Rotorua, Family Activities

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  • Ages 8+

    Velocity Valley - Shweeb

    Velocity Valley is home to the innovative Shweeb – the extremely fun invention that can best be described as a bicycle in a bubble! It consists of a see-through pod – suspended under a 200 metre long monorail track – which is powered solely by your pedalling effort as you lay back in a comfortable seat.

    The Shweeb riding experience gives you the chance to compete against family, friends or even the clock, over a 600 metre race (three laps). You have seven gears to work through, which gives you the potential to reach up to 50 kilometres per hour and achieve 60 degree swings around the bends in the challenging and exciting track.

    As you quickly weave your way around the monorail track, you will experience terrific farmland scenery, as well as views of Velocity Valley's other interesting and unique attractions.

    Minimum height 1.3m

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  • Ages 5+

    Rangitata Family River Rafting: Grade 2

    Are you looking for a Rotorua rafting adventure with a mix of scenery and gentle rapids? The Grade 2 Rangitaiki river rafting is the perfect choice! Join River Rats Rotorua for an unforgettable journey down the lower Rangitaiki River, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and Grade 2 rolling rapids. Suitable for the whole family, aged five years and above!

    River Rats Rotorua is renowned for providing top-notch rafting experiences, and the Grade 2 Rangitaiki river rafting trip is no exception. Whether you're a first-time rafter or travelling with the family, this activity promises excitement and fun for everyone. The professional River Rats Rotorua rafting guides will make you feel confident and safe as you navigate this section of the Rangitaiki River.

    Rangitaiki River Rafting offers a blend of fun rapids and beautiful scenery, including native forest, gushing waterfalls and a dramatic rock gorge. As you start off from the base of Aniwhenua Falls, your guide will provide clear instructions on how to tackle the gentle rolling rapids, as well as providing informative and entertaining commentary along the way. During the tour, you will stop off to enjoy a delicious picnic-style lunch surrounded by this picturesque landscape.

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  • Ages 10+

    Velocity Valley - 43m Bungy

    Looking down from a height of 43 metres, you realise that the time has come to jump. In order to build up courage, you look around and take a deep breath. You are ready by the time you hear the experienced, reassuring jumpmaster yell ‘three, two, one… BUNGY!’

    Velocity Valley – which holds host to Rotorua Bungy – is located only 10km from Rotorua city and is easily reached by car or bus. Rotorua bungy offers solo and tandem jump from 43 metres high, so you can brave it alone or terrify a friend at the same time. A congratulatory certificate is awarded to every jumper upon completion of their jump.

    Minimum age 10, minimum weight 35kg.

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  • Ages 8+

    Mountain Biking - Redwood Forest

    Based out of the Mountain Bike Rotorua HQ located at the edge of the world famous Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest MTB park, our guides stand ready to get you out and explore the most extensive mountain bike trail network in the country.  Our beloved forest has options for all experience levels and our professional guides are well versed at catering to all comers - from beginner right through to elite riders.  

    The bikes you will use on your Redwood Forest mountain biking tour will be the latest model premium full-suspension, and these will be adjusted to your needs on the day, ensuring total comfort and impeccable safety during your ride. Your mountain biking tour will be customised by your guide on the day to deliver to your group's level of experience so that you all have the most enjoyable time possible.

    Family groups and kids welcome (minimum age 8 years).  

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  • Ages 10+

    Ziplining - Ultimate Canopy Tour

    If you want to experience the thrill of flying through the incredible surrounds of native New Zealand forest, then Rotorua Canopy Tours can provide you just that.

    The Ultimate Tour is bigger, faster and longer than The Original Tour. The 3.5 hour experience consists of 1200m of ziplines, an 18m abseil, swingbridges, a 400m long zipline, a 50m high cliff walk and spiral staircases! This is the ultimate way to explore the treetops and the breathtaking lake views.

    Relive the sounds, sights and smells of a time before men left their indelible imprint upon nature. This is New Zealand in all of its glory and you will never forget it!  Minimum age 10 years.

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  • Rotorua Scenic Flights - Volcanic Air

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  • Waimangu Volcanic Valley

    Come visit the world's youngest geothermal system - steaming volcanic crater lakes, the world's largest hot water spring, rare and unusual thermal plants and amazing thermal activity! This incredible valley has been rated the No.1 geothermal attraction in Rotorua. Follow our interactive map and take an easy, self-guided walk through the valley, discovering Frying Pan Lake, and the dramatic Inferno Crater! Guided tours and boat cruise on the geothermal Lake Rotomahana also available. Suitable for all ages.

