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Things To Do In and Around Rotorua

White Island is a live volcanic island located 50 kilometres off the coast due East of Rotorua, and there are two ways for you to get there and have a memorable 60 – 90 minute guided tour of the island.

A trip by helicopter is of course the ultimate, as you get such fantastic views of the island as you come in to land.  The pilot is also your guide and very knowledgeable.  On the way back you can have the opportunity to  stop on top of Mount Tarawera and look down the 14 kilometre rift valley that was formed when the mountain erupted in 1886.  Unbelievably Stupendous!  (Allow 4 hours).

The trip can also be done by boat.  You drive across to Whakatane and they take you out to the island in a high speed, purpose built vessel, this way allows you to (hopefully) see  the dolphins playing in the bow wave as you go.  Again you have a guided tour provided by the crew, and we are confidant you will never, ever forget the experience of having walked on a live volcano!  (Allow a day for this).

There are a range of educational and entertaining cultural shows available that provide the opportunity to experience Maori singing and dancing as well as a Hangi (Maori feast cooked in the ground).  A couple are based in hotels, but there are 3 others that offer much more as they include  seeing the Hangi itself, and they show a more realistic view of traditional Maori life.

The 3 are all very good, and each offers a fantastic evening experience, please feel free to ask us questions as we can explain the differences to make it easier for you to select which one would be more to your liking.  We base our knowledge on recent feedback from our guests - and we can also help with discounts for all 3 of them.    (Allow 4 hours in the evening).

Skyline is a fantastic place to visit for all ages.  The ride up in the Gondola is so peaceful, and the views over the City and the lake are fantastic.   There is also a great restaurant up there, that does a very good buffet meal in the evenings – and we can arrange for you to be picked up from MALFROY Motor Lodge Rotorua accommodation. 

The Luge provides 3 ride levels, and it is really worth doing the initial level – a gentle 2 kilometre journey down the hill, passing through the redwoods, with great views and places to stop and take photo’s.  The other 2 levels are more challenging, and provide fun for the more adventurous.  The swing is another great experience, and we have a fantastic combo at a fantastic price – Gondola, 2 x Luge plus the Swing for less than $50 each.  Great fun!!  (Allow 1 – 2 hours).

And if that is not enough to get your adrenalin going Rotorua offers some of the best white water rafting in New Zealand – including the highest commercially raftable waterfall in the world!!  The company we recommend is culturally aware and environmentally friendly.  They are also very safety conscious and we know they will truly look after our guests.  A great way to spend half a day.

Rotorua also has Sky Diving, Bungy jumping, OGO and the zorb (tumbling down a hill in a very large ball), kids Grandparents,  Mum and Dads all love this.  For the older kids and the kids at heart there is Quad biking and phenomenal Go karting on an international level track – at up to 100kph!!  (Time to allow for these varies).

Rotorua has a superb selection of golf courses catering to all skill levels, including world-class courses such as Hamurana, Arikikapakapa, Government Gardens and Springfield.

Springfield Golf Club is Rotorua's only championship course. It is known for being Danny Lee's home club and its extremely tight fairways and its vast amount of trees.

In the Government gardens you will find a 9 hole golf course, mini-golf, and an excellent driving range.

We also have 3 pitch and putt courses for families to pass a couple of pleasant hours at.  Putt Putt Golf is very popular and also provides the opportunity to race cars on their track, or to rent a Segway for a couple of hours.  A quite unique way to explore Rotorua.

As well as being the start point for the phenominal 'Pathway of Fire' cycleway, Rotorua's Redwood forest has some of the best Mountain Biking anywhere in the world – it is so good that we have had a number of World class events held here in Rotorua.

With over 500 kilometres of tracks there is something for all skill levels and enough choice that one visit is rarely enough.  If you don’t feel like bringing your bikes on holiday you can rent on-site from a very reputable company. (Allow 2 to 8 hours)

If you do bring your bikes you can ride to the Redwoods from MALFROY, and we have a bike store with lighting for those necessary adjustments / repairs.  We also have a hose for washing off the mud!

