Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 17, 2013

An Adventurous 24 Hours in Rotorua, New Zealand

Welcome to Rotorua, the smelliest city in New Zealand and adventure capital of the North Island (according to me at least).  And with just 24 hours in Rotorua here are my favourite places to check out and things to do in this smelly city.


Rotorua Canopy Tours

Having just celebrated their third birthday Rotorua Canopy Tours transports you from downtown Rotorua to the New Zealand native forest for three brilliant hours above and below the treetops.

Heights need not be a problem as the forest is so dense you feel like you are only a couple of metres off the ground. I had Brad and Richard as my guides and they were brilliant. Professional, funny and helpful – pretty much everything you want from your guides especially when trust is a large part of the exercise.

Not only will you have a brilliant time but you are helping to take this area from a ‘Silent Forest’ to one filled with bird calls galore.


Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Area

When in Rotorua it is impossible not to check out one of the geothermal areas, you need to know where that funky smell is coming from. I chose to go to Wai-O-Tapu as it was more cost effective and the brochure showed the most colourful area to check out. I have to say I was a bit disappointed it was not as great as the brochure and though the pictures I took still make it look pretty good I am in no rush to go back.

I would otherwise suggest to go and maybe see Te Puia which though it is more expensive is closer to town and has a geyser going off throughout the day. It is a good walk and the Wai-O-Tapu mud pools, which are free, are located outside the park and was actually more fun to check out.


Agroventures – Agrojet

After coming down literally and figuratively from your earlier zip lining adventure it is time to get that adrenaline back up and so I recommend checking out Agroventures. They have a number of different rides to check out from the schweeb, schwoop, bungy and the one I chose to go on the Agrojet. This is an 8 minute ride on a jet sprint boat around a course with a 360 spin at the end to, if you’re lucky or unlucky depending on how you see it, get a soak. The ride is filmed on a GoPro (by the middle of the day I really wanted one of my own) so you can take the experience home to watch later if perhaps you closed your eyes at any stage.


OGO Zorbing

Rolling downhill in a giant bubble isn’t everyone’s idea of fun, but it should be and I swear once you try it you will be lining up to go again. OGO has a number of options for your roll downhill from dry or wet, harnessed or zig zag courses. I chose to go on a dry downhill run and though I got a bit nervous before hand everyone there is so nice you soon calm down.

Now don’t worry about getting thrown around as you usually slip and slide around the bottom of the zorb as opposed to be thrown upside down, unless you go for a harnessed ride. And though I went for a dry run water was put between the inner and outer OGO to mean it was a smooth ride. Also on the wet rides you can have up to three people in the OGO at once and you are given a GoPro to film your adventure and have a laugh later on.


Rainbow Springs

Now to finish your day in Rotorua I would check out Rainbow Springs, ‘where kiwis play’. One of the great things is that you can come back after dark to check out the Kiwis, they are nocturnal. For a little adrenaline rush you can check out the Big Splash and your ticket includes unlimited rides. Otherwise check out the Tuatara’s, Kea, Tui, Kiwi and Rainbow Trout all natives of New Zealand, just watch out for those mute Swans.


If you are still full of beans there is a Hoverwing to try gliding over the lake (I really wanted to do this but it was unavailable), 4wd in the mountains or how about a bungy at Agroventures. Or maybe you want to relax so head over to the Blue Baths or Polynesian Spa for some relaxation. While you are there have a stroll around the Government Gardens and if you are as lucky as me you might be able to catch the Tulip Festival and take in a beautiful Rotorua sunset.


Travel Tips for Rotorua, New Zealand:

  • check out to get some great deals on activities, restaurants and attractions
  • get a Jasons brochure to get more discount vouchers and to see the latest attractions
  • the more people in a OGO the cheaper the price, so make sure to bring your friends along

Come and check me out on youtube with my 24 Adventurous Hours in Rotorua Video

Have you been to Rotorua? What is your favourite activity?

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