A Winter Weekend Guide to Rotorua: Adventure, Relaxation, and Culture

a raft going over okere falls in rotorua and two people sitting in a hotpool overlooking lake rotoiti

Day 1: Adventure Awaits

Morning: Whitewater Rafting with Rotorua Rafting

Start your weekend with an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the Kaituna River. Rotorua Rafting offers Grade 5 whitewater rafting that will get your heart racing and provide a unique perspective of the region's natural beauty. The professional guides will ensure a safe and thrilling experience, complete with exciting river games and swims.

Afternoon: Ziplining with Rotorua Ziplines

After your rafting adventure, head over to Rotorua Ziplines for an exhilarating zip lining tour. Glide through the native forest canopy, enjoying breathtaking views and the thrill of soaring above the trees. This eco-friendly adventure is perfect for those looking to continue their day of excitement.

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Evening: Dining at Okere Falls Store

Cap off your day with a visit to the Okere Falls Store, conveniently located next to the Rotorua Rafting and Rotorua Ziplines base. This charming café offers delicious local cuisine and a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy a hearty meal made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, and perhaps a craft beer or two.

Day 2: Relaxation and Culture

Morning: Relax at the Polynesian Spa

After an adventurous first day, unwind at the Polynesian Spa. This world-renowned geothermal spa offers a variety of hot mineral pools that are perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating. Soak in the therapeutic waters while enjoying stunning lake views and the crisp winter air.

Afternoon: Explore Rotorua's Cultural Heritage

Spend your afternoon immersing yourself in Maori culture. Visit one of Rotorua's Maori villages, such as Te Puia or Te Pa Tu Maori Village. These cultural experiences offer fascinating insights into Maori traditions, including arts, crafts, and performances. Engage with the local community and learn about the rich history and heritage of the area.

Evening: Traditional Maori Hangi Dinner

End your weekend with a traditional Maori hangi dinner at one of the cultural villages. This unique dining experience involves food cooked in an earth oven, offering a taste of authentic Maori cuisine. Enjoy the warm hospitality, storytelling, and performances that will make your evening truly memorable.

polynesian spa rotorua
polynesian spa rotorua


Rotorua is easily accessible by car, and rental options are available for those traveling from nearby cities like Auckland or Hamilton. Alternatively, bus services operate regularly to and from Rotorua. Once in Rotorua, local taxis and rideshare services can help you get around.

Best Times to Visit:

While Rotorua is a year-round destination, winter offers a unique charm with fewer crowds and the opportunity to enjoy hot thermal springs in the crisp air. Make sure to pack warm clothing for the cooler temperatures.

Accommodation Options:

For a cozy stay in Okere Falls, consider booking one of the local Airbnbs. Two popular options include:

  1. The Big Little House
  2. The Love Shack