Kuirau Park
Relax And Take A Wander

Kuirau Park is a great place to visit with it being one of the fun FREE things to do in Rotorua.

Get up close and personal with naturally occurring geothermal activity. Visit the children’s playground, the footpools (sublime), the paddling pool, or use the picnic facilities (bbq) and wander in the gardens, you can also take walks through native manuka shrubs.

Kuirau Park, Rotorua, spring daffodils

Spring Daffodils


A weekly flea market takes place here as well which you can read about on my Rotorua Markets page. This is getting really popular with both locals and visitors alike.

Along with the good there also comes some not so good things to watch out for.
Kuirua Park is found on the western edge of the city center off Lake Rd. You will most likely drive past it getting into the city and besides, you can't help but see the thermal activity going on from the road.



Paddling Pool, Foot Pools & Playground

Probably most Rotorua children have spent some time 'swimming' in the little paddling pool (all of 6" deep) at Kuirau Park.

Kuirau Park, Rotorua, NZ - Paddling Pool

Kuirau Park Paddling Pool


If you do have little ones it's the ideal place to take them to have a splash around in summer as they just love it. Make sure to take swimming gear for them as they are bound to get fully wet playing around in the water.

Families take picnics and the adults generally paddle, watch the kiddies play or snooze on a blanket in the shade.

Taking time out like this as a family sure is a nice way for everyone to recharge.

If you don't have children it is still nice to have a paddle, or better yet wander over to the two foot pools right next to the kiddies pool.

Sometimes they are hot and sometimes not. As children we used to sometimes sneak swims in the foot pools (gorgeous) although it was not allowed - but that is many years ago now so I don't know if they still do it or not. I am sure they must, what child can resist water?

Kuirau Park, Rotorua, NZ - Footpool by the playground

Kuirau Park - Footpool by the playground


If these two pools are not heated there is another one next to the children's playground. This is the main foot pool nowadays (roofed and closed in on three sides) and it is always hot. This one is in a lovely spot actually, overlooking a pond with ducks and other birds. It's nice to sit there and think about nothing in particular.

Make sure to take towels as the seats get wet from people swinging their feet out of the pools.

The playground is a great place for the children with lots of fun things to climb, swing and spin on. Makes me dizzy thinking about it.

It has been upgraded in recent years with soft matting underneath most of the activities.

The landings are certainly a lot softer than they were in my day.

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Geothermal Activity

There is a lot of geothermal activity in Kuirau Park so you do have to be careful. If you want to see mud, there’s mud, if you want boiling thermal water, there’s that too.

Kuirau Park, Rotorua, NZ - Bridge over thermal lake

Bridge over a boiling hot thermal lake at the Park

Back in 2001 there was a hydrothermal eruption in Kuirau Park with mud and rocks the size of rugby balls flying in all directions. The rocks snapped branches off nearby trees like they were mere twigs and the nearby road and cars were covered in mud. It certainly makes it an interesting place to live.

Towards the northern end of the park is a walkway over a geothermal.. pond I suppose you would call it. This water is boiling and even though I live here I quite often walk over this bridge marveling at what nature produces.

You will be enveloped in the steam rising from this pond as the wind swirls it around, so hopefully you don’t mind the smell of sulphur. In the winter when it is early morning and gray and overcast, it can be quite spooky being surrounded by the steam because you can’t see a thing and there are no noises. It can feel quite disorientating.

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Some Not So Good Things About Kuirau Park

Although this is a fabulous park it does seem to attract the seamier side of life as a lot of parks do. Sheez, we don't really want this to be part of the attractions in Rotorua.

As recently as 2011 people engaging in blatant sexual activities (mainly men) in broad daylight have been witnessed by members of the public.

I always wonder why these perverts have to taint things where children play. Have you ever thought this?

As you can probably guess it goes on at night as well so it doesn’t pay to wander around there in the dark by yourself.

Women have been sexually assaulted at the park and there are little scumbags who hang around making a nuisance of themselves at times as well.

Although this is not the norm it doesn't make it any easier for a visitor who has been at the receiving end of this type of disgusting behaviour.

If you do witness any sort of non-social behaviors, don’t hesitate to phone Police on 0800 TIP OFF (0800 691 102). Click here to read about staying safe in Rotorua and New Zealand as none of us here want anything happening to you.



More family activities...


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