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Rotorua is a must-see place to visit in the North Island. It offers two outstanding things that make this place unique. On the one hand, it is a renowned center for Māori culture, with fantastic performances that exhibit traditional Māori culture and introduce you to the rich heritage of the local tribes. On the other hand, it is one of the few places in New Zealand to witness an active geothermal landscape, allowing you to see steaming mud pools and might geysers. Rotorua is formally located in the Bay of Plenty region but is further inland than other towns. It is truly beautiful, as it is situated on the southern shores of Lake Rotorua, one of the lakes in the Rotorua Lakes District. It is the most significant city in the Bay of Plenty behind Tauranga.

Rotorua Climate

The Rotorua region enjoys a mild temperate climate (Cfb). Rotorua is situated inland from the coast and is sheltered by high country to the south and east of the city, resulting in less wind than many other places in New Zealand. During the winter months June - August temperatures can drop below 0 °C. Frost is common in Rotorua during its winter months, with an average of 57 ground frosts annually, and 20 nights per year below 0 °C. Snowfall in Rotorua is rare and since the 1970s has only been recorded twice. On 15 August 2011 and 13 July 2017 snowflakes fell in the town centre.

  • 12.7°C / 59.4°F

    Average annual temperatures

  • 1341.8mm / 52.83inches

    Average annual precipitation

  • 117 days

    Average annual precipitation days

Rotorua recommended destinations

  • Rotorua Museum

    The museum is housed in the former Bath House building which was opened in 1908 and is noted as the first major investment in the New Zealand tourism industry by the government. The Bath House is a half-timbered building that has been called the most impressive Elizabethan Revival building in New Zealand. It has collections covering fine arts, photography, social history, and Taonga objects from the Māori culture.

  • Te Puia: Pohutu Geyser

    Experience New Zealand's geothermal wonderland. Walk alongside a beautiful landscape of uncovered natural bush, mud pools and the majestic Pōhutu Geyser, the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere. Experience the pure adrenalin rush of standing next to one of Mother Nature's true natural wonders, feeling it reverberating beneath your feet and hearing the roar of an eruption even before you're seeing it.

  • Te Wairoa

    Te Wairoa was a village, now a ghost town that is also known as the Buried Village, close to the shore of Lake Tarawera in New Zealand's North Island. The village was destroyed by the eruption of the volcano Mount Tarawera on June 10, 1886, 120 people died in the eruption. The Buried Village is open to the public and shows the excavated ruins of the village, recovered relics on display in a museum and the history of the eruption.

  • Waimangu Volcanic Valley

    Explore spectacular activity in the world's youngest geothermal system on a self-guided walking tour at Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Discover Frying Pan Lake, one of the largest hot water springs in the World and mysterious, beautiful Inferno Crater Lake which rises and falls as it heats and cools. See rare and unusual plants that have adapted to grow in the warm geothermal landscape and enjoy the abundance of native birdlife around Lake Rotomahana.

  • Wai-O-Tapu

    Rotorua is one of the most active geothermal sites in the world. If boiling mud pools, hissing geysers shooting high into the sky, volcanic craters and steaming thermal springs don't impress you, what will? Just outside Rotorua is the Wai-O-Tapa Thermal Wonderland. The park is filled with geothermal activity and provides the perfect opportunity to learn about New Zealand's rich Maori history and culture.

  • Whakarewarewa: A Māori Village

    Whakarewarewa is a Rotorua semi-rural geothermal area in the Taupo Volcanic Zone of New Zealand. This was the site of the Māori fortress of Te Puia. Whakarewarewa has some 500 pools, most of which are alkaline chloride hot springs, and at least 65 geyser vents, each with their own name. Seven geysers are currently active. Pohutu Geyser, meaning big splash or explosion, erupts approximately hourly to heights of up to 30 m.