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  • Ages 10+

    Velocity Valley – Activity Package

    With the choice of these activitiy packages, you can pick whatever adventure rides work for you, including the Swoop, Agrojet, Freefall Xtreme the Schweeb Race Thru Space and also Rotorua Bungy. All held in the "adventure playground" region of Rotorua, these give great thrill rides each offer a different sensation, yet all of them are focused on one thing - providing pure fun! Zoom across the waters aboard the Agrojet, take the plunge with the Rotorua Bungee, become a human pendulum on the Swoop body swing, soar in the first wind tunnel in the Southern Hemisphere the Freefall Xtreme, and experience the uniqueness that can only be described in a single word - Shweeb.

    • A choice of packages allowing you to experience the Agrojet, Freefall Extreme, Swop, Shweeb Racer or the Rotorua Bungy activities
    • Complimentary scheduled transfers twice daily from the Rotorua CBD

     

     

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  • Rotorua Duck Tours

    Explore the rich and scenic history of Rotorua in a 'duck' amphibious vehicle. The WW11 Military landing craft is great fun, and with the famous 'conducktor', you'll have the time of your life exploring the many lakes and estuaries of Rotorua.

    Rotorua City & Lakes Tour
    Discover local landmarks, including the Museum, Government Gardens, Lake Rotorua, Mokoia Island, Geothermal Sulphur Point and Blue baths, as well as a multitude of picturesque and gorgeous surrounding areas.

    Tarawera & Lakes Tour 
    This two hour tour heads straight into the action of the 'splashdown' on Lake Okareka. From there, you will journey to the sacred Lake Rotokakahi (green lakes), before seeing the spectacular views of the volcanic domes of Mount Tarawera. While there, you will be entertained with an informed story on the destructive eruption of Tarawera in 1886.

    Child rates for 2-16 year olds.  Free for under 2s.

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  • Ages 3+

    Velocity Valley - Swoop

    The amazing Rotorua Swoop is the extreme version of a swing, but with a major difference – the Swoop allows you to free-fall from 40 metres (head first!) and reach speeds of up to 130kmph!

    First, you step inside the specially designed hang gliding harness and will be wrapped up in a comfortable cocoon – either by yourself, or with up to two other friends ( the more friends, the greater the thrill). Next, you are raised ever-so-slowly, ensuring that you have plenty of time to build that spine-tingling anticipation and adrenaline. While you’re up there, check out the great view of the surrounding scenery around Velocity Valley, as well as the other attractions; that is, if you can keep your eyes open for long enough! When you reach a whopping 40 metres in height, you are given the okay to pull your own ripcord and – if you can actually muster up the courage to pull the cord – you will begin your long, Swooping descent.   Minimum height 1m to participate.

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  • aMAZEme - Rotorua

    A fantastic outing for the family - aMAZEme features a giant hedge maze plus other activities. Try to find the centre of the maze by following 1.4km of winding hedge-lined pathways... read more

  • Ages 10+

    Velocity Valley Vertigo

    Experience the ultimate thrill at Velocity Valley's 43-metre vertical drop in Rotorua, known as 'Vertigo'. This cutting edge attraction includes being dropped from 43-metres high into a huge safety net. Exclusively available at Velocity Valley and one of the most adventurous activities in New Zealand, Vertigo Rotorua is sure to leave you breathless and craving more!

    Velocity Valley is renowned for its world-class adventure activities, and Vertigo Rotorua is no exception. Whether you are a thrill-seeker or an adrenaline junkie, this ride will take you to new heights of excitement. Don't miss the opportunity to conquer your fears and experience the thrill of Vertigo at Velocity Valley in Rotorua!

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  • Ages 5+

    Karting & 4WD Adventures - Off Road NZ

    Strap your helmet on tight because you are about to experience pure New Zealand thrills!  These 4WD Bush Safaris, Monster 4X4 Thrill Rides and Raceline Karting are considered some of the best – if not the best – self-driven, off road vehicle experiences in New Zealand.

    4WD Bush Safari - self drive ~ every second of this safari is filled with fun and action!  Minimum age 5 for passengers.

