The Top Luxury Tours in Rotorua
Experience Rotorua‘s captivating geothermal and volcanic landscapes, immerse in authentic Māori experiences and treat the senses to mineral-rich hot pools and fine dining through Rotorua’s premium tours and activities. Whether you’re in New Zealand’s famous hotspot for a special occasion or simply prefer to travel in style, Rotorua has plenty to offer discerning travellers. Dive into your options with this list of the best luxury experiences in Rotorua.
1. Fly and Land on the Mt Tarawera Volcano
Experience Rotorua’s volcanic lakes and geothermal features from a unique bird’s eye perspective with Volcanic Air. Offering a range of scenic flights via helicopter and floatplane, Volcanic Air has a tour to fit most itineraries and interests but our recommended experience is a helicopter landing on the iconic Mt Tarawera. Stand on the lunar-like landscape of this vibrant red volcano that had a significant landscape-changing eruption in 1886 but now lies dormant. Alternatively, a flight via floatplane over Mt Tarawera is available. Check out Volcanic Air’s tours on Viator and Klook.
Location: Lakefront Drive, Rotorua city centre.
2. Enjoy an Authentic and Personal Māori Tour
You can hardly visit Rotorua without experiencing the richness of the Polynesian culture of the Māori. One of the most exclusive Māori tours is Kahukiwi Experiences who will take you to explore the natural wonders and historical and cultural sites of Rotorua with a passionate Māori guide. On a private or super small-group 4WD tour, learn the stories of the local Ngāti Pikiao and try traditional Māori fare with light refreshments. See how this compares to others in the 10 Best Māori Tours in New Zealand.
Location: Transfers are available from Rotorua city centre.
3. Drive the 4WD Challenges of Off Road NZ
Rain or shine, join Off Road NZ for an exciting 4WD self-drive experience. Conquer the challenging trails through the New Zealand bush on the “4WD Bush Safari” or leave the driving to the experts on the “Monster 4X4 Thrill Ride” inside an all-terrain vehicle complete with a roll-cage. If you’re travelling as a group, don’t miss the Raceline Karting experience – a fast go-karting experience on a 1.2 km (0.7 mi) track in Sodi 390 cc 4-stroke karts that can reach speeds close to 100 kph (60 mph)! See more rainy day activities like this in the 15 Things to Do in Rotorua on a Rainy Day.
Location: 193 Amoore Road, Mamaku, approximately 25 km (16 mi) from Rotorua city centre.
4. See One of the Most Stunning and Off-the-Beaten-Track Forests with Foris Eco-Tours
A small-group or private tour sets the right tone for exploring one of the most stunning forests in New Zealand. Get off the tourist trail with Foris Eco-Tours on either their “Whirinaki Forest Tour” or “Bird Watching Tour” and delve into the 1,000-year-old Whirinaki Forest. Venture along the hiking trails of a dense rainforest with mighty natives like kahikatea, matai, miro, rimu and totara towering above, covered in thousands of moss species and home to a wealth of unique New Zealand birds. The experience includes lunch and the guidance of a professional guide and photographer.
Location: Transfers are available from Rotorua accommodation.
5. Indulge in the Hot Pools and Spa Treatments of the Polynesian Spa
While Rotorua sometimes seems like its only home to full-on adventures, it’s also one of the best places to relax thanks to its abundance of geothermal mineral-rich hot springs. One of the most premium options for bathing in Rotorua’s famous geothermal waters is the Polynesian Spa. Opt for the “Deluxe Lake Spa” with natural surrounding features and premium changing rooms with indulgent soaps and shampoos and a tranquil ambience. Enhance the experience further with one of the lakeview private pools and indulge in the treatments at the day spa. Check out reviews and book tickets on Klook or KKday.
Location: 1000 Hinemoa Street, Rotorua city centre.
6. Treat Yourself to Fine Dining at Mokoia Restaurant or The Regent Room
Conclude each day in New Zealand’s famous hotspot with a sumptuous meal, perhaps at the Mokoia Restaurant of the Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort, which serves up impeccably presented plates of Pacific Rim cuisine using indigenous herbs and spices. Otherwise, try The Regent Room at the Regent of Rotorua, offering an elegant European-style restaurant in the heart of the town. For more recommendations, see The Food Guide to Rotorua.
Location: Mokoia Restaurant – 77 Robinson Avenue. Regent Room – 1191 Pukaki Street.
7. Enjoy Absolute Exclusivity with MDA Experiences
White water rafting, mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, Māori experiences… Whatever your interests, MDA Experiences delivers it to you through fully tailored expeditions complete with unique accommodations and superb local cuisine – you can even include private transfers from anywhere in the North Island if you wish.
Location: Transfers are available from your chosen location (including Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Napier and Tauranga).
8. Treat Yourself to a Unique Rotorua Mud Spa
One of the more unique geothermal experiences in Rotorua, Hell’s Gate offers an array of mud baths and hot pools among their geothermal area. The local Māori have used the healing properties of the geothermal mud and sulphur mineral water for hundreds of years, which you can sample for yourself. Before or after your soaking, enjoy a guided or self-guided tour of the geothermal park with erupting waters, mud volcanoes, land coral and more. Book your tickets to Hell’s Gate on Viator or Klook.
Location: 351 State Highway 30, Tikitere, approximately 16 km (10 mi) from Rotorua city centre.
9. Embark on a Lake Sailing Experience
Offering bespoke experiences on Lake Rotoiti, Pure Cruise provides sailing charters on a unique Airstream trailer-turned-pontoon vessel. You and your group get exclusive use of this vessel, where you’ll sail the sparkling waters of one of Rotorua’s lakes, visit sandy coves, hot pools and cultural sites explained by your skipper and guide. Charters can also be complemented with gourmet onboard dining, while New Zealand wines, beers and other beverages are available to purchase from the onboard bar.
Location: Transfers are available from Rotorua accommodations.
10. Tour Rotorua’s Geothermal and Volcanic Highlights
With the bubbling mud pools, vibrant sulfur lakes and steaming vents found across Rotorua, visiting the geothermal parks and hidden gems is a must. While you can visit Rotorua’s geothermal parks independently, a hassle-free way to enjoy them is on a guided tour with Elite Adventures Rotorua Tours. Their small-group full-day tour takes you to Wai-O-Tapu, the shores of Rotorua’s surrounding volcanic lakes, on a bushwalk to a waterfall, to the historic Buried Village and much more. The whole experience is with a naturalist guide to enhance your understanding beyond that of the average tourist.
Location: Transfers are available from Rotorua accommodations.
More About Rotorua
That’s it for the best luxury experiences in Rotorua. For more activities that might not fall under the “luxury” category but are just as spectacular, check out the following guides:
- 25 Best Things to Do in Rotorua
- 10 Best Walks in Rotorua
- 20 Things to Do in Rotorua with Kids
- 10 Romantic Things to Do in Rotorua
- 10 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night
Finally, find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.