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Rotorua Complete Guide

In our ‘Complete Guide’ series, we’re going to be visiting some of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations and getting the inside track from our GO Explore followers on the best places to stay, eat, drink, sunbathe and more. Instead of just finding out what the guidebooks tell you, find out what the locals and the travellers think when it comes to the best place to get an ice cream, the best fish and chips and the best cocktail you’ll ever taste!

The next in our series of Complete Guides takes us to Rotorua on the North Island, just a short three hour drive from Auckland and often referred to as New Zealand geothermal capital. In addition to all the geothermal activities down in Rotorua, it’s also the home to some of New Zealand’s best adventure activities and plays host to some of the world’s biggest mountain biking events. Once you get past the smell (it’s a bit pongy thanks to all the sulphur) this place has a lot to offer and is one of the most popular destinations for international visitors as well as Kiwi holidaymakers. Let’s find out a bit more about New Zealand’s geothermal capital.

Best accommodation in Rotorua

The first thing for most people when they are arranging any trip is to sort out where you are going to stay. Rotorua is definitely not short on options when it comes to accommodation and whether you are looking for something cheap and cheerful or something a bit more up market, Rotorua has all the bases covered. Fenton Street is accommodation central in Rotorua with hotels and motels lining the street with plenty of options to pick from. Being based in this geothermal hotspot, many of the hotels offer heated pools and hot tubs, all powered by nature. Let’s take a look at some of the best to fit all budgets.

Best places to eat out in Rotorua

Rotorua is not short on options when it comes to eating out either. Whether you are in the mood for a fancy dinner or pub grub, the city is packed full of great options. Tutanekai Street is often referred to as eat street and this is where you will find a lot of the city’s best restaurants and bars, all packed together in a pedestrianised area making for a fantastic atmosphere any night of the week. Here are some of our GO Explorers favourite places to grab a bit to eat in Rotorua:

Best Geothermal Attractions in Rotorua

Whilst we are going to talk about the best activities in Rotorua in more depth, so many of them focus around geothermal attractions so we wanted to present our list of the top 10 geothermal attractions in Rotorua and where you can find them.

Best activities in Rotorua

As well as the top 10 geothermal activities above, there are plenty of other activities to sink your teeth into in Rotorua whether it’s a fabulous cultural experience at Tamaki Maori Village, a scenic helicopter flight or maybe chucking yourself down a hillside in a giant inflatable ball. We take a look at some of the favourite activities from our GO Explore fans as well as some great activities where you can save money with your GO Play card if you rent your car with GO Rentals.

Trip Planner

  • 7

    Auckland to Rotorua Round Trip – 7 days

    Driving Tour

    Hooray! You’ve got a week off and you’ve decided to do a tour of the upper North Island heading off from Auckland. We absolutely love this particular road trip so hopefully we have got loads of great tips for you to make this a week to remember.

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  • 10

    Auckland to Napier Round Trip – 10 days

    Driving Tour

    Well this is pretty exciting – a 10 day holiday and plans for a road trip around the upper and mid North Island. We have done a lot of travelling on those roads and hope we have pulled together a really great itinerary for you – it includes some

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  • 3

    Auckland to Rotorua Round Trip – 3 days

    Driving Tour

    Well this is exciting news – you’ve got three days off and you’re planning a trip from Auckland to Rotorua. Rotorua is a bubbling geothermal wonderland and there is lots to see and do once you get down there so there’s really no time to waste

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