    Monster 4X4 Thrill Ride ~ driven by a professional driver. You will be white-knuckled as you are taken up over near-vertical slopes, tackle the ‘Widow Maker’ and the ‘Loggers Long Drop’. Definitely one for the thrill seekers.
    Minimum age 14, minimum height 1.2m

    Raceline Karting - self drive.  This ground-hugging kart will make the speeds seem that much faster as you tackle the track – which includes an exciting 150 metre straight.
    Minimum age 14, minimum height 1.2m

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  • Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland

    One of Rotorua's most essential attractions, Wai-o-Tapu is an incredibly colourful grouping of hot springs, geysers, pools and more that's amazing to see! Located just 20 minutes from Rotorua city, Wai-o-Tapu offers a variety of volcanic spectacles each with their own distinct character, shape and texture formed purely by the forces of nature - it's the most colourful geothermal in all of New Zealand and provides visitors with some great angles and viewpoints for snapping some amazing photos of its offerings. Tickets to Wai-o-Tapu will allow you the freedom to explore the grounds at your own pace; explore the three separate tracks that each emphasize a different aspect of the grounds including perhaps its most famous site - the Champagne Pools, a bubbling hot spring around 65 metres wide with a striking orange border and vibrant, bubble-filled water contained within.

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  • Ages 6+

    Velocity Valley - Freefall Xtreme

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  • Velocity Valley – Agro Jet

    Velocity Valley's experienced, professional jet boat drivers will quickly turn your nerves into thrills as they expertly navigate their way through multiple hot laps of the 1km Agrojet sprint course. You will experience 3 G's of force and 100km an hour speeds as your driver negotiates islands, sharp turns and sweeping bends. With the wind in your hair and your heart in your throat, you will experience the thrill of a lifetime before your driver finishes off with the famous roaring 360-degree Hamilton Jet spin.

    Minimum height 1m.

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  • Ages 5+

    Te Puia Geothermal and Maori Cultural Experience

    Te Puia in Rotorua is not only a geothermal attraction; this unique Maori cultural experience provides a fascinating introduction into the traditional Maori way of life. With this cultural tour, guests will be met by a traditional guide who will show you around this unique geothermal and cultural attraction, sharing myths and legends handed down over generations. Meeting at the impressive and symbolic entrance to Te Puia, guests will learn about the arrival and settlement of Maori ancestors and take a look around the interactive exhibition centre.

    During your visit to Te Puia you will have a chance to see a native Kiwi bird in the nocturnal Kiwi House and the traditional Māori weaving school and watch master carvers at work. Te Puia is not only a cultural experience, but here visitors will be guided into the geothermal valley and see its bubbling mud pools, fascinating geothermal formations and experience the famous exploding Pōhutu Geyser!

     

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  • Ages 8+

    Kayaking - Lake Rotoiti

    On this adventure you'll discover two of New Zealand's best hidden attractions in one incredible tour. Hop into a kayak and gently paddle along the beautiful Lake Rotoiti that neighbours the famous Lake Rotorua. Explore the quiet lake's edge dotted with cascading native bush, abundant birdlife and classic kiwi holiday homes before reaching a hidden glow worm cave.

    Prepare to be captivated by thousands of glow worms that light up the cave roof like a starry night's sky. Continue on to the Manupirua Hot Pools which are only accessible by water and sit overlooking the lake. Here you will pull in for a relaxing soak in the geo-thermal pools while admiring the beauty of your surroundings.

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  • Ages 5+

    Zorb - Downhill Ball Rolling

    ZORB – it sounds like some type of futuristic extreme sport, but it’s really quite simple and a total ‘ball of fun’. Downhill ball rolling, as it is also known – involves you turning yourself into a human load of washing, inside a huge inflatable ball, that is ‘gently’ flung down a hill. If this sounds like your type of thing, you’re in luck!

    ZORB ultimately involves rolling down a hill within an inner capsule, suspended in the centre of an inflatable plastic ball. Since its inception in 1997, ZORB has become as much a ‘must-do’ in New Zealand as bungy jumping or jet boating. Within New Zealand, ZORB Rotorua is the only site that offers Globe Riding, and people from all over the world have travelled to Rotorua specifically for the pleasure of being chucked down a hill in a ball.

