Outdoor Activities in Rotorua
Due to its status as a major tourist stop, Rotorua has lots of organized
recreational activities. You can go sky-diving, white water rafting, hiking,
wind-surfing, take scenic plane and helicopter trips, go trout fishing and take
any one of a number of organized tours.
Trout Pools &
Rotorua has a number of places where you can picnic beside streams
containing trout and where you can view all kinds of wildlife. Fairy Springs
is one such place. There you can feed enormous rainbow trout and view
kiwis and other native birds. Another is Paradise Valley Springs, which has
bush walks, trout and eels, native wildlife and a pride of lions which you can
see fed, and cubs you can feed. Rainbow Springs (see photo) has much
the same as the others, along with tuataras and
a wider range of
There are lots of places for going on bush walks and tramps around Rotorua,
from gentle park areas to rugged terrain. For the more recreational hiker,
there are a number of walks, picnic areas and swimming areas on and around
Whakarewarewa reserve. There are many tour operators who will take you
on rain-forest treks, and several places will drive you to the top of
Mount Tarawera where you can explore the area.
Tongariro National Park is New Zealand's
best known national park, and has many striking qualities. Gerald
Cubitt and Les Molloy, the authors of Wild New Zealand, write that the
park is one of New Zealand's two World Heritage sites, and "is
considered by UNESCO to be of outstanding universal value". The park
showcases the volcanic peaks of Tongariro, Ngaurahoe and Ruapehu (there are 7
main volcanoes in the park.) At 2797 metres, Ruapehu is the
tallest mountain in the North Island.
There is a well established system of huts and tracks in the area, as well as
some short tracks for nature walks and picnics. The
crater lake at the top of
Mount Ruapehu is especially worth the climb. It forms a large, hot water lake
that lets off steam (quite violently at times). If you are not a
super-tramper you can take the ski lifts on the Whakapapa ski field up as far
as they'll go and then trek up to the top from there. In the winter you can
carry your skis up and then ski down across some really beautiful
mountainside. The crater lake is breathtaking,
especially in the winter.
We have it on good authority that jet-boating on the Waikato river is
awesome. The Huka jet people are 45 minutes by car from Rotorua.
Apparently they provide some exhilarating rides on the
river near Huka falls. There are several other companies that will
also fire you at impossible speeds all over the Waikato.
Even if you don't take a jet boat ride, Huka falls is worth a visit,
as are the nearby Aratiatia Rapids.
There are a ton of places you can go white water rafting around
Rotorua, and the rivers are of sufficiently different grades to cater
to all levels of experience. Don't forget a trip to the thermal park
where the lovely warm water will soothed your aching bones.
We don't have any pictures of the river or these activities at
present, but as soon as we do well add them here.