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.

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. Check out the YHA member discount!

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. YHA guest discounts available when you book at YHA Rotorua.

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 - One of the top 10 spas in the world, this is the ultimate relaxation spot complete 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. Check out the YHA member discount.

Mitai Maori Village - You guessed it! YHA guests get a discount when booking at our reception.

Tamaki Maori Village


Walking and Mountain Biking

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

Read more about Mountain biking in NZ 

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


Redwoods Forest

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.



Canopy Tours - this is not your average ziplining experience! Learn about their conservation efforts under the canopy of native New Zealand forest, then challenge your fears by soaring above it. Talk to our reception about how you can grab a member discount.


 - jump in a giant inflatable ball (optional: filled with water!) and roll down a hill. Sounds fun! 20% off for YHA members.

Skyline Luge & Gondola - after a scenic gondola ride up the hill, try luging, zipling, or a skyswing to get your pulse racing. Special deals at YHA reception.

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.

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

Velocity Valley

More Recommended YHA Hostels

YHA Rotorua Hostel Entrance next to Kuirau Park view more

YHA Rotorua

YHA Rotorua offers accommodation with shared facilities for families, groups and backpackers opposite geothermal park Kuirau Park. Free parking, full kitchen, large shared lounge.

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 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!

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