10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Pure Cruise - Tourism New Zealand
10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua

10 Best Luxury Experiences in Rotorua ♨️ [2023]

© Pure Cruise – Tourism New Zealand

The Top Luxury Tours in Rotorua

Experience Rotorua‘s captivating geothermal and volcanic landscapes, immerse in authentic Maori 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 luxury travellers. Dive into your options with this list of the best luxury experiences in Rotorua.

Plus, for more premium trip-planning advice, see The Luxury Guide to Rotorua and the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations 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, Tripadvisor and Klook.

Location: Lakefront Drive, Rotorua city centre.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Volcanic Air - Destination Rotorua

2. Enjoy an Authentic and Personal Maori Tour

You can hardly visit Rotorua without experiencing the richness of the Polynesian culture of the Maori. One of the most luxurious Maori tours is Kahukiwi Experiences who will take you to explore the natural wonders, historical and cultural sites of Rotorua with a passionate Maori guide. On a private or super small-group 4WD tour, learn the stories of the local Ngāti Pikiao and try traditional Maori fare with light refreshments. Check out the tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Plus, see how this compares to others in 10 Best Maori Tours in New Zealand.

Location: Pick-ups are available from Rotorua city centre.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Kahukiwi Experiences

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 1.2km (0.7-mile) track in Sodi 390cc 4 stroke karts that can reach speeds close to 100km/h (60mph). Check out the exciting experiences from Off Road NZ on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, see more rainy day activities in the 15 Things to Do in Rotorua on a Rainy Day.

Location: 193 Amoore Road, Mamaku, approximately 25km (16 miles) from Rotorua city centre.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Off Road NZ

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. Find out more about Foris Eco-Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: Pick-ups are available from Rotorua accommodation.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Foris Eco-Tours

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 actually 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.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Polynesian Spa - Destination Rotorua

6. Treat Yourself to Fine Dining at Mokoia Restaurant, The Regent Room or Aorangi Peak

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. Finally, feel on top of the world at Aorangi Peak, home to a boutique winery and an effortlessly romantic restaurant with expansive lake views to accompany the French and Japanese cuisine. For more recommendations, see The Foodie Guide to Rotorua.

Location: Mokoia Restaurant – 77 Robinson Avenue. Regent Room – 1191 Pukaki Street. Aorangi Peak – 353 Mountain Road.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel

7. Explore the Whakawerawera Forest via E-bike

The Whakawerawera Redwood Forest is one of the top nature experiences in Rotorua. One of the premium ways to experience the environment of towering Californian Redwoods and native ferns is on a semi-guided e-bike tour with Mohawk Ebike Tours. Your guide will spend time showing you the various mountain bike trails, then you have the free time to pedal through the forest at leisure. The full-suspension electric mountain bikes allow you to ride up the hills with ease. Rentals also come with a muesli bar and water to keep you going. Check out Mohawk Ebike Tours on Viator or Tripadvisor.

Location: 1265 Fenton Street, Rotorua city centre. Transport to Whakawerawera Forest is available.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Mohawk Ebike Tours

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 Maori 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 ViatorTripadvisorKlook or Kkday.

Location: 351 State Highway 30, Tikitere, approximately 16km (10 miles) from Rotorua city centre.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Hell's Gate - Destination Rotorua

9. Embark on a Lake Sailing Experience

Offering bespoke experiences on Lake Rotoiti, Pure Cruise provides sailing charters on a luxury 53ft catamaran yacht. 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 springs 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. See how this compares to the 5 Stunning Places to Go Sailing in New Zealand.

Location: Pick-ups available from Rotorua accommodations.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Pure Cruise - Tourism New Zealand

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 are 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. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: Pick-ups available from Rotorua accommodations.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© Pxhere

[CLOSED] Visit Beautiful Places and Enhance Your Travel Photos on a Private Photography Tour

New Zealand’s awe-inspiring landscapes are hard to do justice through your average travel photos. Enhance your photography skills and take home memorable moments in time on a private photography tour with New Zealand Photography Workshops. Join a professional landscape photographer with a breadth of local knowledge for finding some of the most photogenic spots around Rotorua. The highlight is visiting one of the area’s most majestic waterfalls, Tarawera Falls.

Location: Pick-ups available from Rotorua accommodations.

10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua© New Zealand Photography Workshops

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:

Finally, find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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