Rotorua Travel Secrets

Rotorua, located in New Zealand, is a remarkable city.  Earth-shaking geysers and refreshing lakes. Porridge-like mud pools and soothing forests. Judging by the reactions, extreme contrasts like these are a constant source of amazement for visitors. Downside? Decisions, decisions. It's tough figuring out what to include when planning a visit.

Ferns that are found growing throughout the Redwoods forestThere's lots of green in the forests and round the lakes of Rotorua

Navigate attractions, eateries and more with inside help — shh!

Designed with that in mind, Rotorua Travel Secrets (aka Karen Shelford) is here to help make this process easier . Give me your hand (or eyes in this instance) and I'll take you through our attractions... and the hidden gems visitors usually miss. Want to know where to shop, eat, sleep? That's covered too. Sound ok?

Experience the Best of Rotorua

With that said, kia ora (hello) and welcome to your insider's guide to Rotorua, New Zealand's premiere playground - according to me. Let's get started. Click on any link below to begin opening up the site.

Top 10 Places to Visit in Rotorua

Top 10 To Visit

Try a relaxing spa after luging, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, or visit a nature and wildlife park, sheep show...

Rotorua Attractions


 From the Buried Village to family fun zorbing, jet boats, bungy, glass blowing, a paddle steamer...

Rotorua Thermal Attractions

Thermal Attractions

The big 8 thermal sites in Rotorua include Waimangu, Waiotapu, Hell's Gate, Whakarewarewa...

Free Things to Do in Rotorua

Free Things To Do

No or low-cost activities include walks, parks & playgrounds, a thermal soak and an event finder.

Rotorua tours and trips

Tours & Trips

Popular tours around Rotorua city and fringes, and day trips within a couple of hours drive are fun too.

New Zealand Māori Culture

Māori Culture

Our culture  is alive and thriving. Delve into the language, humour, haka and more of Māori.

This city seduces people into wanting to stay and having lived here for most of my life I think I know why. It's not too big (around 75,000 people) or too small. It offers a lifestyle that many people envy.

As a tiny example, you can step out of the front door and within 5-10-15mins be walking in the forests, around beautiful lakes or through thermal steam wafting across walkways. Then again, you can be in the middle of the city in a couple of minutes by car. Just these features alone are priceless without everything else on offer.

Cameron's laughing gas mud pool in RotoruaThere's lots of mud in and around Rotorua too, this is Cameron's Laughing Gas Pool at Sulphur Bay

Although the photo above doesn't begin to show it, we have been voted the most beautiful city in New Zealand, seven times in the history of the award. That says a lot about the care people are putting into this city. Yay, go us.

If you are contemplating a visit to our city, I am sure you will find something that seduces you into wanting to stay... just that little bit longer… if not permanently.

Learn More

  • Favourite pastimes? Spine-tingling activities to get the adrenalin going. Check out the mountain biking. Trees rush up pretty fast on some of our tracks - ask me, I know. Don't worry, not everything is hair-raising. There's a lot to see and do where you don't have to put life and limb on the line.
  • Rotorua is built on a caldera so you will learn a bit about volcanology and Mount Tarawera, the local volcano that last erupted in 1886. Thermal? We've got thermal coming out of our ears.

I could go on and on, and don't worry, I will in the pages to come.

There's a wide range of activities and things to see and do that should cater to all tastes.

In the meantime? Well, I'll be out and about pounding the pavements, eating at the restaurants and cafes, revisiting various  attractions and harassing  my friends for even more great things to share with you.

As an aside, will visiting us be part of your first overseas adventure? Really want to get into the spirit of it? Check out my eBook on Amazon— Make Love With Travel: How To Plan A Dream Holiday You Won't Forget In A Hurry. Use it for planning and to get ideas to make your holiday extra special. Just saying!  ;)

Author enjoys an Italian sunsetMyself and my daughter Elise

Enjoy the following pages.


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