2 days in rotorua, new zealand

Rotorua, New Zealand is SUCH an amazing town on New Zealand's north island! This is a nature-lover’s paradise, hands down. With almost too many outdoorsy activities to pick from, that it’s hard to narrow it down in a few days. From learning about the Maori culture, to exploring the geo thermal parks and vast mountain views, Rotorua is the perfect adult playground filled with a pretty much untouched natural beauty.

rotorua new zealand guide

Just a 3 and a half hour drive from Auckland, you can easily get here by car or by flying in directly to Rotorua. If you have the time, I would highly recommend the drive because the scenic countryside and vast and lush rolling hills filled with cows and sheep was one of the best parts in all reality! Outside of experiencing the Maori culture and the outdoors/national parks activities, there’s not a ton to do in Rotorua, aside from a few mom and pop restaurants and bars in the town.

budget travel blogger

If you choose to drive, I’d highly recommend making the stop at the Glowworm Caves, which breaks up the drive and is a pretty cool experience! I recommend getting tickets at least a day advance to avoid having to wait for a specific tour time when you arrive.

If you make the trek to New Zealand’s north Island, I definitely recommend spending anywhere from 2-3 days in Rotorua. Here’s how I’d recommend you do it:


Rotorua Travel Guide

Waimato Glowworm Caves - directly between Rotorua and Auckland, this cave tour is worth the stop if you're driving to Rotorua. You'll see an overwhelming amount of blue-lit glowworms inside some pretty amazing & deep caves here! Make sure to book a ticket by going online or calling the morning of or day before, as the tours get filled up. I highly recommend the drive since the green, lush, rolling hills are unbelievable!

best things to do in rotorua

Skyline Rotorua - from a scenic luge race down the mountain, to mountain biking, zip lines, gondola rides, and more, this place is an adult recess! We did 3 luge rides and it was an absolute blast for all ages! The gondola ride up the mountain is stunning in itself, overlooking Lake Rotorua.

best views rotorua

Tamaki Maori Village Cultural Experience - DO NOT MISS THIS! This was my absolute favorite part of New Zealand. You'll get to learn about the Maori culture and interact with their village. They teach you how to play cultural Maori games, how to do that Haka and how they cook food (you get to eat dinner there). You can opt to stay overnight at the village as well. Such an amazing experience!

how to experience maori culture