Rotorua is the perfect spot for a long weekend getaway. There's plenty of activity options, places to stay and delicious eating spots. Two of our awesome kiwi guides, Santraea and Cam, have put together their favourite things to help you plan your Rotorua Adventure.
Santraea and Cam's top picks for your Rotorua Adventure:
Where to stay - Aura Accommodation or camp at the Guy Roe Reserve
Where to eat - Fat Dog and Stratosphere
Fun Activities - Rotorua Canopy Tours and Secret Spot
Free walks - Mount Ngongotaha Nature Loop and Te Auheke Track Cascade Falls
Photo: Rotorua Canopy Tours
Places to stay
Guy Roe Reserve
If you're keen to go camping on your Rotorua Adventure, the Guy Roe Reserve next to Lake Rerewhakaaitu is a great option. It's a popular spot for a picnic, a bit of fishing (you can purchase permits from local fishing stores) and also has boat access to the lake.
How to get there: It's about 30 minutes south of Rotorua on Brett Road - Get directions here.
Check out other great lakeside camping sites around Rotorua here.
If you're after something a bit more central, you can't go past Aura Accommodation. It's right in the city, the team at Aura are super friendly and it has loads of extras included. They have an outdoor heated pool, hot pools which use local mineral water renowned for its therapeutic properties, as well as free scooter and bike use. One thing we love about Aura is their sustainability focus. They truly care about reducing their footprint and having a positive impact on the environment.
How to get there: Aura is right in Rotorua CBD, only a two minute walk from town - Get directions here.
Photo: Aura Accommodation
Places to eat
A Rotorua cafe favourite is Fat Dog. This funky cafe has a vibrant atmosphere and is a great spot to go for a late breakfast or lunch. They have a huge variety of delicious fresh food and their very generous portion sizes will definitely keep you full! Our favourite drink is the hot choc fish - if you're a fan of hot chocolates, this one is next level!
For something a little special we recommend Stratosphere Restaurant and Bar. Located up Mount Ngongotaha, you can enjoy the panoramic views of Rotorua while indulging in some of New Zealand’s best award-winning cuisine. Their delicious buffet features locally sourced seafood, meat and produce - you'll be spoiled for choice.
Photo: Stratosphere Restaurant and Bar
Rotorua Canopy Tours
Fly through ancient native forest and create unforgettable memories with Rotorua Canopy Tours. A Rotorua adventure so good, it has been declared one of the top 10 experiences in the South Pacific! There are two incredible tours tick off your list, the Original (3-hours) and the Ultimate (3.5 hours). Your friendly kiwi guides will delight and inspire you on this amazing adventure exploring every layer of the canopy via ziplines, cliff walks and swing bridges. You may even get to hand feed wild native birds on tour!
Photo: Our amazing kiwi guides Santraea and Cam
Next up on your Rotorua Adventure is Secret Spot, a wonderful option for a bit of tranquility. The hot tubs are set amongst native plants, boulders and a stream. The soak in the hot tubs will leave you totally relaxed and you can also get delicious coffee, beer and cider at their bar and cafe.
Photo: Secret Spot
Te Auheke Track Cascade Falls
Located in Lake Okatina, Te Auheke Track Cascade Falls is a short 40 minute loop track. It takes you to a moss covered 10 metre high cliff covered in a multitude of beautiful mini cascading waterfall surrounded by lush native forest. At night this walk turns into a glowworm adventure with thousands of twinkling lights shining form the moss cliffs.
How to get there: Travel to the Lake Okataina Scenic Reserve, about 30 minutes from Rotorua city centre. The track starts at the back of the field behind the Outdoor Education Centre - Get directions here.
Mount Ngongotaha Nature Loop
Our last pick for your Rotorua adventure is The Mount Ngongotaha Nature Loop. The track winds its way around an ancient volcanic dome and passes through bush draped in moss. There’s also an impressive 40m tall rata tree with a viewing platform just 10 minutes into the track.
How to get there: Just 10 minutes out of town at the bottom of Paradise Valley Road, you'll find a car park on your right at the Violet Bonnington Reserve - Get directions here.
Photo: Mount Ngongotaha Nature Loop
We hope this has given you some inspiration for your long weekend - we would love to see you on your Rotorua adventure!
-Santraea and Cam