Rotorua, New Zealand Two Days- What to do?

Staying in Rotorua was such a fun and interesting place to visit during our trip to New Zealand. Located centrally with easy access to several top attractions, it made it the perfect place to stay! Plus the amount of New Zealand culture and the unique geothermal activity makes it a must do place when traveling to New Zealand. Below you will find a breakdown of all the places we visit during our stay in Rotorua!

Hobbiton

We scheduled a Hobbiton tour at 10 am, which required a 45-minute drive from Rotorua. It’s crucial to book tickets well in advance due to its immense popularity. Although we tried booking breakfast or dinner feasts a month ahead, they were fully reserved. If you’re interested in these options, we highly recommend booking them months in advance.
Nevertheless, we still enjoyed a fantastic tour of Hobbiton. Whether you’re a fervent Lord of the Rings fan or not, the charming tiny hobbit houses and insights into the film’s production are captivating. The tour also includes a visit to “The Green Dragon Inn” for a complimentary beer and an opportunity to purchase bakery treats. We savored our beers with delicious scones. Despite ongoing construction to enhance the experience, it truly feels like stepping into another world.
As of this post, there was no access to the interior of the Hobbit homes, but this feature will be available soon, promising an even more enchanting experience.

Click Here to book hobbitontours

Volcanic Hills Winery

Following our Hobbiton adventure, we returned to Rotorua for lunch. We decided to go to the Skyline Gondola, a renowned attraction in Rotorua offering a plethora of activities, including luge rides, mountain biking, ziplining, gondola rides, and more. While we opted for the gondola ride to the summit to enjoy lunch and to drink some wine at the Volcanic Hill Winery, it’s undoubtedly a cool place to spend an entire day.

Volcanic Hill Winery was a perfect spot for our afternoon hangout. The staff were exceptionally friendly, the wine was delightfully refreshing, and the panoramic views of Rotorua were simply breathtaking!

Volcanic Hills Winery

Skyline Rotorua

 

Redwood Tree Walk

We found the Redwood Tree Walk by accident and so glad we did. Our Airbnb was located near the Redwoods so we decided to check them out not realizing that there was this incredible walk you can take across suspended bridges through the Redwoods! We were there just before sundown and were able to watch the Redwoods light up as they have cool light features throughout the Redwoods at night. Would highly recommend doing the night walk.

Redwoods Treewalk

 

Katoa Jetboat Ride

On the following day, we had a scheduled Jetboat and hot spring tour. Since our trip occurred during New Zealand’s winter, the boat tour wasn’t crowded. A couple of hours before our tour, we received a call informing us that there weren’t enough people booked for the hot spring part of the tour. They kindly offered us the option to proceed with the Jet Boat tour and receive a voucher for the Polynesian Spa or a partial refund. We opted for the voucher, and we’re extremely pleased with our choice (we’ll discuss that shortly).

The Jet Boat tour was exhilarating but undeniably chilly. We took a ride on Rotorua Lake and learned some interesting history about Rotorua along the way. The Jet Boat sped along at a fast pace and did thrilling 360-degree spins. It may not be the ideal choice in winter due to the cold weather, but with proper layers and the provided waterproof jackets, we managed to stay warm and dry. The Katoa staff were exceptionally friendly, and we wholeheartedly recommend booking a Jet Boat tour with them.

Click here to book Katoa Jetboat

Polynesian Spa

Following our Jet Boat adventure, we redeemed our vouchers at the Polynesian Spa and indulged in a leisurely afternoon relaxing in their geothermal pools. This was our first experience with geothermal pools, and it turned out to be one of the most serene and soothing activities we’ve ever encountered.

The Polynesian Spa offers various pool options and spa packages. Our voucher allowed us access to the family-friendly pool area, and despite some other visitors, it never felt excessively crowded. As we lounged in the pools, we marveled at the breathtaking views of the lake. The spa featured several pools with different temperatures, allowing us to choose the perfect warmth for our comfort. Surprisingly, even on a cool winter day, the pools were so wonderfully warm and relaxing that being in swimsuits outside was no issue. The spa also provided shower and changing facilities, and they even had swimsuit rentals for those who didn’t bring their own.

We genuinely cannot recommend this place enough. After our time in the geothermal pools, our bodies were so relaxed that we ended up taking the best nap of our lives – it was an experience worth savoring!

Polynesian Spa

Mitai Maori Village

Our nap had to be cut short though as we had dinner reservations at Mitai Maori Village. It was such a cool experience and great place to learn about the history of New Zealand and the Maori people. You get to immerse yourself in the culture with a show that shows the cultural dances that involve fire, music, and songs. Then you get to enjoy traditional hangi cooking. It truly was a fascinating experience, and one of the best places to experience the history and culture of New Zealand.

Click here to reserve Mitai Maori

You also should add Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland to your itinerary, we talked about this in our “Adventure Day One” Post

There is so much to do and see in Rotorua and it is definitely a must stop on any New Zealand Adventure. Send us a message if you have any questions while planning your trip- we are happy to answer any questions!

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