    ZORB Rotorua offer the brilliant H2OGO (water rides) ride solo, with friends, sliding, tumbling, zigzag or straight and narrow. This family friendly activity (5 years and above) is an excellent choice for a day out and always ensures a ‘rolling’ good time for everyone!

    Straight Track 250m
    Dive into the ball alone, or with up to three friends for 250m of fun and laughter as you slip and slide down the slope. You can race friends or family with the dual tracks. For an extra challenge, you can try to stay upright and run down the hill!

    Sidewinder Track 350m
    The twistiest track ever made and the longest in the world! You'll get some speed on the straights before riding up the sides on the bends. You'll have no idea what's happening next whilst inside.

    Big Air Track 300m
    You will be holding on tight as you fly down three huge drops and swing around bends and thrilling corners.

    Mega Track 300m
    The worlds longest, steepest and fastest zorbing track. You'll feel the adrenaline starting to kick in as you plummet down this crazy track.  

     

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  • Ages 6+

    Rotorua Forest - ZIpline Canopy Tour

    Rotorua Canopy Tours – New Zealand’s only native forest zipline canopy tour – allows you to experience the wonders of the ancient New Zealand native forest in a totally unique and exciting way.r

    Your three-hour journey meanders through the treetops via walking trails, swing bridges, platforms and ziplines/ flying foxes at heights of up to 40 metres above the ground! The high platforms – attached to 500 year-old trees up to 22 metres high – will take your breath away as you gaze down at unexplored valleys; while the tight openings through the forest sub canopy will make you feel as though you are exploring an ancient, mythical world. The six ziplines will add an exhilarating edge to your journey, with some up to 40 metres above ground level and up to 220 metres long. The tree-to-tree swingbridges will delight you, with some spanning up to 50 metres long. There’s truly no better way to explore the beauty of New Zealand’s native forests!   Minimum age: 6 years

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  • Tamaki Maori Cultural Experience

    Stepping foot inside the traditional Māori village re-enactment is like stepping back in time to an era when New Zealand tribes were developing, claiming land, forging alliances and exacting vendettas against enemies. The surrounding Tawa forest sets the atmosphere as you approach the village.

    In the meeting house you will be entertained with celebrations and whaikorero (speeches) along with the exciting and intimidating war dance haka, waiataaringa (action songs), graceful poi and more.

    You will be guests of honour at the wharekai (fully equipped dining room), where you will enjoy a traditional ‘hangi’ feast (foods cooked beneath the ground) as well as a sumptuous desert – all buffet style.

    Child rates for 5-9 year olds and 10-15 year olds. Plus under 5s are FREE.

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  • RailCruising

    RailCruising is a new tourist activity that allows people just like you the ability to travel along railway lines in your own powered self-drive, 4-seat railway vehicle called the ... read more

  • Geothermal Mud Pools - Hells Gate & Wai Ora Spa

    Featuring hot-water lakes, New Zealand’s largest mud volcano and the largest hot water waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere, the Hells Gate Valley is the place to be!

    You can slather yourself in the warm geothermal mud before jumping in the sulphur pool – with minerals that help to clear and detoxify. This Maori owned valley is both beautiful and bizarre, almost interplanetary in nature, like a scene from Mars.

    Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve Walk - allow 1.5hrs
    Take a self-guided walk or join a free interactive guided tour  This amazing landscape will captivate your imagination as it bubbles with heat and history. The complimentary Maori carving area lets you leave with a little piece of Maori culture.

    Hells Gate Mud Bath & Spa - allow 2.5hrs
    Enjoy the Hells Gate Mud Bath and Sulphur Spa for a day of relaxation.

    Wai Ora Mud Bath & Spa - allow 2.5hrs
    Sit back in a Private Wai Ora Mud Bath before enjoying the Wai Ora Sulphur Spa.

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  • Skyline Gondola Rotorua and Polynesian Spa

    Visit three of the best Rotorua attractions and save with this Rotorua Attraction Pass! With this value for money pass, you will be able to experience some of the region's unmissable highlights including the popular geothermal area of Te Puia where you'll be able to take in the sights while learning of Maori culture, take a ride on the Rotorua Skyline Gondola for some great views then enjoy a delicious buffet lunch at the top, and cap it all off with a relaxing visit to the Rotorua region's widely-acclaimed Polynesian Spa where you'll be able to relax in the naturally-heated geothermal waters that are the ultimate stress reliever.

