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Top Rotorua Outdoor Activities

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Though most commonly associated with steaming sulfur pools, bubbling mud baths, and Maori heritage, Rotorua is also an adventure hub. From easygoing activities to extreme, high-adrenaline excursions, here are a few of the outdoor adventures on offer in this geothermal region of New Zealand’s North Island.

Water Activities
Rotorua is a watery playground, with more than a dozen lakes—collectively known as the Lakes of Rotorua—and several rivers within the region. The white-water rapids of the Rangitaiki, Wairoa, and Kaituna Rivers promise plenty of thrills for rafters. The truly brave can even take the plunge over the 21-foot (7-meter) Tutea Falls in a raft. Alternatively, take an exhilarating spin on a jet boat through the Waikato River’s Tutukau Gorge, or speed across Lake Rotorua to Mokoia Island, a wildlife sanctuary. For gentler water-based adventures, try kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or even a steamboat cruise.

Cave Exploring 
Just a short journey west of Rotorua lies Waitomo, an area known for its network of underground caves, some of which are accessible to the public. Tour Ruakuri Cave to encounter strange limestone formations and subterranean waterfalls, or Aranui Cave, where thousands of stalactites hang from the ceiling. Don’t miss the Glowworm Caves, where thousands of glowworms twinkle like stars in the dark cavern. 

High-Flying Fun
Zipline along cables suspended above the forest canopy, or take to the skies above Lake Rotorua during a parasailing experience that sees you reach heights of up to 400 feet (120 meters). For the ultimate aerial thrill, try a tandem skydive from 15,000 feet (4,572 meters), free-falling for up to 60 seconds before releasing the parachute and floating down to the ground. 

Land Adventures
For adrenaline-fueled thrills at ground-level, Rotorua offers plenty of options. Go off-road during a 4WD safari, either steering yourself along forest and farmland tracks or sitting back and letting a professional driver take the wheel. Alternatively, slow down the pace with a horseback ride through the countryside or roll down hills in a Zorb or OGO (giant inflatable balls). 
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84 results | All Rotorua Tours

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Ziplining Forest Adventure - The Original Canopy Tour Rotorua

Ziplining Forest Adventure - The Original Canopy Tour Rotorua

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This Rotorua zipline tour takes you soaring through a centuries-old forest canopy as you switch between the six zipline cables suspended 72 feet (22 meters) above the ground. Get a bird’s-eye view as two expert guides suit you up with safety equipment and teach you about the forest environment. Bonus: you can later download photos taken of you during your treetops adventure. Round-trip hotel transport is included on this small-group tour, limited to 10 people.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$106.48
From
$106.48

Rotorua Rafting - Kaituna River White Water Rafting

Rotorua Rafting - Kaituna River White Water Rafting

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Go on an adrenaline-filled rafting excursion down the Kaituna River during this 3-hour adventure tour from Rotorua. Here, white-water rapids flow past a subtropical rainforest lining a deep canyon. See stunning waterfalls, including rafting over Tutea Falls, and jump at the opportunity for exhilarating cliff diving. Tour operates winter and summer. Wetsuit, booties and helmet are provided. No experience necessary!
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$75.04
From
$75.04
Taking safety measures

Kaituna River White Water Rafting from Rotorua

Kaituna River White Water Rafting from Rotorua

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This Kaituna River rafting adventure in the Okere Falls Scenic Reserve promises plenty of thrills! With an expert guide at the helm, you’ll paddle through Class 5 white-water rapids of the Kaituna River, including an awesome 21-foot (7-meter) drop down Tutea Falls, the worlds highest commercially rafted waterfall. Accessible to adventurous beginners, this 3-hour tour includes a safety briefing with paddling instruction, all necessary equipment and round-trip hotel transport from Rotorua.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$92.19
From
$92.19

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Ziplining Forest Experience - The Ultimate Canopy Tour Rotorua

