Rotorua’s 3 Must Do Tourist Attractions

Welcome to Rotorua! Yes, it smells like fart. Get used to it.

Why all the great New Zealand activities are located in smelly Rotorua is beyond me. If want a good time, endure a little funk. Or a lot in this case! It’s bad enough the weather was terrible when we arrived, but to have the constant smell of rotten eggs on top of crappy weather — that’s just cruel and unusual punishment.

Gerard found it a great opportunity to fart as he pleased because to his point, it already smelled like fart (sigh). And he was right.

We didn’t necessarily come for the smell of sulphur, that came free of charge. We did, however, come for the countless outdoor activities Rotorua has to offer. So here it is, our Rotorua’s must do tourist attractions at-a-glance.


If you’re curious where the smell comes from, you’ll want to visit the geothermal wonderland that is Waio-o-Tapu just 20 minutes south of Rotorua.

wai-o-tapu-rotorua Champagne Pool

wai-o-tapu-rotorua Devil’s Pool

wai-o-tapu-rotorua 100 degrees Celsius is no joke!

The different trails ranging from 30 minutes to 75 minutes makes it accessible to all ages. You can choose to do one or all 3. We did all 3 in under 1.5 hour. The smell doesn’t quite go away though, no matter how much time you spend here. You can also see Lady Knox Geyser here along with mud pools. The Geyser goes off once a day at about 10:30am so make sure to get there early.

Polynesian Spa

Who doesn’t love a nice dip in a hot tub? Especially after a full day of fun activities, it’s great to unwind in one of the World’s Top 10 Spa! The Polynesian Spa has a number of pool options for you to choose from Adult or Family pools to Spas and private baths. The Polynesian Spa offers a unique geothermal view overlooking Sulphur Bay on Lake Rotorua.

polynesian-spa-rotorua Adult Pools | Polynesian Spa

My body didn’t agree with the temperature right away. I was tensed, moving around uncomfortably while the Japanese passed disapproving glances. I guess my body language was making them feel unrelax too.

polynesian-spa-rotorua G in 42*C thermal bathing in acidic water

Took me about 15 minutes to fully adjust and finally.. unwind. Only 2 weeks into our trip and I desperately needed this – I just didn’t know it until now.

Did we mention the pools with alkaline and acidic waters have not only the smell of hot ass, but incredible healing properties? They’re known to relieve sore muscles, arthritis, and even rejuvenates your skin.


Rotorua rained on our luging plans. But lucky for us, the one clear day we had, we went Zorbing!

zorbing-rotorua Zorbing!

Yup, it’s exactly what it looks like. You get in a giant hamster ball and roll down a hill. If that doesn’t sound like fun, I don’t know what is. You also have the option to do it dry where you get strapped into a harnessed or wet where they fill your ball with water and you swoosh around like a slip -n- slide!

zorbing1 G in the wet zorb!

Make sure to do both — dry first. Just in case you’re still unclear what zorbing is, here’s a video we made inside the ball!

What else can you recommend as a must see/do in Rotorua?

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