Fun Family Activities in Rotorua

Family in Hot Pool Rotorua

Rotorua is New Zealand’s favorite family holiday destination for a reason. It’s got more family friendly activities than any other city in New Zealand. Here’s a few of our favorites.

Mountain Biking

Rotorua has some of the best mountain biking in the world, and you can rent everything you need so no worries if you didn’t bring your bikes. Redwoods has tracks for every level of rider, and Skyline is an awesome day out for experienced or intermediate riders.

The Luge

The luge is actually the reason my kids love Rotorua. It’s a must do family activity everytime we visit. So much fun for all ages. As popular with the Dads as it is with kids.


You simply have to do the Zorb. You can shove 3 people in one Zorb so the kids don’t have to go it alone. It doesn’t last long, but the memory sure does. Your family will talk about it for days.


Rotorua has some incredible white water. The easiest way to get amongst it is rafting, but families with older kids should look at sledging as well.

Paradise Valley Springs

Families with young kids will have a great time at Paradise Valley Springs. Originally just trout, it now includes lions, deer, wallabies and range of other animals. Lion feeding is mid afternoon so try and time your visit around that.

Geothermal Parks

Rotorua is famous for its many geysers and boiling mud pools and you owe it to you family to go see them all. Well maybe a couple. Kuirau Park is free, Hells Gate is great because you can get amongst the mud and have a swim, great geysers too. Te Puia is probably the most famous and it has the biggest geyser (not that it’s a competition). Waimangu Volcanic Valley is great because you don’t have to walk it all, there’s a boat ride too. Wai O Tapu is famous for Lady Knox geyser and the Champagne Pool. And my personal favorite Kerosene Creek which is a free hot water creek you can swim in.

Duck Tour

Think of it as an aquatic school bus. This is a genuine WW2 landing craft converted to tourist bus. Taking you for a tour around and in Lake Rotorua (or Lake Tarawera) this is a must do with kids under 10.

Velocity Valley

Velocity Valley Rotorua Adventure Park is basically every adventure activity you can think of stuffed into one convenient location. It’s a must do for families with teenagers or adventurous pre-teens.

Jet Boating

The ultimate family fun. My kids talked about it for a full year. Jet boating is awesome and Rotorua has several to choose from.

Zip Lining

Rotorua has several ziplining options but Rotorua Canopy Tours is the most famous. It’s great fun for the whole family. Unless you’re terrified of heights. Then it’s torture.

Off Roading

If you’re from the city you’ll probably be amazed what you can do in a four wheel drive at Offroad NZ. And you get to be the hero as you’ll be doing the driving. It’s awesome on a wet day. There’s several self drive 4×4 tours in Rotorua and they are quite different experiences, but they are all great family fun.

Waikite Valley Thermal Pools

Kids love swimming and this is the most family friendly hot pool in Rotorua. Enjoy a good soak in beautiful surroundings and experience the living waters of Te Manaroa Spring.

Horse Trekking

Every family has to go horse trekking now and again if only to remind you how terrifying it can be strapped to the top of a large out of control beast. Totally worth it for the views at Lake Okareka Horse Trekking though.

Redwoods Treewalk

The best time to visit is a just before sunset. That way you can enjoy it both during the day and in the dark when the lights are amazing. This is a must do activity the forest is amazing and this is the best way to see it.

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