Ziplining Forest Experience - The Ultimate Canopy Tour Rotorua

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Experience the vibrant New Zealand bush on this unique, thrilling zipline adventure. Get right up into the otherwise-inaccessible canopy of the Bay of Plenty forest, where native birds like tui, robins and plump kereru make their homes, and zip through the native trees to the forest floor. This small-group adventure is a great way to experience New Zealand’s native forests without working up a sweat or waiting in line forever.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$142.21
From
$142.21

Nocturnal adventure Glow-worm tour

Nocturnal adventure Glow-worm tour

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Even on the cloudiest night, the New Zealand glowworm lights up the darkness in a lucky few spots across the country. This short evening bush-walk departing from Rotorua involves a short drive, a walk through picturesque native bush and the chance to see these increasingly rare creatures. Tack this tour onto the end of a thrilling day in Rotorua instead of hiring a car for an almost two-hour drive west to visit the exceedingly popular Waitomo Caves. This is one of the easiest ways to experience Aotearoa’s unique glowworm habitats.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.55
From
$49.55

Kaituna White-Water Rafting Adventure

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Kaituna White-Water Rafting Adventure

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Challenge yourself against the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall and enjoy outdoor adventure in New Zealand on this 3.5-hour Kaituna white-water rafting adventure from Rotorua. Hop into your raft in the Kahikitea Forest and take to the waves with a guide. During your tour, navigate steep canyons through native forest, and test your nerve over 14 challenging rapids. Splash, paddle and roll through New Zealand’s spectacular scenery and make the most of this North Island outdoor adventure. A full briefing and all safety equipment are included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.53
$85.04
$25.51 savings
From
$59.53
$85.04
$25.51 savings
Taking safety measures

Rotorua Hot Lakes Bike Tour

Rotorua Hot Lakes Bike Tour

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Happy Ewe Cycle Tours is a leisurely 3 hour cycling adventure with no hills and about 45 minutes of cycling time. It is safe to expect a little bit of everything with us, as we use science, nature, culture and history to give an educational and interactive experience highlighting the geothermal wonders within the central city. You will remember this journey as you shoot mud pools with thermometer guns, test the pH levels of hot springs and laugh at the how our guides make science exciting for you. Ranked as the best city cycling activity in New Zealand on TripAdvisor and one of the best activities in the country, this is perfect for couples, families or travellers of any age looking to discover the best of Rotorua.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$52.60
From
$52.60

Zorb Inflatable Ball Ride from Mount Ngongotaha in New Zealand

Zorb Inflatable Ball Ride from Mount Ngongotaha in New Zealand

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While in Rotorua, take a wild and wacky ride in an Outdoor Gravity Orb (OGO). You’ll love ‘orbing’ downhill as you slide around inside an inflatable ball. Choose from three different runs — a straight slope, a multipoint harness or a curvy water ride — and get instruction before enjoying twists and turns. Document the latest thrill with a provided hand-held go pro, and relax between rides in the on-site hot tubs.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$25.01
From
$25.01

Mt Tarawera Volcanic Guided Hike Experience

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Mt Tarawera Volcanic Guided Hike Experience

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Experience the majesty of Mt Tarawera and gain insight into New Zealand’s rich geology on this 4-hour hike from Rotorua. Travel by off-road 4x4 vehicle into the North Island wilderness with a guide. Follow winding hiking trails from the base of Mt Tarawera up to the crater’s edge, and learn all about the mighty volcano’s 1886 eruption. From your vantage point near the crater, admire panoramic views over the geothermal valley of Waimangu. This exciting hiking tour is suited to adventurers of all ages.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$98.71
$125.02
$26.31 savings
From
$98.71
$125.02
$26.31 savings
Taking safety measures

Guided Horse Trekking from Rotorua

Guided Horse Trekking from Rotorua

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Explore the New Zealand countryside on horseback on this 1-hour horse trekking tour from Rotorua. Climb onto your horse and head into the foothills of Mt Ngongotaha with a guide. Follow winding trails over working farmland and through native bush, and admire beautiful views over Lake Rotorua. Stop along the way to capture the views on camera, then descend back through the green paddocks to base. This horse trek is suitable for beginners and experienced riders alike, with horses and ponies to match all riding abilities.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$47.64
From
$47.64

