Top 7 Must-Do Activities 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 must-do activities.
1. Geothermal Wonders
This will come as no surprise to those acquainted with the town's reputation for being a bit whiffy at times, but we promise it's absolutely worth braving the sulphurous scent to explore the weird and wonderful geological features that are abundant in and around Rotorua. There are so many, we've even picked our Top 9 Geothermal Hostspots to Explore In Rotorua.
2. Maori Cultural Experiences
Rotorua is also famous for having an awesome array of Maori cultural experiences that include traditional art, architecture, performance, food, and more! You'd be remiss not to visit one of the amazing operators that offer a YHA member or guest discount like Tamaki Maori Village, Te Puia, and Mitai Maori Village - we highly recommend chatting to our reception staff to see which experience suits you best and grab a deal while you're at it!
3. On Ya Bike
This town competes for the title of mountain biking capital of New Zealand (check out the other contenders here), so it should be no surprise there are some top notch MTB spots easily accessible from town. Try the Whakarewarewa Redwoods Forest (details below), or the 15km Tarawera Trail which winds around the edge of Lake Tarawera towards Hot Water Beach. Or for more of park experience, spring for a Gondola to the top and experience the Skyline Gravity Bike Park, home to some pretty epic mountain biking events in Rotorua each year.
4. Tree Hugger
Even if you're not into biking, the Whakarewarewa Redwoods Forest is worth a visit. It's full of excellent walking trails winding through these majestic giants so you can take a leisurely stroll - you might even come across people riding horses or running with their doggos. Alternatively, you can experience the forest from above the ground with the beautiful Rotorua Treewalk - they've even got a night option which is all lit up for your viewing pleasure.
5. On The Water
With aqua aplenty nearby, you'd be silly not to get out on the water! Choose one of the 20 different lakes for your choice of boating, jetskiing, biscuiting, kayaking, paddle-boarding and more. Trout fishing is popular too! Rotorua is also known as a rafting hotspot, with plenty of local companies and a variety of grades depending on your adrenaline tolerance.
6. Conquer the Canopy
Canopy Tours is not your average ziplining experience! This eco-adventure features platforms, swing bridges, and yes, ziplines suspended high above ancient bush. Learn about their conservation efforts under the canopy of native New Zealand forest, then challenge your fears by soaring above it. There's a reason this attraction wins awards. Talk to our reception about how you can grab a discount.
7. Get Ya Heart Racing
This town rivals Queenstown for getting your adrenaline fix! Try one of these on for size:
- Jump in a giant inflatable ball (optional: filled with water!) and roll down a hill with Zorb. 20% off for YHA members.
- After a scenic gondola ride up the hill, try luging, zipling, or a skyswing to get your pulse racing at Skyline Luge & Gondola. Special deals at YHA reception.
- Get a YHA member discount at Velocity Valley to try free-fall machines, jet-boating, bungy, swoop and more!
- Try Karting and 4WD adventure activities at Off Road NZ with 10% off for YHA members.
Our helpful team at YHA Rotorua can help you book all of these activities and more. Get in touch or chat to them on arrival to plan your trip!
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.
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.
A working farm with native bush as its backdrop, YHA Waitomo offers an authentic rural Kiwi experience right next to the famous Waitomo Caves.
Rotorua's Best Geothermal Spots
Rotorua is known as a haven for weird and wonderful geothermal activity, and we've got the inside word on the best places to see geysers, mud pools, and soak in natural hot springs!
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!
Top Mountain Biking Towns in New Zealand
Whether you're an avid downhill mountain biker or trail rider, our 35+ hostels have you covered when it comes to hanging up your helmet at the end of the ride. Check out our list, from North to South!
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!
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!
7 Surprisingly Instagrammable Spots in Greater Auckland
In a land of stunningly photogenic beauty, what does New Zealand's biggest city have to offer? It turns out, plenty of 'grammable spots to go around.