Things to do

Rotorua is New Zealand’s cultural centre for Maori people and one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

The city of just under 70,000 people attracts large numbers of holidaymakers from around the world every year, most of whom are here to discover the rich history of Maori people and Rotorua itself, as well as the city’s spectacular geothermal activity that includes geysers and thermal mud pools.

Rotorua is also renowned for its stunning scenery, 18 lakes, world-class mountain biking trails and its wide range of thrilling adventure activities.

Ann’s Volcanic Motel in Rotorua is situated on Malfroy Road, close to various amenities as well as a number of the city’s popular tourist attractions.

In this section of our website we have included some very useful and interesting information on Rotorua. We have the Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua, information on annual Events in Rotorua, as well as the Rotorua Day & Night Markets, plus information on the many other adventure things to do and see whilst you are in Rotorua.

Top 10 Things to Do in Rotorua

Ann’s Volcanic Motel has provided, in no particular order, the top 10 things to do in Rotorua during your stay.

Known as Sulphur City, Rotorua has a huge international tourism reputation, built largely on its unique volcanic activity and its rich Maori culture. These two features combined separate the city from any other place in New Zealand.

As with any city that generates a large number of international visitors each year, Rotorua has a smorgasbord of activities and attractions that should make it an automatic inclusion on anyone’s New Zealand travel itinerary. Here is our list of 10 things you must do whilst in Rotorua.

Te Puia


The icon of Rotorua . See the world famous Pohutu Geyser, boiling mud, the wood carving house, weaving display, kiwi house. Enjoy a Maori Concert 3 times a day.
TIME NEEDED: 2½ -4 hours
DRIVE TIME: 3 minutes

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland


Wai’ meaning water, ‘tapu’ meaning sacred. Wai-o-tapu is the prettiest volcanic area in Rotorua…. the pools are beautiful. Blues and yellows with pink edges!! The Lady Knox Geyser plays at 10.15 am only. Wai-o-tapu has the best mud !!
TIME NEEDED: 2 hours
DRIVE TIME: 30 minutes



The Agrodome Sheep Show, where you’ll see nineteen sheep breeds, the art of sheep shearing, sheepdog demonstrations, cow milking, bottle feed lambs and an exciting sheep auction. Audience participation is a major part of the show. The guided tour shows you our 160 hectare farm. Hand-feed and pet the animals. During the Farm Tour, you will also visit our Pure NZ Organic apple, mandarin orange, olive and kiwi fruit orchard and stop at the Organic Education Center for kiwifruit wine and honey tasting.
TIME NEEDED: 1½ hours
DRIVE TIME: 12 minutes

Government Garden and Museum


Walk around the delightful gardens below the Rotorua Museum. See the Rachel Pool which fed mineral waters to the original Bath House.

This beautiful Elizabethan-style Bath House once housed a health spa. See the spiritually significant treasures of the Te Arawa people and the exhibits of the 1886 Tarawera eruption.
TIME NEEDED: 1½ hours
DRIVE TIME: 3 minutes

Polynesian Spa


World Top Ten Spa (natural, medical, thermal) as voted by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine 2004 – 2007, 2009,& 2011. Indulge in an array of hydro and dry relaxation spa therapies at Lake Spa Retreat. All spa therapies include deluxe bathing! Relish wonderful natural ingredients, including the exfoliating, cleansing and healing qualities of Rotorua thermal mud, the hydrating, healing and soothing traits of New Zealand manuka honey, and the anti oxidant effects of New Zealand kiwifruit.
DRIVE TIME: 3 minutes

Skyline Luge


Take a gondola ride up Mt. Ngongotaha and luge one of the three courses.

You may also choose to enjoy a buffet lunch/dinner at the hilltop restaurant.
TIME NEEDED: 1½ hour
DRIVE TIME: 6 minutes

Paradise Valley


Rainbow Trout, bird-life, wild animals and lion pride. When cubs are under 6 months old, visitors are able to go into the enclosure with them.
TIME NEEDED: 1½ hours
DRIVE TIME: 15 minutes

Rainbow Springs and Kiwis


Wild trout in tranquil pools, set in beautiful New Zealand bush. Live Kiwi birds on display and see New Zealand’s live dinosaur, the 25 million year old Tuatara. Rainbow Springs is idyllic at night and you can see the native kiwi bird wandering in natural nocturnal surroundings.
Day TIME NEEDED: 1½ hours
DRIVE TIME: 5 minutes
Night TIME NEEDED: 1 hours
DRIVE TIME: 5 minutes

Buried Village


The haunting remains of an excavated village buried by the Tarawera eruption in 1886. Natural bush walk and beautiful waterfall.
TIME NEEDED: 1½ hours
DRIVE TIME: 25 minutes

Hell‘s Gate


Very active sulphur and graphite pool at incredible temperatures. This is surely what Hell looks like! The largest hot waterfall in the southern hemishere. Self-drive or let me book you on a tour which includes this attraction.
TIME NEEDED: 2½ hours
DRIVE TIME: 25 minutes