Sunset Kayak Glow Worm Cave Tour

Sunset Kayak Glow Worm Cave Tour

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As the sun sets over the Bay of Plenty, take a kayak into the hidden glow worm caves around the Rotorua Caves on this remarkable after-dark tour. Instead of trying to find your own way out to the caves, take a kayak across the lakes with a guide by your side who can help you navigate the tunnels and keep you on course. Marvel at the clusters of glowing bugs and the way they light up these underground rock formations.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$92.90
From
$92.90

White-Water Sledging Adventure

SPECIAL OFFER

White-Water Sledging Adventure

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Take a scenic excursion through the New Zealand wilderness on this 3-hour white-water sledging adventure from Rotorua. Listen as a guide explains the challenges ahead, then — with your helmet and life vest clipped on — take to the Okere River on your floating sledge. Twist and turn through swirling river rapids, float gracefully along relaxing flats, and admire views over the mighty Kahikatea Forest. This family-friendly tour is suitable for thrill-seekers of all ages and skill levels.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$64.53
$92.19
$27.66 savings
From
$64.53
$92.19
$27.66 savings
Taking safety measures

Tarawera and Rotorua Lakes Eco Tour by Boat with Guide

Tarawera and Rotorua Lakes Eco Tour by Boat with Guide

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Explore the Rotorua lakes district and learn about its history on a 2-hour tour duck boat cruise from Rotorua. Travel on land and by water in the amphibious World War II vehicle, visiting four lakes including Lake Tarawera, located at the foot of Mt Tarawera. Hear about the devastating 1886 eruption of Mt Tarawera and other aspects of local history on this family-friendly tour.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$67.89
From
$67.89
Taking safety measures

Hike New Zealand's finest forest - Whirinaki forest

Hike New Zealand's finest forest - Whirinaki forest

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Explore one of New Zealand’s finest forest trails on this 7-hour hiking tour in the Whirinaki Forest from Rotorua. Travel from your accommodation in Rotorua into the Whirinaki Forest, widely considered among the world’s greatest rainforests. Follow your guide along hiking trails beneath the leafy canopy and marvel at mighty native trees such as ‘kahikatea’, ‘matai’, ‘miro’, ‘rimu’ and ‘totara’. Along the way, discover rich flora and fauna for which the forest is famous, and hear birdsong from the many different species of birds flying among the branches above.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$249.40
From
$249.40

Volcanic Valley Self Guided Walking and Hiking at Waimangu

Volcanic Valley Self Guided Walking and Hiking at Waimangu

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Explore the geothermal landscape of Rotorua at your own pace on this self-guided Waimangu hiking tour. Follow winding hiking trails through Waimangu — the world’s youngest geothermal system — and marvel at the scenery you find. Admire unique geothermal features including Frying Pan Lake, Inferno Crater Lake and Lake Rotomahana, and enjoy breathtaking views over hot springs and steam vents throughout the forest and grasslands. Along the way, gain insight into the geothermal activity from your guide sheet and watch for the native plant and animal life for which Waimangu is famous. Enjoy a much needed rest and take advantage of the shuttle bus to return you to the start at the end of your hike.
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  • 1 day
  • Free Cancellation
From
$30.01
From
$30.01

Rotorua Duck Boat Guided City and Lakes Tour

Rotorua Duck Boat Guided City and Lakes Tour

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Discover Rotorua on a 1.5-hour duck tour. This sightseeing adventure takes you aboard a World War II amphibious vehicle — able to travel on land and water. Start with a city tour past Government Gardens, the Blue Baths and more before splashing down into Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Lake Okareka. Enjoy family fun along the way with a provided duck caller, and listen to live commentary about Rotorua’s history and local landmarks.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$53.60
From
$53.60

Off-Road 4WD Buggy Adventure from Rotorua

Off-Road 4WD Buggy Adventure from Rotorua

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Ride along dirt tracks and trails on a 30-minute or 1-hour 4WD adventure in Rotorua, and experience New Zealand off-roading. You’ll explore rolling farmland and scenic native forests with an professional guide who will drive you to a viewpoint overlooking Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island. This small-group 4WD tour is limited to five participants per buggy.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$44.98
From
$44.98

