48 Hours in Rotorua

New Zealand/Aotearoa’s North Island is full of geothermal wonders, and Rotorua is at the heart of it. With bubbling mud pools, steamy geysers and soothing hot springs, step into this lively township, positioned at the base of Lake Rotorua/Te Rotorua nui ā Kahumatamomoe. Pick up your Hertz rental car from our Rotorua Airport or Rotorua Downtown branch to begin your holiday. 

Indulge in Rotorua 

Celebrate your arrival in Rotorua with breakfast or high tea at The Regent Room. Boasting contemporary New Zealand cuisine in an opulent setting, choose from a continental breakfast, an indulgent full breakfast, or à la carte options to delight your palate. The high tea menu includes sandwiches, savouries and bakery items, alongside a selection of herbal and black teas. Plus, the Regent of Rotorua offers luxury accommodation including executive and boutique suites, right in the city centre. After checking into your accommodation and enjoying breakfast in Rotorua, journey to Te Puia geothermal park, less than a ten-minute drive in your Hertz rental car from the city. Te Puia celebrates the natural wonders of the TeWhakarewarewa Thermal Valley, and with guided tours on offer including performances and stories, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local Māori culture. The Te Rā Guided Experienceshowcases the best of Rotorua’s natural beauty, wonderful wildlife and man-made art. You’ll see the Pōhutu Geyser (the biggest, naturally active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere), native kiwi at the Kiwi Conservation Centre, and traditional carvings made of wood, stone and bone at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute (NZMACI). 

Pōhutu Geyser

Immerse in Rotorua 

After morning exploration through Rotorua’s thermal wonders, settle in for a Hāngī Lunch Buffet at Pātaka Kai Restaurant. Comprising delicious soup, salads and main course selections, indulge in a traditional hāngī meal, where chicken and lamb are steamed underground. If you’re stopping by on a Sunday, the Sunday Brunch Buffet offers homemade breakfast pastries alongside desserts, salads and hot buffet options. Once you’re full and ready for your next activity, it’s time to experience the benefits of Rotorua’s famed hot pools at Polynesian Spa. With private pools and deluxe spas with lake views, it’s the ideal place to fit some relaxation and rejuvenation into your itinerary. The geothermal mineral waters are believed to relieve aches and pains and nourish the skin for a truly unique bathing experience. Whilst here, discover other wellness experiences on offer at the Retreat Day Spa, like body polish and mud therapy, or perhaps take a yoga class to find your zen. Continue your indulgent evening with dinner at award-winning Mokoia Restaurant and embrace the beauty of Rotorua’s night sky as you return to your accommodation for the night.  

te puia thermal pools

Discovering Rotorua 

Begin your second day in Rotorua with breakfast and a coffee from Ciabatta Cafe. Take a seat in the cosy cafe and soak in Rotorua’s energetic atmosphere as you look forward to the day ahead. First on your agenda, step back in time to 1886, when the eruption of Mt Tarawera destroyed the model village of Te Wairoa, and discover the secrets of the Buried Village, just 15 minutes from Rotorua city. Admire age-old relics and artefacts, walk the waterfall trails and see the remains of the archaeological site that is now hidden under forest greens. Hear the stories behind one of New Zealand’s greatest natural disasters as you wander through the Buried Village. After a morning of historic exploration, head south to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland for your daily dose of natural beauty. Geothermal pools cover over 18 sq km, giving you unmatched visions of colour,  while the Lady Knox Geyser performs daily with eruptions of up to 20 metres. Visit the Champagne Pool, Sulphur Cave and Mud Pool—the site of an extinct mud volcano—and immerse yourself in a natural wonder.  

Maori Buried Village

Culinary and Adventure Delights 

For lunch, there is a charming cafe on site at Wai-O-Tapu, with outdoor seating on offer to bask in the unique ambience of the thermal wonderland while you dine. If you feel like eating elsewhere, there are plenty of options in town, with everything from Mexican to Tunisian cuisine on offer. Alongside Rotorua’s geothermal activity and Māori culture, the city is also known for its adrenaline activities, with Skyline Rotorua serving as an epicentre of adventure. If you’re travelling with children, they’ll love the fast-paced luge ride, which sees you winding past native flora and through illuminated tunnels on a go-kart-style toboggan. For a more relaxed experience, take in views of Lake Rotorua and the bustling city from great heights on the Rotorua Gondola. The smooth, five-minute journey up the cableway offers scenery like no other, with a world of activities available once you reach the top. From the Mountain Bike Park to the Zoom Zipline, Skyswing and nature trails, there’s an activity to suit every type of traveller.  

 

As the sun begins to set on your final day in Rotorua, enjoy the views as dusk falls over the city from the Stratosfare Restaurant, reflecting on your unforgettable weekend.