You’ll be able to find plenty of fun and exciting activities to do with kids when you visit Rotorua. The town is filled to the brim with plenty of destinations that appeal to many age groups, so it’s important to have in mind what sort of activities you’ll want to engage in when you visit. Read on to learn about some fun and exciting activities to do with kids to fill your itinerary.
Experience nature activities in Rotorua
1. Feed fish at Rainbow Springs Nature Park
Rainbow Springs Nature Park is a great place to take kids on a trip. Here your kids will enjoy being able to swim and ride the Big Splash. With plenty of playgrounds and water play installations throughout the park, this location makes an amazing spot to visit for a day trip. Additionally, your kids will be able to enjoy playing with and feeding the many local trout that inhabit this national park. For other wildlife, there are plenty of species of birds to gaze at and even many kiwis to visit. In addition to providing fun, this nature park also acts as a great educational opportunity as your kids will be able to learn more about New Zealand’s natural history as they explore the local flora and fauna.
2. Walk the Redwoods Treewalk
The Redwoods Treewalk is a naturally beautiful experience that you should bring your kids to come see. This suspension bridge walkway runs between redwood trees that are over a century old and can reach 75 metres tall. These suspended bridges increase from 6 metres to 12 metres above the ground at their peak. With the ability to go at day or night, it’s very easy to fit this destination into your itinerary, and your little ones will love being able to breathe in the fresh air and gaze at the majestic redwood trees. Be sure to snap pictures as you’re making your voyage.
3. Visit various farm animals at Agrodome
Agrodome is a major tourist attraction in Rotorua and all of New Zealand. Here you’ll be able to see the famous Farm Show that includes 19 breeds of sheep, farm dogs and a live sheep shearing demonstration. Especially for younger kids, this will be an enchanting experience as your little ones will be able to hop on stage to feed baby lambs and cows. After your kids have had their fill making friends with some barn animals, you can venture to the Farmyard Nursery or watch a live dog trial. Additionally, the farm is only 10 minutes away from the city centre, making it an excellent stop as you’re on your way to other attractions.
4. Experience the majestic wonders of Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Waimangu Volcanic Valley is one of Rotorua’s most popular geothermal parks and is home to the pink and white terraces that became buried after the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera. Some of the natural wonders in this park include huge craters, large steaming lakes, hot springs that bubble and a multitude of wildlife including numerous flocks of birds. There are walking tours as well as a boat cruise that can easily make this park an all-day trip, but if you and your family are on a schedule, there’s also a bus that runs up and down the valley.
Get adrenaline pumping with adventurous activities
5. Roll around in a giant ball at ZORB Rotorua
ZORB Rotorua is an adventure park whose main attraction is the fun and innovative ZORB, which is essentially a giant ball that you and your kids will be able to roll around in. Your kids must be at least 6 years of age to roll down Mount Ngongotaha in this giant inflatable ball. There are plenty of dry and wet track options available, and your little ones can choose to go either solo in the ZORB or with 2 or 3 members of the family. Even adults are bound to have fun as they feel like giant hamsters rolling down the hills. Afterwards, you’ll also be able to have a meal at one of the picnic areas or relax at the on-site hot pool.
6. Ride exciting rides at Velocity Valley
Velocity Valley is an excellent spot to visit if your family is in need of an extra dose of adrenaline. This adventure park features 4 family rides. The first is the Swoop, which is a giant swing. The second is the Freefall Xtreme, where your kids can immerse themselves in skydiving. The 3rd ride is the Agrojet, where your kids are sure to have a blast zooming and zipping around the waters in a jet boat. The last ride is the Shweeb Racer, where your kids can race each other in rail capsules. In addition to the 4 family rides, there’s also the Rotorua Bungy, but only kids 10 years and older may experience this thrill.
7. Zoom through trees at Rotorua Canopy Tours
Rotorua Canopy Tours combines an action-packed, thrilling experience with the pleasure of being out in nature. At this attraction, families with kids ages 6 and older will be able to boost their adrenaline by taking a small-group tour riding on 6 zip lines through a century-old forest. In addition to being able to glide 22 metres above the ground, your kids will have the unique opportunity to learn more about the forest. In addition to zip lining, other activities include swing bridges, controlled descents, cliff walks and a spiral staircase. Although this experience isn’t for the faint of heart, the excellent and friendly tour guides will be with you and your family every step of the way to ensure everyone’s utmost safety.
8. Go rafting or kayaking at River Rats
River Rats will allow you and your kids to go kayaking, rafting and river sledging through waterfalls, native forest and a gorgeous rock gorge. There are different packages available, and you can choose to do only one of the 3 activities or bundle them together in a combo package. A typical rafting expedition will start at the base of Aniwhenua Falls in the lower Rangitaiki River and take your family through a variety of scenic landscapes. The grade 2 scenic expedition is perfect for a calming experience, and children 5 and over will be able to accompany you. There are also plenty of higher grade trips that you can take to test your bravery.
Go for a swim at various destinations
9. Swim at the Blue Baths
Blue Baths is located in the Government Gardens and is a great location to take a break and relax between some of your more extensive day trips. These geothermally heated pools will leave you and your family feeling refreshed. The 2 main soak pools vary between 37°C and 42°C, while the juvenile pool is generally heated around 30°C. Before or after soaking in the Blue Baths, you can also visit the sights at Government Gardens, which are of significant importance to local Maori people. Some of the natural sights include multi-trunked Japanese ferns and beautiful Californian weeping redwoods as well as a museum you can visit.
10. Enjoy the family pools at the Polynesian Spa
The Polynesian Spa is a truly luxurious experience. This beautiful geothermal bathing experience will grant your family exclusive access to both acidic and alkaline natural mineral springs as well as spa therapies for a very exquisite rest-and-relaxation experience. While the spa therapies might be more appealing to older kids and adults, for younger kids there’s also a large freshwater chlorinated heated pool sprouting a slide and 2 mineral pools overlooking the main pool. While the adults and older kids are relaxing in the natural springs and getting spa therapies, your little ones will have a blast splashing around and going down the slide many times. For an even more enchanting experience, there are sky-view pools to enjoy.
11. Take a dip in Kerosene Creek
Kerosene Creek is another place you can take your family to swim at that is heated. Here, hot springs and freshwater streams meet in these naturally heated waters. Your kids will have an incredible time swimming and relaxing as hot water from the natural spring under the earth simmers up into the cool waters of the creek. With little hot pools composed of small smooth rocks next to a 2-metre waterfall and set alongside the luscious native brush, the atmosphere at this location is like no other. As a bonus, there’s also no admission fee, making this a must-visit if you find yourself on a tight budget or are simply wanting to save some money.
Family accommodation in Rotorua
Stay at apartment rentals
Apartment rentals are perfect accommodation if you’re on a tighter budget and you have a smaller family. While they typically do not provide the extra amenities that houses, resorts or lodges do, the advantages of renting an apartment while you’re on a trip with your kids include not only a cheaper price, but depending upon the location you might be closer to the city centre and major tourist attractions.
Book a house rental
House rentals are a great option for accommodation, especially if you have a larger family. In addition to providing more space for your kids to relax when you’re taking a break from your travels, oftentimes houses can provide a host of many more amenities. When you rent a house, you can expect to be provided with multiple bedrooms, a full working kitchen, WiFi and even extra amenities like a backyard with ample space and a swimming pool and hot tub. Many house rentals in Rotorua will even provide you with beautiful views of lakefronts and sprawling forests.