4WD Bush Safari at Off Road NZ

4WD Bush Safari at Off Road NZ

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Get out of your comfort zone on this challenging Bush Safari from Rotorua. This self-drive experience by 4-passenger 4WD vehicle takes you over steep climbs and descents, with guided instruction via two-way radio as you navigate waterfalls, lunges and tunnels. Upgrade to include a 4x4 Monster Thrill Ride or Raceline Karting, or do all three. Safety briefing and equipment are provided.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.61
From
$78.61
Taking safety measures

Rotorua Twilight Stand-Up Paddleboard Tour and Glow Worm Experience

Rotorua Twilight Stand-Up Paddleboard Tour and Glow Worm Experience

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Steer a stand-up paddleboard through a spectacular display of glow worms on a twilight tour of Lake Rotorua glow worm caves and rock formations. Paddling Lake Rotorua at dusk means the perfect light to see the glow worms at their sparkling, shining best, and you’ll watch the first stars appear over the lake as you return to shore.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$90.71
From
$90.71

Maori Hangi and Cultural Performance with 4WD Buggy Adventure in Rotorua

Maori Hangi and Cultural Performance with 4WD Buggy Adventure in Rotorua

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This action-packed Rotorua tour will give you access to incredible outdoor beauty, teach you about Maori culture, and allow you to taste a delicious Hangi feast too. By going on a guided 4WD tour—you’ll be able to visit remote places you wouldn’t discover alone and spot native wildlife. Conveniently, all entrance tickets are included, and you’ll enjoy Maori performances at Maori Village. When you’ve worked up an appetite, you’ll be treated to a delicious Hangi feast served from a buffet.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$145.60
From
$145.60

Half-Day Small-Group Lake Tour in Rotorua

Half-Day Small-Group Lake Tour in Rotorua

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Rotorua’s volcanic history has created a landscape of lakes. See some of the most spectacular ones on this half day tour, traveling in a small group with a knowledgeable guide. Exercise your legs with a bushwalk, watch springs bubble, and learn about the natural processes which have shaped this land of fire and water.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$64.79
From
$64.79

Monster 4X4 Thrill Ride at Off Road NZ

Monster 4X4 Thrill Ride at Off Road NZ

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Experience the Rotorua Monster 4x4 Thrill Ride, an adventure inside an all-terrain vehicle, purpose-built with a roll cage. With an expert driver at the wheel, you’ll climb and descend nearly vertical slopes and tilt over to an angle guaranteed to get your heart racing. Upgrade to include a 4WD Bush Safari or Raceline Karting, or do all three. Safety briefing and gear are provided.
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  • 10 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$41.45
From
$41.45
Taking safety measures

Te Puia Day Pass - Geysers, Mud Pools, Kiwi, Culture, History & more

Te Puia Day Pass - Geysers, Mud Pools, Kiwi, Culture, History & more

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Gain entry to the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute at Te Puia on a guided tour of this geothermal hot spot. Take a walking path up to steaming vents, boiling mud pools and erupting Pohutu Geyser at Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley; observe the emblematic kiwi bird; and discover Maori traditions at the cultural center. Upgrade to include a cultural performance of Maori song and dance, including the warlike ‘haka.’ Showtimes are available several times a day during admittance.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$32.16
From
$32.16

Lake Rotoiti Evening Kayak Tour including Hot Springs, Glowworm Caves and BBQ Dinner

Lake Rotoiti Evening Kayak Tour including Hot Springs, Glowworm Caves and BBQ Dinner

star-4.5
Spend a magical evening kayaking on Lake Rotoiti, where you visit glowworm caves and have plenty of time to soak in natural hot springs before a barbecue picnic dinner. Paddle with an expert guide into lakeside caves only accessed by boat to see glowworms and crayfish, then revel in the sunset reflected on the tranquil waters. Instruction, equipment and round-trip hotel transport from Rotorua are all included.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$135.06
From
$135.06
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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