Rotorua
Ecotourism

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Our most recommended Rotorua Ecotourism

Rotorua City and Lakes Duck Tour

1. Rotorua City and Lakes Duck Tour

Discover Rotorua city and its lakes on a unique 90-minute sightseeing adventure that takes you over land and into the water by amphibious vehicle. This is the best way to see the city and experience the beauty of the lake region on a single tour. Your tour begins right in the heart of the city, where you’ll see the city’s top sights and learn about the diversity that makes Rotorua such a unique destination. Venture out of town to the spectacular lake region and take in magnificent views of Mount Tarawera. Splash down into Lake Tikitapu and Lake Okareka. The tour is educational and fun for the whole family. Everyone is sure to enjoy this unique adventure in an authentic WWII-era amphibious vehicle.

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Rotorua Forest 3-Hour Zipline Canopy Tour

2. 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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Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

3. Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

Discover Tarawera and Lakes on a unique 2-hour fully-guided adventure that takes place on land and water on-board a genuine WWII amphibious Duck. One of the best ways to appreciate the scenery of the Rotorua lakes district and learn more about the history of the land, the people, and the devastating 1886 eruption of Mt. Tarawera.  Your tour begins right in the heart of Rotorua and ventures out of town to the spectacular lake’s district where you will experience your first splash down into the sheltered calm waters of Lake Okareka. Your ConDUCKtor will then take you further, exploring the natural beauty of the lakes district with a backdrop of the magnificent volcanic domes of Mount Tarawera. After plunging into the deep blue water of Lake Tarawera, the return trip will see you viewing the sacred Lake Rotokakahe (The Green Lake) before splashing down on Tikitapu (the Blue Lake) your forth and final lake visit before the homeward journey back to the sulphurous aroma of Rotorua’s city centre. This tour is suitable for all ages and the whole family, combining fun, learning and new experiences during a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in an authentic WWII amphibious Duck.

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Rotorua: Ultimate Zipline Forest Canopy Tour

4. 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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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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From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

6. From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

Get picked up from your accommodation or an agreed-upon meeting point in Auckland or Rotorua and set off for Hobbiton. Upon arrival, you'll have some time to get something to eat or explore the Shires Rest souvenir shop before joining a two-hour walking tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, which includes a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Transfer to the movie set on one of the tour operator's buses and hear about how this set was used for all filming of both "The Lord of the Rings" and the "The Hobbit" movies. After the tour, take 15 minutes to relax in the Green Dragon Inn before traveling to Waitomo Caves. Between the two stops, you'll have time to enjoy your picnic lunch. At Waitomo Caves, join a group of up to 12 people on the Black Labyrinth tour, which includes cave tubing and caving in the river that runs through the bottom of the Ruakuri Cave. After arriving at the cave, you will be given a briefing on the art of cave tubing before starting your rafting excursion. Float through a glow-worm grotto, jump over small waterfalls, and enjoy other adrenalin-filled experiences. The tour runs about three hours, 1.5 of which are underground.  Rejoin the main transport for the day and travel to your drop-off destination. On some occasions, the activities may be reversed. After you have completed the final activity, you will be taken to Auckland or Rotorua. You can start and finish in the same place, or choose to make this a one-way journey beginning or ending in Auckland or Rotorua.

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Rotorua: National Kiwi Hatchery Entry Ticket and Guided Tour

7. Rotorua: National Kiwi Hatchery Entry Ticket and Guided Tour

Visit the National Kiwi Hatchery and see how the husbandry team is helping kiwis at the largest and most successful kiwi hatchery in the world. Find out about egg incubation systems, hatching techniques, and kiwi chick-rearing on a guided tour Enjoy an educational and thought-provoking experience giving you an insight into an internationally renowned conservation program. Get to see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process, and newly hatched kiwi chicks. Finally, know you've made your own contribution as 100% of your entry ticket fee goes straight back to the kiwi hatching program.

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Rotorua: Kaituna Rafting & Mt. Tarawera Hiking Combo

8. Rotorua: Kaituna Rafting & Mt. Tarawera Hiking Combo

Take on a thrilling rafting adventure with experienced and local Kiwi guides. Navigate a wildly beautiful landscape while learning about Kaitiakitanga (guardianship) and protection of the land. Snake through steep New Zealand bush-clad canyons. Be thrilled by fourteen rapids and tree waterfalls, including the world-renowned 7-meter Tutea Falls. Relive the rafting action through photos snapped by a professional adventure photographer along the way. Throughout the day, your guide will share the history of Mount Tarawera's eruption as well as local myths and legends. On arrival at the mountain base, begin the ascent to the crater's edge in an off-road 4x4 vehicle up through native bushland. After a quick stop at the solar-powered mountain base, continue up to the beginning of the track.  Admire stunning scenic vistas and 360-degree panoramic views as you enjoy the hike up. At the summit, you can leap down into the heart of the volcanic crater for a fun and short run.

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Rotorua: Full-Day Hiking Tour in Whirinaki Forest

9. Rotorua: Full-Day Hiking Tour in Whirinaki Forest

Explore the majestic Whirinaki Forest on a guided 4-hour hike amongst the awe-inspiring trees for which the lush rainforest is best known. This impressive forest is unlike any other and if you are lucky you might spot some of New Zealand's rarest birds which have made the dense woods their habitat.  On your hike around this unspoiled, old rainforest surrounded by towering five-hundred-year-old trees and rushing rivers you will discover what a biodiversity hotspot these woods are. Hear rare birds calling overhead as you make your way to a beautiful waterfall, by which you will eat your lunch. Learn about the conservation efforts being made in the park from your knowledgeable guide as well as the flora and fauna you see as you move around the forest. Expect to see trees such as rimu, kahikatea, miro, and matai. Additionally, if you are lucky you may spot some rare birds as well such as kaka (North Island parrot), yellow-crowned kakariki (parakeet), and toutouwai (North Island robin).

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Rotorua: Local Birdwatching Full-day Tour

10. Rotorua: Local Birdwatching Full-day Tour

Depending on the wishes of the group, you will set off either to see shorebird or forest birds in their natural habitats.  The forest bird watching experience will take place in Whirinaki Forest, among tall 1000-year-old trees. Come face to face with rare and endangered New Zealand birds including the North Island parrot, yellow-crowned parakeet, North Island robin, New Zealand falcon, blue duck, long tailed cuckoo, wood pigeon and more.  If your group chooses the shorebird experience, you will head to different sites spread around the Bay of Plenty. You will see New Zealand dotterels, royal spoonbills, white-fronted terns, various cormorants, and many more.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rotorua

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What people are saying about Rotorua

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 113 reviews

Unique have never experienced before Awesome on land to water The commentary was informative and hilarious never a dull moment Thank you Marcus and the staff we interacted with

Enjoyable experience and opportunity to learn about the local history from knowledgeable staff.

Josh was a brilliant guide, I would highly recommend this trip to any visitor to Rotorua.

Josh was awesome! great humour, and nice to be driven around

Well worth it. Informative as well as exhilarating.