Our Trip to Rotorua New Zealand

Hold your noses! We are in Rotorua! When in New Zealand, North Island, it is almost a crime not to make Rotorua a part of your New Zealand trip. This is one of the most visited places in the North Island.

You can smell Rotorua before entering the town. Every one on the street seems to be a tourist. You can tell by the many New Zealand gift shops in the city and popular attractions. Having said that, this town is energetic and full of life! It is packed with lots of activities and accommodations to suit all kinds of budget. There are many international hotel chains here and tour buses are a common sight too.

Apart from the sulphuric aroma, thermal spas and pools are common sights here. It’s a great opportunity for pure indulgence. Soak those aches away! If you don’t have a car hire in Rotorua, don’t worry. That is because most of the activities offer a pick up and drop off service to/from the Rotorua I-Site.

This is like ‘the landmark’ in Rotorua for visitors!


This is the most well-designed and impressive tourist information centre we have seen in New Zealand. A great place to gather information for every New Zealand tourist. I recommend that you visit the i-Site first if you are uncertain about what to do here.

It pays to chat with one of the consultants to find out more about the activities and adventures. You can also find lots of accommodation brochures here on the North Island.

Make sure you also check out the geothermal attractions here. To name a few:

Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Hidden Valley Orakei Korako Geyserland Resort
Hell’s Gate

It’s probably good enough to visit at least one, or if you have time, two of these geothermal sites. Among these, we pick WaiOtapu. The highlight of this colourful thermal attraction is Lady Knox Geyser which performs at 10.15am daily.

You will also see the spectacular Champagne Pool and the country’s largest mud pool.

lady knox

Lady Knox Geyser


Alex with Clayton at the bubbling Champagne pool.

It is a nice place to visit and we definitely had a better understanding of geothermal activities in this region after the walk through. If you have no time to travel to any of these attractions, go for the free geothermal action at Kuirau Park. It is in town itself, off Pukuatua and Ranolf Street.

There are heaps of outdoor activities to keep every New Zealand tourist busy in Rotorua, New Zealand. Alex booked an adventure with SledgeAbout (He’s a water junkie!). He was all ‘drained’ after sledging in the rapids!


Check out Alex in his gear with guide, Adam. All ready to sledge! While Alex got his adrenalin rush at the rapids, I had my own private moments at this award winning café, ‘Lime’. The roast lamb salad is yummy and the hot chocolate is rich with flavour! Enjoying good food is the highlight of our New Zealand trip!

You are spoilt with choices when it comes to dining in Rotorua in the North Island – from Turkish to Korean, Indonesian to Italian, and a good selection of local fare too. We tried The Pig & Whistle City Bar. This is a local favourite which serves a good range of beers and hearty New Zealand pub-style meals. Atmosphere here is casual and relaxed.



You will probably notice Fat Dog Café which is known for its lively ambience, you can’t miss it by the attractive signage. This busy place is very popular with almost anyone of all ages – food is reasonably cheap, tasty, good selection of counter food and sumptuous meals. Alex raved about the yummy milkshakes! For me, the big portion of salad I ordered was delicious and very filling! The Fat Dog Cafe is good value for money!

What better indulgence than to soak in the spa after a long day! We booked ourselves for a family spa at the Polynesian Spa. This is real fun.

polynesian spa

It is Clayton’s first ‘warm pool’ experience in New Zealand and he absolutely enjoys it! Look at that smile! I enjoyed having my stroll in and around Rotorua town. The Rotorua museum is one place you won’t miss. I simple adore the architecture.



Dusk at Lake Rotorua

Amidst all the adventures, activities and energy in this town, lake Rotorua is great for those seeking some calmness and peace. We head for Lake Taupo after our spa experience. Yes, it’s another wonderful experience in our family trip to New Zealand.

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