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.

Wai-o-Tapu

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.

Zorbing

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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  • http://twitter.com/purplekat99 Becs

    You hit on some great things that are quintessentially Rotorua!
    Two other things that I really liked (but can be done elsewhere in New Zealand) are the farm tour at Agrodome (same place at Zorbing) and rafting down the Kaituna River. Highest raftable waterfall in the world!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      I heard about the rafting.. had no idea it’s the highest raftable waterfall in the world tho! So much to do, so little time. We got rained on twice while we were there. :(

  • http://twitter.com/purplekat99 Becs

    You hit on some great things that are quintessentially Rotorua!
    Two other things that I really liked (but can be done elsewhere in New Zealand) are the farm tour at Agrodome (same place at Zorbing) and rafting down the Kaituna River. Highest raftable waterfall in the world!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      I heard about the rafting.. had no idea it’s the highest raftable waterfall in the world tho! So much to do, so little time. We got rained on twice while we were there. :(

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    Great stuff…Thanks for sharing that video, because I had no idea what zorbing was:)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      Of course! We had fun recording it. A bumpy but fun experience. Lol

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    Great stuff…Thanks for sharing that video, because I had no idea what zorbing was:)

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      Of course! We had fun recording it. A bumpy but fun experience. Lol

  • jenny

    Cool! the thermals remind me of Yellowstone!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      O yea.. it does! It’s been so long since I’ve visited Yellowstone. Should definitely make a return trip now that we’re a bit older and can appreciate the beauty. 😉

  • jenny

    Cool! the thermals remind me of Yellowstone!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      O yea.. it does! It’s been so long since I’ve visited Yellowstone. Should definitely make a return trip now that we’re a bit older and can appreciate the beauty. 😉

  • http://twitter.com/lazytravelers Lazy Travelers

    SO many questions about zorbing. did you vom after you stopped rolling? has anyone ever died while zorbing? … i think those are actually my only questions.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

      LOL! No vom, but felt a bit queasy in the dry zorb afterwards. Luckily the ride was short. And no, don’t think anyone has ever died. :) You’re good to go!!

  • Lazy Travelers

    SO many questions about zorbing. did you vom after you stopped rolling? has anyone ever died while zorbing? … i think those are actually my only questions.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

      LOL! No vom, but felt a bit queasy in the dry zorb afterwards. Luckily the ride was short. And no, don’t think anyone has ever died. :) You’re good to go!!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/30HomeGames 30HomeGames

    How would you sell the difference between:
    1) Things you can do
    2) Things you must do
    3) Things tourists ordinarily do

    I would imagine for people the main constraints are time and money so that’s why they would be interested in differentiating between the 3. Btw people should just Zorb to get around, like the American Gladiator in the cage ball on ‘The Simpsons’.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      1) Things you can do are basically just options
      2) Must do are things/activities that are highly recommended (subjective of course based on referrer)
      3) Most common activities done by tourists

      There are other ‘must-do’ activities in Rotorua. Many people recommended other things to do, but we were rained out. So this is what we highly recommend based on our own experiences.
      American Gladiator is a classic! I even remember Nitro! haha

  • http://30homegames.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page.html 30HomeGames

    How would you sell the difference between:
    1) Things you can do
    2) Things you must do
    3) Things tourists ordinarily do

    I would imagine for people the main constraints are time and money so that’s why they would be interested in differentiating between the 3. Btw people should just Zorb to get around, like the American Gladiator in the cage ball on ‘The Simpsons’.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      1) Things you can do are basically just options
      2) Must do are things/activities that are highly recommended (subjective of course based on referrer)
      3) Most common activities done by tourists

      There are other ‘must-do’ activities in Rotorua. Many people recommended other things to do, but we were rained out. So this is what we highly recommend based on our own experiences.
      American Gladiator is a classic! I even remember Nitro! haha

  • http://www.stophavingaboringlife.com/ Rob

    You guys are living it up in New Zealand. Have never really seen a travel blogger go there and cover it well. Maybe I’ve been wrong all along for NOT heading in that direction!?

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Should definitely be on your list if you’re an adrenaline junkie. Dangerous Business & Backpacking Matt also have heaps of info on NZ.

  • http://www.stophavingaboringlife.com/ Rob

    You guys are living it up in New Zealand. Have never really seen a travel blogger go there and cover it well. Maybe I’ve been wrong all along for NOT heading in that direction!?

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Should definitely be on your list if you’re an adrenaline junkie. Dangerous Business & Backpacking Matt also have heaps of info on NZ.

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