The below all work just as well on a sunny day, but are good to know about should it be wet.

The museum is in the old bath house, a beautiful building that houses a variety of interesting artefacts, and has 3 really good short movies.  There is a café which is also a great place for lunch and to ponder over all the culture you have learned  (Allow 2 hours without lunch).

Agrodome is an entertaining and educational experience, interesting for those budding farmers amongst you and especially educational for those that have never lived on a farm.  Their dogs are just incredible.  (Allow 90 mins for the show alone).

And there is always Rafting   a good thing to do on a wet day, as you are going to get wet anyway!

And if that is not enough we can recommend  a great shooting gallery too.  One with a range of pistols and rifles to shoot with, and all at a very reasonable cost - important when you have a family to amuse.  The owner is always on hand to help make sure you make the most of what is available.  He is truly enthusiastic, and this is an opportunity for the men to show off their gun knowledge, and to instruct the young ones on what not to do.  (Allow 30 – 90 mins)

PLAYTOPIA - For those with younger children this is a great place for children 1 to 12.  Fun and adventure in this playground guaranteed.   You can feed the kids with food bound to please, a great place to spend a couple of hours while Mum and Dad relax over a cup of coffee, and  the kids can go off and have some fun whilst making new friends.

There are 7 geo-thermal areas around Rotorua, and all of them are very worth visiting.  Our guests regularly tell us that the top 2 are Wai-O-Tapu with the Lady Knox Geyser, and Waimungu with its Jurassic Park like scenery, each costing just over $30 to provide you with fantastic things to see, hear, and smell!!  Definitely a Rotorua must do. (Allow 2 and 3 hours respectively).

For those trying to see as much as they can in a short time period, Te Puia is somewhere not to be missed.  A geo-thermal valley with its own geysers, the Prince of Wales Feathers and Pohutu, and the Maori Arts and Crafts Centre with its own school – which you get to visit.  They also have a Kiwi house, and offer a Cultural show 3 times a day, making this an excellent intro to the Maori side of Rotorua.  (Allow 2 hours at least).

Kuirau Park is just a few minutes’ walk down the road from our motel – and is FREE.  Bubbling mud, boiling water, and lots and lots of steam coming up from all over the place.  As well as there being a safe playground area for the younger ones, there is also plenty of space for the teenagers to run around and play touch rugby, soccer or cricket.  (Allow 1 – 3 hours).

On the other side of the park you will find Ohinemutu village, where generations of Maori have lived and still do.  You will be fascinated by the steam which drifts out of huge holes in peoples gardens and I believe into people’s houses.  With its beautiful church by the lake, and the fantastic carvings on the front of their Marae it is well worth taking time to visit this interesting and historical piece of New Zealand  (Add another 45 mins to an hour for the village).

It is also worth taking time  to drive out and visit the Blue and Green lakes and Lake Tarawera where there are numerous walks to be enjoyed.  Having lunch at The Crossing Café on Lake Tarawera can be a good idea too – as it offers really great food.  (Allow 2 - 4 hours, without lunch).

Consider renting  a boat and going across the lake to hot water beach, where you can bathe in the various pools heated by the thermal waters that come down the hill.  (Allow half a day, maybe all day if you take a packed lunch and go on to use the boat to further explore the lake).

The Redwood forest has miles and miles of walking tracks.  Huge trees and wonderful tracks, some flat and some steep enough for a really good hike.  (Allow 1 – 4 hours).

Horse riding is available in beautiful surroundings, and with a range of horses to suit all ability levels.  (Allow 2 – 3 hours).

Feel free to let us help you with your bookings, as we have a wide range of discount vouchers available, and that can help to stretch your budget.  We can also provide you with the latest feedback from our guests – on which are the best attractions at that time. 

Remember, your guide books are not always up to date and are generally based upon how things were the year before your visit; and in some cases even earlier than that.  

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