Photo of Rotorua

About Rotorua

Rotorua is New Zealand’s thermal country. A wonderland of hot springs, geysers, exploding mud pools, natural vents and sulphur pools. Visitors have been gathering here to experience these wonders for more than a hundred years. These days many folk also stop to enjoy the surrounding scenery and do a bit of fishing, boating or rafting on the area’s numerous lakes. Many of the best places to stay in Rotorua are around Lake Taupo, or one of the other lakes, offering peaceful views and stunning volcanic mountain scenery.

A large number of Rotorua’s attractions are based around the geothermal landscape. There’s the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, with its regularly erupting geyser and wonderfully bubbly Champagne Pool. Te Puia has bubbling mud pools and more geysers and Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, which has more of the same. The Buried Village, which is the excavated ruins of a village engulfed in ash by the Mt Tarawera eruption in 1886 is definitely worth a visit. There are also a number of natural springs and pools and some spectacular walking trails.

If you’re looking for adventure then you won’t be disappointed either, Rotorua is well set up for adrenalin lovers, with a land-luge sled, heli-tours, white-water rafting and zorbing.

There is a high percentage of M?ori people living in Rotorua, so this is a great place to experience some of the local customs such as attending a feast or seeing a traditional performance.

It might not seem the obvious way to explore the geothermal region, but this is actually a cyclists paradise. There are some incredible mountain biking trials and some challenging road climbs.

It does smell a bit sulphurish though…

What not to miss:

  • Fish, sail or raft on one of the scenic lakes.
  • Experience authentic traditional Maori villages, such as the Buried Village, Whakarewarewa, Te Puia or Mitai.
  • Indulge in some serious natural spa time - think, thermal baths, mud baths and healing mineral pools.
  • Visit the ‘Rainbow Springs Wildlife Park’ and spot the iconic Kiwi.
  • Take a gondola ride to the top top of Mt. Ngongotata and enjoy panoramic views alongside a glass of regional wine.

Our pick of the best places to stay in Rotorua are mainly lake side properties and all are great bases for exploring the area without being in the centre of town.

For stunning views

  • Solitaire Lodge is a luxurious, nine room lodge on a private peninsula on the shores of Lake Tarawera. As well as stunning views, the lodge also has thermal baths. Plus you can swim and fish right in the lake.
  • 15minutes drive from Rotorua is the lovely spot occupied by the Hamurana Lodge, overlooking the lake. The ten rooms and suites are large with natural stone and wood finishes and there’s an outdoor pool and 15 acres of landscaped gardens.

For great value

  • The Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort is a 30 room luxury hotel and spa with bright, modern decor and comfortable rooms. There’s also a great local menu, a tranquil setting, and it’s all great value, starting from a little over £100 per night.

For secluded luxury

  • The Lake Okareka Lodge by lebua offers the ultimate in secluded luxury. On the tip of a private peninsula and has just three huge suites. Each suite has a private veranda, modern decor and top facilities. There is also a pool and outdoor spa baths, a gym and library.
  • Treetops Lodge and Estate is a luxurious lodge set in the heart of an eco-forest, with a range of self-catering accommodation choices. Find large spacious rooms with timber and stone finishes, local art on the walls and open fireplaces.

For an apartment or villa

  • If you've decided that a self catering property would be more suitable for your holiday we recommend you visit our online booking partner Booking.com where they have a wide selection for all tastes and budgets.

Travel information

  • Rotorua has a small airport serviced regularly by Air New Zealand who fly there from Auckland,Wellington and Christchurch.
  • The best time to visit is during the summer months (January to March) when temperatures average at 20'C.
  • If you plan to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars for the best prices.

Still not sure?


Monthly Weather in Rotorua

Best Hotels in Rotorua

  • Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort Rotorua (Holdens Bay) 30 rooms from £101

    Restaurant  -  Local menu specialising in the use of indigenous New Zealand herbs and spices
    Lakeside  -  On Lake Rotorua
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor pool
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    SpaRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessParking

    Set on the shores of Lake Rotorua, this luxury hotel and spa offers spacious and comfortable rooms with contemporary decor and bright colours. Great local menu specialising in the use of indigenous New Zealand herbs and spices. With an outdoor pool. See More

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  • Astelia Lodge Rotorua (Horohoro) 2 rooms from £172

    Country Escape  -  A secluded and homely lodge set in picturesque countryside, perfect for a rural hideaway
    Local exploring  -  A secluded spot, although it is only 15 minutes from Rotorua's attractions
    Art Classes  -  The property organises weekend photography courses
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll in the nearby Redwoods
    GardenParkingNo pets

