Rotorua can create the perfect winter family getaway destination. Here are some great ideas for a fun two-day escape.
Check into your accommodation (we suggest booking the family studio unit at Aura Accommodation, conveniently located along the edge of town, or All Seasons Holiday Park, which was voted New Zealand’s Most Hospitable Holiday Park) and leave the baggage behind, both literally and metaphorically. You’re on Rotorua time now, which means fun, nature, hot pools and more.
Grab your swim gear and head to ZORB to zoom down the side of Mt Ngongotaha in a clear, giant, inflated ball. ZORB balls can fit up to three people, and you’ve got four tracks to try!
Head down the road a bit to Skyline Rotorua, where a gondola ride takes you up the side of Mt Ngongotaha so you and the family can race downhill on a Rotorua invention called the Luge. There’s also the Skyswing, Zoom Ziplines, Jelly Belly Museum and more. Fill hungry tummies up there at the Market Kitchen Café or the award-winning buffet at Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar.
There’s no need to leave the city to check out a natural boiling, bubbling and steaming geothermal park. Just a few minutes’ drive from the city centre, you’ll find Te Puia or Whakarewarewa Māori Village – where the earth is alive with energy and the air is filled with story and lore!
When it comes time for dinner, there’s a high chance you’ll find something for everyone in one spot called Eat Streat. This covered, colourful, and thermally heated dining block offers about a dozen eateries, plus the best ice-cream parlour in New Zealand, Lady Janes!
Eggs bene, Belgium waffles, big Kiwi breakfasts and more from Arts Village Café (also known as AVC) will start your day right. While you wait for brekky to be served, send the kids out the back to run around the lush lawns while you peruse the art-covered walls.
Head over to Rotorua Duck Tours for a super-fun, family-friendly tour via New Zealand’s only World War II amphibian vehicle that takes you over land and splashing down into lakes to see and learn about some of Rotorua’s most spectacular scenery. Duck Tours’ guides have a certain knack for making history and geography fun, too, keeping everyone entertained.
If cruising on the water whets your appetite for getting in the water, this is where your togs will be in play again at Polynesian Spa. Here, in the centre of town, several hot pools await, including a family pool where the kids can make a splash of their own.
Visiting the beautiful Whakarewarewa Forest is a must-do. Also known as “the Redwoods”, this 55,000-hectare public park is known for the network of world-class walking and mountain biking tracks among magnificent, towering Californian redwoods (as tall as 75 metres!) and other species.
Visit with us in Rotorua, where winter feels good!