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Rotorua - Best Adventure & Adrenalin

Rotorua is packed with Maori history and culture as well as very active geothermal activity. But if scarring yourself silly or getting your heart pumping is more your thing - then Rotorua is the place for you. It\\\'s not called the North Island Adventure Capital for nothing!

Adrenalin and Extreme Adventure Options

The full menu of all things adrenalin activity focused is up for grabs in or around Rotorua – skydiving, bungee jumping, canyon swings, zip-lines, 4X4 adventures, jet-boating, zorbing and so on. However, if it's white-water rafting or sledging (think white-water thrills on a body board) you're looking for then Rotorua is THE place to come.

Some of the operators here can lay claim to more than 30 years experience in the white-water rafting business which means they have really perfected how to give their customers the ride of a lifetime. However, pedigree aside, Rotorua has a whole choice of rivers which range from the calmly floating along to the madly racing, crazily turbulent variety. There is even the Wairoa option – only raftable for a few days every year because of a hydro dam – which draws the white-water passionate from all over the world.

All this means white-water rafting experiences are offered in every guise - for everyone from nervous beginners to ultimate thrill seeking loonies – and also happens to include the opportunity of plunging down the highest commercially rafted waterfall on earth. Scenery is almost always of the breathtakingly beautiful kind and full of waterfalls, lush forest and majestic rock gorges and even the most hardcore rafting includes calmer sections which allow you to drink this all in.

Skyline Rotorua

This Rotorua attraction is the equivalent of certain dads buying their kids a train set because they want to play with it. Skyline Rotorua describes itself as a family attraction - which to be fair is ostensibly what it is - but it is always the grown-ups here who seem to be getting the biggest kick.

First you take a vista-rich gondola ride – cable car to you and me – and then you luge back down on something which is part go-cart/part toboggan. There is a choice of how hard core you go here. Options range from a tame run – indeed suitable for all the family – to runs which weave in and out of the trees requiring certain skilful handling and offering up something to keep the adrenalin junkies happy.

Tramping and Hiking

Those looking for walking or hiking options will find plenty to keep them happy here in Rotorua. You can wander off for an easy sunset lakeside stroll, opt for a guided hike with a Maori guide regaling you with tales of myth and legend as you go or strap on your hiking boots for something in the challenging category.

There are tracks and trails everywhere and a choice of terrains and difficulty levels. Pop into Rotorua's i-SITE where you can gather armfuls of for-free walking related literature and information including maps, guides and resources for enhancing every kind of hike.


If you want to immerse yourself in the naturally beautiful side of Rotorua there is no easier way to do this than getting out on the water in a kayak. DIY hire is possible and there are all kinds of hidden places you can get to this way but if you’re really not sure where to start a guided kayak tour is a great option. A wealth of operators means all kinds of wonderfully inventive experiences are on offer as each try and outdo their competitors.

Twilight is an incredible time to be out on the lake when hush descends and serenity is the order of the day. These guided tours tend to end with a moonlit soak in some tucked away lakeside hot pools which can’t be accessed from the land. Or perhaps you would prefer to go in search of glow worms, learn about some lake legends, make friends with the region’s flora and fauna or paddle your way through caves. All is possible here.

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