    A homely lodge set in picturesque countryside just a short distance from Rotorua. Rooms feature wood-panelled walls, beamed ceilings, sink-into beds and sliding glass doors leading into the garden. The breakfasts are an indulgent affair and the hosts ever hospitable. A charming rural hideaway. See More

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  • Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel Rotorua 35 rooms from £140

    Local exploring  -  Near the foodie area, one block from the lake, 5 minutes stroll from the centre and a 10 minute drive to many attractions
    Sights nearby  -  The Art Deco style Blue Baths, noted for their embrace of mixed sex bathing in the 1930s, remain open today
    Lakeside  -  Rotorua is a city on the southern shores of Lake Rotorua, in the Bay of Plenty region
    Kayaking  -  World-class kayaking on the nearby Kaituna River
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    Luxury boutique hotel in 1800's spa town of Rotorua at the edge of the picturesque Rotorua Lake. Boasts a pool, gym, bar and award-winning restaurant. A chic base to enjoy a luxurious, relaxing stay or from which to explore the town or get involved in some of the outdoor activities of the region. See More

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  • Tarawera Heights Rotorua 3 rooms from £199

    Romantic Break  -  For those who want complete seclusion and a beautiful setting, this is an ideal choice for a romantic escape
    Active Holiday  -  From the lakes to the mountains, the Tarawera area provides the perfect backdrop for an active stay
    Fishing  -  The region is a fisherman’s dream with trophy trout to be had year round on the lakes, rivers and streams
    Views  -  Spectacular panoramic views over the surrounding countryside
    Air conditioningDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A collection of 3 spacious self-catering suites boasting spectacular views from their vast terraces over Lake Tarawera. Interiors are simply designed with fully equipped kitchens, luxury bathrooms, and simple minimalist style. With activities aplenty in the area, this is an ideal rural escape. See More

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  • Hamurana Lodge Rotorua 10 rooms from £267

    Views  -  Views of Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island
    Sights nearby  -  Rotorua 15 minute drive away
    Restrictions on children  -  Must be 12 or over
    Swimming Pool  -  Outdoor
    TennisSpaSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    Large suites with striking New Zealand artwork, stylish rugs and natural stone and wood finishes. Fantastic location in hills of Rotorua with views to Lake Rotorua. Great outdoor swimming pool and 15 acres of landscaped gardens. See More

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  • Treetops Lodge and Estate Rotorua (RD1) 12 rooms from £499

    Spa  -  Authentic styles of Maori treatment and healing using natural, locally sourced ingredients
    Outstanding location  -  2500 acres of native forest and game reserve, seven trout streams and four lakes
    Restaurant  -  Local and organic produce where possible
    Great walks  -  Over 70km of hiking trails
    SpaRestaurantGardenPet friendlyParking

    A luxurious Lodge set in the heart of an eco-forest, with a range of self-catering accommodation choices. Large spacious rooms with timber and stone finishes, local art on walls and open fireplaces. Range of activities on offer including hunting, fishing and guided cultural walks. See More

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  • Peppers on the Point Rotorua 15 rooms from £515

    Active Holiday  -  There are excellent options for active guests at this hotel, with great walks nearby plus boating, fishing and tennis
    Romantic Break  -  With homely interiors and an idyllic setting on North Island, book this hotel for a peaceful romantic break
    Country Escape  -  Set on the lakeside in Rotorua, this hotel makes a charming escape to the country
    Tennis  -  Enjoy a leisurely hit of tennis or a gruelling match (tennis racquets and tennis balls are provided)
    Air conditioningTennisSpaRestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    This charming lakeside hotel is housed in a restored 1930s mansion in Rotorua, on New Zealand's North Island. The classic guestrooms have homely soft furnishings and spectacular views. A range of lake retreat activities complete the experience, from boating to fishing and even tennis. See More

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  • Solitaire Lodge Rotorua (Lake Tarawera) 9 rooms from £825

    Views  -  Of lake, lagoon, or volcanic summit of Mount Tarawera
    Outstanding location  -  On private peninsula on the shores of Lake Tarawera
    Restaurant  -  Serving contemporary New Zealand cuisine
    Back to Nature
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenDisabled accessViews

    Luxurious lodge on private peninsula on the shores of Lake Tarawera with stunning views to White Island, New Zealand's only active marine volcano. Suites are large and neutral in colour, with chic furniture and spa-like baths. Activities include outdoor thermal baths, fishing and lake swimming. See More

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