Day Trips from Rotorua to Taupo

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Our most recommended Rotorua Day Trips From

Rotorua Forest 3-Hour Zipline Canopy Tour

1. Rotorua Forest 3-Hour Zipline Canopy Tour

Join in a small-group zipline tour that will have you soaring through Rotorua's forest canopy. Switch between the six zipline cables suspended 22-meters above the ground and see the forest from a different perspective!  When you arrive at the base, you'll receive a warm welcome from the front office team. Check-in and meet your down-to-earth highly experienced kiwi guides who will kit you out with all necessary equipment for the day's weather. A quick 10-minute van ride and you'll arrive at the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve.  Your guides will share fascinating New Zealand eco-tour knowledge with your group, which is limited to just 10 people. At the first platform after a safety briefing, you’ll be off, exploring the native forest on 1.2 km network of Rotorua ziplines, swing bridges and treetop platforms. In total there are 6 ziplines totalling more than 650 meters, the highlight for most being the jaw-dropping 220-meter 'tui song' zipline that departs from 22 meters up a 1000-year-old tree.  Your trusty guides will be clipping you on and off all of the safety systems during your tour, your guide will even slow you down as you arrive at each platform. You will not be required to operate any of the equipment on the tour. This allows you to enjoy the ziplines and take in the magical native forest. 

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White Island & Whale Island 1-Hour Volcano Scenic Flight

2. White Island & Whale Island 1-Hour Volcano Scenic Flight

Take to the skies to admire the marine volcano of White Island from above. Your friendly and professional crew will keep you thoroughly entertained throughout your experience. You’ll receive a flight and safety briefing before heading out onto the tarmac to your aircraft. Be sure to bring your camera, as everyone gets a window seat. Enjoy fantastic views as your enthusiastic pilot shares local insights. Fly over the township of Whakatane before heading offshore over Moutohora (Whale) Island, an extinct volcano that is now a wildlife refuge. Continue on to White Island, keeping a lookout for a bird's eye views of dolphins and large schools of fish. During several turns around the island, you’ll have the opportunity to see the volcano from all angles and shoot plenty of stunning photos. You’ll get closer each time and the pilot will dip the wing for uninterrupted views. Your pilot will give you tips for capturing the best photos and alert you when a good opportunity arises. Peer directly into the crater, smell volcanic gasses and admire incredible views of sulfur vents, bubbling mud, and acid lakes. Enjoy the most time above the crater out of any of the local flight operations before the scenic return flight to Whakatane airport.

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Rotorua: Ultimate Zipline Forest Canopy Tour

3. Rotorua: Ultimate Zipline Forest Canopy Tour

Take on the Ultimate Canopy Tour for a 3.5-hour zip line experience in Rotorua. Self-drive to a central meeting point or enjoy complimentary pick-up. Check-in and meet your authentic kiwi guides, before you are strapped into your ziplining harness. Climb aboard a scenic shuttle transfer to the Dansey Road Scenic Reserve, just 10-minutes away. Step into a lost world and come face to face with towering trees and native flora untouched for centuries in one of the most intact native eco-systems you’ll find anywhere in New Zealand. Journey in small intimate groups, deep into 500-hectares of ancient forest. The experience includes a network of zip lines, suspended swingbridges, spiral staircases, treetop platforms and forest trails. Take on thrilling iconic features including a suspended cliff walkway and 18-meter abseil. Immerse yourself in this breathtaking country. Hear the inimitable birdsong of New Zealand native birds including Tuis, North Island Robins, Kereru and Tomtits in their natural habitat. By participating in this activity you are contributing to the conservation effort, as part of your ticket price goes towards the programme to restore the beautiful forest and remove all introduced pests.

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Rotorua: Kaituna River Rafting Expereince

4. Rotorua: Kaituna River Rafting Expereince

Be picked up from your accommodation in Rotorua and be driven to the local partner's base. Meet your guide at the base and dress up in your wetsuit to stay toasty warm for the day. Your guide will teach you everything you need to know. Don't worry if you've never been whitewater rafting before there's no experience necessary. Non-swimmers are even able to tackle the river. In the summer months, the river is 25 degrees Celsius, making it the warmest river in the country. A quick hop across the road will see you arrive at the river ready to tackle 14 epic rapids and 3 waterfalls. The highlights will be jumping, swimming, surfing, and plummeting over the highest commercially rafted waterfall on the planet. After an hour of action, you will arrive back at the base ready to get changed and check out the photos that were taken throughout the adventure.

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Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour Whitewater Rafting Experience

5. Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour Whitewater Rafting Experience

Take on a thrilling rafting adventure with experienced and local Kiwi guides. From first timers to white rafting enthusiasts - there's something for everyone. Navigate a wildly beautiful landscape while learning about Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and protection of the land. A quality adventure is blended with Maori culture for a memorable experience. You can self-drive or benefit from courtesy transport from your door to the relaxing River base situated in the middle of Rotorua's native Kahikatea Forest. You're welcome to make use of the volleyball court or 3D maze located onsite. Receive an in-depth safety briefing on land and clamber into high-quality river gear. It's a quick bus ride to the Okere section of the Kaituna River where you'll train and hone your rafting skills before dropping into the gorge and commencing your adrenaline packed activity. Snake through steep New Zealand native bush clad canyons. Be thrilled by fourteen awesome rapids and tree waterfalls including the world-renowned 7-meter Tutea Falls. Once your amazing journey on the river comes to an end, jump back on the bus and head back to the River base. Re-live the rafting action through photos snapped by a professional adventure photographer along the way. 