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Map of New Zealand
  • Central Otago
  • Auckland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Christchurch
  • Dunedin
  • Coromandel
  • Gisborne
  • Fiordland
  • Marlborough Sounds
  • Manawatu
  • Northland
  • North Canterbury
  • Queenstown
  • South Canterbury
  • Taranaki
  • Southland
  • Taupo
  • Wanaka
  • Waikato
  • Wellington
  • West Coast
  • Whangarei
  • Bay of Islands
  • Tauranga
  • Gisborne
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Kapiti
  • Palmerston North
  • Whanganui
  • New Plymouth
  • Arrowtown
  • Te Anau
  • Akaroa
  • Ashburton
  • Hanmer
  • Kaikoura
  • Methven
  • Mt Cook
  • Oamaru
  • Tekapo
  • Timaru
  • Abel Tasman
  • Motueka
  • Nelson Lakes
  • Blenheim
  • Picton
  • Catlins
  • Gore
  • Stewart Island
  • Central Plateau
  • Invercargill
  • Cromwell
  • Greymouth
  • Hokitika
  • Westport
  • Glenorchy

Our favourite destinations…

Auckland

New Zealand’s economic heart and biggest city is also an exciting family visitor destination, situated on a sunny harbour with city beaches just minutes away from the CBD. Orientate yourself by heading down to Viaduct Harbour, wandering the waterfront, checking out the super yachts or enjoying the waterfront restaurants. Nearby is the must-visit Sky Tower along with excellent and kid-friendly museums and tons of exciting activities!

Wellington

Wellington is New Zealand’s capital. Here you will find New Zealand's parliament buildings, including the 'Executive Wing', more well-known as 'The Beehive' due to its distinctive shape. Another icon to look out for is the Wellington Tram, which was the main means of public transport between 1878 and 1964.

Christchurch

With a population of around 400,000 Christchurch, in Canterbury, is the South Island ’s largest city, yet much of it has the feel of a small town. Perhaps that’s why it’s known as the Garden City but with the expansive Hagley Park, Botanic Gardens, Port Hills, River Avon and numerous beaches the city certainly has an open, relaxed feel that’s hard to beat.

Queenstown

With its well-deserved reputation as New Zealand’s activity adventure capital you’ll never run out of activities and things to do in Queenstown, but you may run out of time! With breathtaking scenery, activities and festivals, cafes and restaurants, skiing and snowboarding, shopping and wineries, this lakeside alpine resort rates as one of the world’s top vacation destinations for all ages and seasons.

Rotorua

Rotorua sits on the shore of Lake Rotorua, one of sixteen lakes in the area formed by hundreds of thousands of years of eruptions from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. The area is renowned for its geothermal activity and top of any activity list is to see the bubbling mud pools that are around the region for yourself. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley offers a first hand insight into the devastation caused by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera and is a great place to discover steaming volcanic craters and bubbling, spitting  pools of mud!

Nelson and Golden Bay

The Nelson and Golden Bay regions, at the top of the South Island, boast enviable sunshine hours, glorious sandy beaches, safe swimming spots, lots of wildlife to look out for, and Abel Tasman National Park - an absolute must to explore, on foot, by kayak, your own craft or watertaxi.  Nelson is home to a vibrant arts and crafts community with a fabulous Saturday market, and is close to award-winning wineries and family-friendly bike tracks to take you around the coast.

Hawkes Bay

Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake and is now known as NZ's Art Deco City.  The Art Deco influence has created a unique city – nowhere else can you see such a varied concentration of art deco style. With over 2,200 sunshine hours a year, Napier is a year-round holiday destination with countless activities to entertain the kids – there's days of entertainment on Marine Parade alone, plus numerous other family-friendly trips and activities.  Add to that the beaches, walks and flat cycle paths, outdoor cafes and entertainment, and you have a perfect holiday destination!

Northland

Beautiful, unspoiled beaches, fishing, historic gum fields, kauri forests – the Far North has it all. With subtropical temperatures, it's often known as ‘the Winterless north', with warm, humid summers and mild winters.
Gateway to the Bay of Islands, Paihia is a pretty, lively beachside town and a perfect base for your family holiday. It’s your start point for Bay of Island adventures including day cruises, sailing, kayaking, swimming with dolphins and reef or wreck diving.