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Top family activities to do in Rotorua

Rotorua is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, as well as showcasing their fascinating Māori culture.

The city is surrounded by mountains, rivers, native forests and 18 fresh water lakes, making it the perfect place to reconnect with nature. Rotorua offers a range of attractions and experiences for the whole family to enjoy. From epic biking trails, wild life experiences and amazing adventure activities such as the luge. Rotorua has it all.

Below are some of the best activities we had the pleasure to experience...

The Maori Village

The Maori Village experience was incredible and highly recommended when visiting New Zealand. We loved learning all about their culture and finding out more about how New Zealand was first discovered.

We explored the Tamaki Maori Village where we got to experience an evening of ceremonial ritual, powerful cultural performance, storytelling & a hangi feasting. The village comes alive with sights, sounds & activities including the haka, poi, tattooing, weaving, carving and arts of warrior training. You will then witness your food being cooked from the hangi pit where baskets of food are cooked beneath the ground on hot stones. Before you get to enjoy the traditional hangi buffet feast, a powerful cultural performance will be given sharing what music, singing and dancing looked like in a Maori Village.

Hell's Gate

Hell's Gate is one of New Zealand's only geothermal mud bath complex where visitors can immerse themselves in the silky smooth warm geothermal mud and sulphurous waters of the Hell's Gate Geothermal Reserve that have been used by the Maori for more than 700 years for healing and wellbeing. A unique iconic New Zealand visitor experience.

This was a fantastic experience, if your child loves muddy puddles as much as my son they will love the mud baths.

You can also take part in a self-guided interactive geothermal walk where you are surrounded by native flora and home to the Kakahi Falls. 

Top Tip: If experiencing the sulphurous waters with children, make sure they are sensible enough to not splash around. If the water gets in their mouth of eyes it wont be a nice experience.

The Skyline Rotorua

The Skyline Rotorua complex offers a whole day's worth of fun! Where you can take a scenic Gondola ride to experience the Luge, Mountain Bike Park, Stargazing, Restaurant, Zipline and much much more....

Adventure off to the Luge and zip off with friends or family to race your way down the hill surrounded by stunning views. The part go-cart, part toboggan is gravity fuelled with full rider control over speed and direction. The Luge is great for any age and small children can ride with adults. Fun for the whole family.

Kuirau Park

Take a walk and discover the steaming, hissing and bubbling geothermal activity in this informal public park located right next to Rotorua's city centre. We loved that Kuirau Park is free to the public and has many walking paths to steam vents, mud pits and a bridge that crosses over a large steam vent. There is also an area where you can sit and soak your feet in the mineral water. 

Rotorua Rail Cruising

If your children like trains they will certainly like the Rotorua Rail Cruising. This experience wil take you on an adventures along railway lines in your own powered self-drive, 4-seat railway vehicle called the RailCruiser. While cruising along at 20km, you can listen to the audio tour and discover a unique piece of New Zealand railway history.

It was a very exciting adventure however, we found it to be quite long. It takes roughly an hour for the whole trip so keep this in mind when considering little ones.

Motion Entertainment

Motion Entertainment is New Zealand's No.1 Entertainment Mall. If you are looking for laughter, excitement, adventure and fun all under one roof than Motion Entertainment is a ‘must do’ on your visit to Rotorua. 

Motion Entertainment has so much to offer such as: laser tag, arcades, an indoor trampoline park, a big soft play area, mini golf, bowling, plus lots of escape rooms to choose from including some for kids. We love our escape rooms and we try to find one on every country we visit, the toy store escape room was by far the best escape room we have encountered definitely a place to visit while in Rotorua.

The Redwoods Forest

The Redwoods Forest is one of Rotorua’s most spectacular natural assets and one of the city’s greatest treasures. Over 5600 hectares of forest awaits for you to enjoy and explore at your leisure. If you love the outdoors and want to experience nature at its best this area is definitely for you!

The forest is well known for its superb mountain biking, walking tracks and for the magnificent stand of Californian Coast Redwoods.

There is just so much to do in Rotorua for the whole family to enjoy. These are just our top places we have experienced but I am certain you can find many other places to experience and enjoy while here.

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