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Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour White Water Sledging Experience

6. Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour White Water Sledging Experience

Try your hand at sledging, a uniquely ‘Kiwi’ activity, on the Kaituna River. The adventure is infused with local Maori culture and no prior experience is required. You can self-drive or benefit from courtesy transport from your door to the relaxing river base situated in the middle of Rotorua's native Kahikatea Forest. You're welcome to make use of the volleyball court or 3D maze located onsite. Receive an in-depth safety briefing on land and clamber into high-quality river gear. It's a quick bus ride to the Okere section of the Kaituna River where you can hone your sledging skills before jumping into the water. Enjoy the native scenery, play holes, and exhilarating rapids as you negotiate your way downriver at eye level. You’re in charge of your own vessel, propelled by the flippers on your feet. Experienced local guides will be nearby to encourage and help where necessary. At the end of your river adventure, jump back on the bus to return to the river base.

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From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia

7. From Auckland: Hobbiton & Rotorua Tour with Lunch at Te Puia

Enjoy the magic of Middle Earth at the Hobbiton Movie Set and delight in Maori culture at Te Puia Maori Village in Rotorua on a day tour from Auckland. Travel in comfort with a small group and an experienced local guide in a late-model Mercedes or a similarly configured the vehicle to provide extra leg room and space for your comfort.  After the pick-up from your hotel, journey through gorgeous Waikato scenery to Hobbiton. On arrival, set off on an official 2-hour guided tour through the picturesque twelve-acre site. Learn fascinating details of how a beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle-Earth. At the end of your tour, savor a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Climb back into the vehicle for the 55-minute drive to Rotorua. Arrive at Te Puia Maori Village where you will have a freshly prepared hangi lunch featuring traditional Maori food. With plenty of time to explore, discover the Pohutu geyser, mud pools, hot springs, silica formations, and the iconic Kiwi bird. Visit the national schools of wood carving, weaving, stone and bone carving. Then explore Rotorua, visiting the lakefront and the government gardens, before the return journey to Auckland. You can opt for drop off in Rotorua, just select this option when booking. 

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Hobbiton Movie Set & Rotorua Premium Day Tour from Auckland

8. Hobbiton Movie Set & Rotorua Premium Day Tour from Auckland

This full-day excursion begins with a pick-up at your preferred location in Auckland, and a scenic 2-hour drive into Waikato with the possibility of stops for photos en route to the Hobbiton Movie Set. On arrival, you’ll spend 30-45 minutes at the official Hobbiton Gift Shop and have a chance to grab a drink or a bite to eat at the famous Shire's Rest Café. Next you’ll embark on a 2-hour guided tour of the 1,250-acre sheep farm with amazing views of the Kaimai Ranges. Your guide will then lead the way through the 12-acre site that’s home to Hobbit Holes, the Old Mill and the Double-Arched Bridge. Stop for a complimentary drink at The Green Dragon Inn. Your tour then continues to Rotorua, where you'll visit Te Puia and explore Te Whakarewarewa, a 60-hectare geothermal valley. You’ll also have an opportunity to see the kiwi bird house and viewing enclosure, watch traditional Maori carving and weaving, learn about Maori art and history and take a walk around a model pre-European Maori village and sacred marae. If you like, you can enjoy a meal prepared using ancient geothermal cooking techniques, watch a Maori haka performance and learn about Maori culture inside the sacred marae. At the end of the program it will be time to sit back and relax on the scenic drive back to Auckland.

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Kaituna River and Tutea Falls Whitewater Rafting

9. Kaituna River and Tutea Falls Whitewater Rafting

Join an epic grade 5 whitewater rafting expedition on the Kaituna River and get an adrenaline rush in its deep warm water canyons. Located a 25-minute drive from central Rotorua, the rafting base is next to the Okere Falls Scenic Reserve.  Join an expert guide on an action-packed, 50-minute adventure down 14 epic rapids. Brave the famous 7-meter Tutea Falls, the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. A must-do for adrenaline junkies and first-time rafters alike, the adventure is run by super-friendly guides to give you the safest and most entertaining trip on the river. Stretch your legs on the nearby walking track at the end of your raft to watch the rapids tumble over the falls, or head to the nearby cafe to enjoy some food and the best selection of craft beer in Rotorua.

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Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

10. Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

The tour starts with pickup from Auckland city, where the adventure begins as you drive through the stunning Waikato countryside, the most extensive farming area in the world, on a fully guided journey to Rotorua. Along the way, don’t forget to take advantage of the photo opportunities as you admire the stunning natural landscapes all around of beautiful mountains and farmlands. As you drive, pass through the pass through the unique town of Tirau, the corrugated iron sculpture capital of the world, and the stunning Fitzgerald Glade. Upon arrival in Rotorua, enjoy a guided tour of the city’s most famous and historical sites including Lake Rotorua, The Government Gardens, Blue Baths, Thermal Springs and Polynesian Spa. From here enjoy the option to add on up to two of Rotorua's most popular activities and attractions (additional cost). Please add on the activities or attractions you would like to include during the booking process. Maybe head to the famous geothermal park and Maori cultural village of Te Puia, bathe in the geothermal waters of the Polynesian Spa, experience some farm culture at the Agrodome Sheep Show, or ride the gondola at Skyline! Or you can simply choose to explore the city at your own pace before your return to Auckland.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rotorua

Want to discover all there is to do in Rotorua? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Rotorua

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 428 reviews

Our tour was fantastic, from the moment we stepped onto the bus. From the awe-inspiring vista, to the knowledgable, passionate guardians of the land, we will treasure the memories forever.

I went with Sam and he was just amazing. Really funny guy, if you get the chance to choose, go with him. Would definitely do it again and can only recommend everyone to do.

Awesome tour for both. Drivers were amazing made the whole tour a seamless experience.

Awesome trip lots of fun, great staff, definitely recommend.

Well worth it. Informative as well as exhilarating.