Rotorua
Outdoor Activities

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Our most recommended Rotorua Outdoor Activities

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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Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour Whitewater Rafting Experience

3. 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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Lake Rotorua: Jet Boat, Speed, Spins and Adrenaline

4. Lake Rotorua: Jet Boat, Speed, Spins and Adrenaline

Book a 30min Jet Tour on Lake Rotorua and experience the excitement and exhilaration of one of the area's most popular adventure activities. Feel the rush of the high-powered engines pushing you through the water at approximately 85 km/hr, while professional drivers thrill you with speed, spins, and adrenaline.  Visit iconic landmarks such as Kawaha Point, Mokoia Island, and Sulphur Bay and learn the history of the area, the people, and the events that have shaped this special place into the cultural and event capital of New Zealand.  You will be provided with spray jackets to keep you dry and warm and fit you with a life jacket to ensure you are safe on your blast around the lake. Suitable for almost all ages from the very young through to the most experienced. The service operates every day in all weather so you don't have to worry about availability. This is the very best way to experience the thrill of jet boating whilst learning all about this world-famous tourist destination.

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Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour White Water Sledging Experience

5. 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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Lake Rotoiti & Hot Pools Guided Kayak

6. Lake Rotoiti & Hot Pools Guided Kayak

Combine a kayak tour with a soak in the spectacular Manupirua Springs Hot Pools on Lake Rotoiti whilst visiting Rotorua.  On arrival at the base, you'll be kitted up with paddling gear before a short drive to the lake. After a safety briefing, you'll paddle across the scenic Lake Rotoiti to an amazing spot only accessible by boat. Situated right on the lake edge there are a range of hot pools of varying temperatures, all fed from a natural hot spring. There is plenty of time to relax and enjoy the hot pools or swim in the lake before enjoying a leisurely return paddle. During your time on the lake, your guide will tell you some of the history of the area and discuss local Maori legends. You will also have the option of visiting a cave where you may be able to catch a glimpse of some glow-worms.

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Auckland to Rotorua Small Group Tour & Activity Add-Ons

7. 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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From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

8. From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

Get a fantastic geothermal experience without the thronging crowds with this day trip to Orakei Korako from Rotorua. Discover a geothermal park boasting the most active geysers in New Zealand. After exploring Orakei Korako, visit Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Depart Rotorua after pickup from your hotel between 9 AM-9:15 AM and travel to Orakei Korako. Somewhat off the beaten track, Orakei Korako, also known as the Hidden Valley, is nestled in the Taupo Volcanic Zone between Taupo and Rotorua. After a 45-minute drive to get there, take a short boat ride across the lake then enjoy 2 hours to explore the thermal area featuring up to 23 natural geysers in a constantly changing landscape. Marvel at the number of boiling hot springs and the vibrant colors all around you, or take a native bushwalk through this untouched geothermal paradise. Next, move on to Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Lunch is at your own expense but there are multiple places for you to choose to eat. In Taupo, be guided by your driver and visit the lake front and other interesting sights. Your driver will find out what interests you and, if possible, tailor the day to maximize the stops to suit your interests. Return to Rotorua after Taupo for drop-off at your accommodation between 3:30 PM-4:30 PM.

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Hot Pools Kayak & Evening Barbecue

9. Hot Pools Kayak & Evening Barbecue

On arrival at the base you'll be kitted up with paddling gear. After a short transfer, there will be a paddle safety briefing before paddling across the scenic Lake Rotoiti to the amazing Manupirua Springs, which is only accessible by boat. During the paddle your guide will tell you some of the area's history and discuss local Maori legends. Situated right on the lake edge there are a range of hot pools of varying temperatures, all fed from a natural hot spring. There is plenty of free time to swim in the lake or enjoy a leisurely soak in the hot pools while your guide cooks an appetising Kiwi barbecue dinner. After dinner, enjoy a sunset paddle across the lake and a visit to the glow-worm caves.

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Rotorua: Kaituna Rafting & Mt. Tarawera Hiking Combo

10. 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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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

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.

Wonderful view and river was awesome, enjoyed the rafting and instructor made it a lot more fun.

Was an awesome experience. Our Tour guide was funny and made the experience more enjoyable.

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

Well worth it. Informative as well as exhilarating.