kaituna River with a raft, and don’t forget to check out the glowworms;
Visit the Rotorua Museum and learn about mud baths;
Have a picnic by the Rotorua Lake and feed the local swans;
Check out the New Zealand falcons and many other birds at Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre.
Where to stay in Rotorua
You might spend a lot of money on the thermal baths and spas while visiting Rotorua, so it is important to try to save on accommodation.
Golden Glow Motel – only 5 minutes away from the city center, this hotel has free wifi and parking. They offer shuttle service to and from the airport and have many great and inexpensive deals.
Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park – stay in a cabin with your family or significant other and even get to enjoy a free thermal pool on the site.
Kiwi as a guest house – share stories and a room with other travelers if you are traveling on a budget. They offer free wifi and parking.
Lakeside city lodge – close the city center, cute outside area, a pool, and even food delivery to your room.
Lakeside City Apartments – who knew that a penthouse can be affordable while traveling on a budget? Add an amazing lakeside view, a hot tub, and free wifi and you have the perfect place to spend your weekend in Rotorua.
Where to eat in Rotorua
After a long day of hiking and relaxing in hot springs pools, you will want to replenish yourself by a delicious meal.
Tutanekai Street – one of the coolest places to dine in New Zealand, it is a hotspot for locals and tourists. Tutanekai is a street filled with bars, restaurants, and cafes. Try – salmon eggs, Lady Jane’s ice-cream and create your own smoothie for a delicious breakfast;
Atticus Finch – caters to all dietary needs with meals available for vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free eaters;
The Landing Café – right in front of Lake Tarawera. Try the juicy burgers and steak sandwiches;
Ambrosia – enjoy an international style three-course meal with a delicious dessert;
The Regent Room – definitely for budget travelers, but one of the must dine places in Rotorua, they offer dishes for vegetarians as well as amazing cocktails.