Rotorua
Viewing Points

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Our most recommended Rotorua Viewing Points

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: ZORB Inflatable Ball Rides

2. Rotorua: ZORB Inflatable Ball Rides

Take on an iconic New Zealand experience in Rotorua. Roll down a hill inside a specially designed giant inflatable ball. Choose from a single, double or triple ride option when booking. On the day, opt for a H2OGO (wet) ride. On warm days, superman dive into the H2OGO on your own or with friends as you slip, slide and laugh your way down the slope. The specially designed ball means you remain will right-side up and not get dizzy. On cold days, stay warm in the H2OGO with warm water used for the rides. Hot spas will keep you toasty in between rides, an outdoor fire will pump serious warmth, and there will be heated changing rooms for afterwards. Delicious coffee made by baristas will also available on-site. 

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White Island & Whale Island 1-Hour Volcano Scenic Flight

3. 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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Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour

4. 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: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

5. Rotorua: The Buried Village of Te Wairoa

Located just a 15-minute drive from Rotorua, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa features an interactive museum, scenic walking trails, and a look at the devastating effects of one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters: the Mt. Tarawera volcanic eruption of 1886, which wiped out a natural landmark known as the Pink and White Terraces. The award-winning museum sheds light on the hardships suffered by this once-bustling European and Maori village settlement.  Expect to spend at least 1 and a half hours at the site to get the most out of the experience, which includes audio guides, living history tours, and talks by costumed guides scheduled throughout the day. Gain firsthand insight into the chaos of the night that Mt. Tarawera erupted and destroyed Te Wairoa, a village of Maoris and missionaries excavated under the Kaitiakitanga of the Smith family for nearly 90 years. Refresh at Smith & Co, the onsite cafe offering delicious scones with whipped cream and jam, Kiwi's favorite selection of pastry pies, and Devonshire tea. Take the opportunity to dress up in Victorian style clothing. On the waterfall trail, learn about the native flora and fauna and experience the beauty of a land recovering from violent destruction. Experience the Te Wairoa Falls in a special way as you stand in the mist of the waterfall. At the end of the day, check out the wide range of goods at the gift shop and bring home a special memento.

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Lake Rotorua: Jet Boat, Speed, Spins and Adrenaline

6. 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

7. 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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Waimangu Volcanic Valley Morning Tour

8. Waimangu Volcanic Valley Morning Tour

Discover Rotorua’s most popular geothermal parks: Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Join a small-group morning tour capped at 11 guests for a personal experience led by a knowledgeable guide. You will be picked up from your Rotorua accommodation between 8:05 AM and 8:30 AM. Enjoy a 25-minute scenic drive through forestry and farmland before arriving at New Zealand's largest boiling mud pools. Your next stop will be the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Your guide will explain the Mt Tarawera eruption which blew open this spectacular bush-covered geothermal park. Pause at the Waimangu Volcanic Valley Cafe for lunch at 12:00 PM before being dropped back to your accommodation between 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM.

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Hobbiton Movie Set & Rotorua Premium Day Tour from Auckland

9. 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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Rotorua: Velocity Valley VIP Ultimate Adrenaline Package

10. Rotorua: Velocity Valley VIP Ultimate Adrenaline Package

Visit Velocity Valley, Rotorua's home of speed and adrenaline. Arrive onsite and get ready for an adrenaline filled experience, where you can sample all of New Zealand's favorite adventure activities in one place.  Get ready to pedal, freefall, launch, propel and splash your way to adventure.    Embrace the race of Shweeb as you're flipped upside down on the world’s only human powered monorail racetrack. Take on the white-knuckle ride that will kick you back in your seat as you sit within the furiously fast Agrojet. Fly with Zero Gravity as it literally take your breath away. Feel the fear with Swoop, a giant sky swing. Hold on tight as you’re pulled horizontally into the air. Lastly if the above wasn’t enough adrenaline to handle, try the ultimate iconic activity of Bungy Jumping. Feel alive as you take the dive with Rotorua Bungy. Break boundaries in your quest to conquer your fears as you inhale the fresh New Zealand air 43 meters above the ground.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Rotorua

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What people are saying about Rotorua

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 112 reviews

Absolutely loved learning about the history of the land we stood on and the stories shaped our future today. Honestly such an amazing place with interesting displays to accompany the stories as they are being told! Worth the price for sure!!!

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.

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

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

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