Book Now
YHA Rotorua gerothermal steam offset

20 Activities to Keep You Busy in Rotorua

Rotorua is well known for it's geothermal wonders and adrenaline-pumping activities, but did you know it's also a haven for mountain biking? Check out some of our top activity picks.

North Island
Family
Nature
Walking and Hiking
Adrenaline
On the Water
Geothermal Wonders

Kuirau Park - a minute's walk from YHA Rotorua, this park in the middle of town has steam vents, bubbling mud pools, and even hot pools to soak your feet in, all for free!


Sulphur Point - an easy walk from Government Gardens, this bird sanctuary is also a great place to observe sulphur vents right on the lake's edge.


Te Puia - home of the famous Pohutu Geyser and center for Maori cultural experiences. YHA members get 10% off entry when you book at reception.


Waimangu Volcanic Valley - walk through the valley for a variety of different geothermal features. 10% off self-guided walks for YHA members.


Wai O Tapu - A large geyser named Lady Knox lives here, as well as the well-photographed Champagne Pool.


Kerosene Creek and "Secret Spot" - each around 20 minutes drive from town, these are free natural hot water springs you can soak in. Ask our team to point you in the right direction!


Polynesian Spa - the ultimate relaxation spot with lakeside views.


Hell's Gate - One part geothermal park, one part hot springs and mud baths. Sound good to us!

Te Pohutu geyser at Te Puia

 

Maori Culture Experiences

Tamaki Maori Village - Discover Maori art, traditions, rituals, and food. Book at YHA reception for a special rate!


Te Puia - Learn about Maori art, architecture, food, and culture. YHA members get 10% off entry when you book at reception.


Mitai Maori Village - complimentary beverage for YHA members when booking through reception!

Tamaki Maori Village

 

Redwoods Forest

Walking and Mountain Biking

Whakarewarewa Redwoods Forest - full of excellent walking and MTB trails and accessible by bike from YHA Rotorua.


Skyline Gravity Bike Park - take the Gondola to the top, enjoy a downhill mountain bike run, rinse and repeat!


Tarawera Trail - a 15km walking track around Lake Tarawera towards Hot Water Beach

YHA Rotorua also has some bikes available to hire. Check out our article on mountain biking:  Read more 

 

Lakes and Watersports

Rafting - There are heaps of local rafting companies to choose from, offering a variety of grades depending on your adrenaline tolerance!


Boating - With 20 lakes to choose from, boaties, jetskiiers, biscuiters and the like can get their kicks. Trout fishing is also a popular past-time.


Paddling - Kayak and paddle board rental can help you enjoy the lakes sans motor.

 

Adrenaline

Velocity Valley - try free-fall machines, jet-boating, bungy, swoop and more! YHA member discount available.


Off Road NZ - Karting and 4WD adventure activities. 10% off for YHA members.


OGO/Zorb - jump in a giant inflatable ball (optional: filled with water!) and roll down a hill. Sounds fun!


Skyline - try luging, zipling, or a skyswing to get your pulse racing.

Book all of these and more through our reception at YHA Rotorua!

Velocity Valley

Related Hostels

YHA Rotorua whole exterior building view more

YHA Rotorua

Located near a natural geothermal site, shops, restaurants and Lake Rotorua, this purpose-built backpacker hostel offers rooms for all types of travellers and spacious communal facilities.

Find out more

YHA Taupo entrance to the hostel view more

YHA Taupo

Modernised, stylised and positive vibes; this backpacker hostel has what you need for a great stay in Taupo, providing views from the balcony of New Zealand's largest lake.

Find out more

YHA Waitomo Juno Hall view more

YHA Waitomo

A working farm with native bush as its backdrop, YHA Waitomo offers an authentic rural Kiwi experience right next to the famous Waitomo Caves.

Find out more

related stories

rotorua rafters about to get hit by a wave
Adrenaline Activities

While Queenstown gets all the glory for being New Zealand’s adrenaline capital, we know a few more hotspots to suit your mood and adrenaline tolerance!

Read more

yha christchurch cyclist couple looking over lyttleton in the port hills
Top 7 Mountain Biking Towns in New Zealand

Whether you're an avid downhill mountain biker or trail rider, our 35+ hostels have got you covered when it comes to hanging up your helmet at the end of the ride.

Read more


YHA rotorua lake rotorua side wall at dusk
Central North Road Trip

We've put together the ultimate Central Plateau road trip to show just how much cool stuff is packed into the area!

Read more

YHA wellington boatsheds on the wellington waterfront
Top 5 Must-Do Activities in Wellington

As one of the most central hostels in town, our YHA Wellington team pride themselves on being well-placed to explore and offer tips about this cool little capital. Check out some of our top picks!

Read more