Things to Do in Rotorua for Couples
Rotorua is essential on the honeymoon itinerary, while also offering a fantastic romantic weekend away. While it might be famous for its geothermal features and Maori culture, there are a few romantic additions to the lakeside town that might surprise you and enhance the romance. Did you know you could kayak under glowworms in Rotorua? Do a tandem zipline through lush forest? Walk through a unique treetop light display at night? Delight your loved one with these romantic activities in Rotorua for couples!
For more advice on planning the perfect getaway, see The Honeymoon Guide to Rotorua.
1. Kayak or SUP Through a Cave of Glowworms
Join River Rats Rafts & Kayak for a sunset paddle on Lake Rotoiti where you’ll drift through glowworm caves, soak in natural hot springs and conclude with a picnic barbecue dinner. Find out more about this tour on Viator and Tripadvisor. Alternatively, opt for a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) for a similar-but-different adventure with Paddle Board Rotorua. They offer a shorter tour to see Lake Rotoiti’s hidden glowworm cave only. Kayaking with them is also available. More information can be found on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Paddle Board Rotorua – 1167 Fenton Street. River Rats Rafts & Kayak – 837 Te Ngae Road (pick-ups are available).
2. Enjoy the Romantic Views on a Guided Horse Trek
What could be more romantic than riding with your loved one on a majestic steed? Well, riding with your loved one on a majestic steed with breathtaking views of Lake Rotorua! Adventure Playground offers guided horse treks on the hills of Mt Ngongotaha where you’ll wind through native forest to open hills overlooking Rotorua and the lake. The tour is suitable for beginners to experienced riders. Find out more about Adventure Playground’s horse trek on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 451 Ngongotaha Road, approximately 7km (4 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
3. Walk Hand-in-hand on Rotorua’s Picture-perfect Walks
And if you are looking for activities to help stick to your honeymoon budget, never fear. Rotorua has a wealth of scenic walking trails in and around the city. A romantic stroll along the lakefront at sunset on the Rotorua Walkway is an easy go-to for couples, while those looking to escape to nature may enjoy the Blue Lake Walk around Lake Tikitapu. Find out more about these walks and others in the 11 Must-Do Walks in Rotorua.
Location: Rotorua Walkway access off Oruawhata Drive in the city centre. Blue Lake Walk – Tarawera Road, approximately 10km (6 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
4. Unwind in a Natural Mineral Hot Pool
And a must-do in Rotorua is unwinding in some of its glorious hot pools. There are several amazing thermal pools complexes to discover in Rotorua, from the luxurious lakeview private pools of the Polynesian Spa to the mud pools of Hell’s Gate. Experience some of the off-the-beaten-track offerings with Real Rotorua, who offer small-group tours to see hidden gems like Rainbow Mountain, the Waiotapu Boardwalk with mud pools and ending at the less-visited Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Find out more about the tour on Viator and Tripadvisor. Check out more hot pool options in the 10 Damn Relaxing Hot Pools in New Zealand.
Location: Tours depart from 1167 Fenton Street, Rotorua city centre.
5. Roll Down a Hill in a Giant Hamster Ball Together
Sometimes you just have to get silly together and it doesn’t get more silly than rolling down a hill in an oversized inflatable hamster ball with Zorb. The Zorb ball is lined with shallow water so you’ll keep (almost) upright as you roll down one of the downhill tracks together in the same ball. Warm-up between runs in the spa pool while you watch others roll down the hill. Check out Zorb on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 525 Ngongotaha Road, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
6. Fly Over Rotorua’s Volcano, Lakes and Geothermal Landscape
With awe-inspiring views and an intimate set-up, a scenic flight in Rotorua is undoubtedly a romantic thing to do. Cosy up and enjoy the views of the lunar-like terrain of Mt Tarawera and its fiery red crater. Soar over the various lakes surrounding Rotorua and the geothermal valleys paved through the landscape. Volcanic Air offers several options to experience this via helicopter or floatplane. Check out Volcanic Air’s tours on Viator and Tripadvisor. Plus, see more experiences like this in the 10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua.
Location: Lakefront Drive, Rotorua city centre.
7. Enjoy the Pretty Light Show of the Redwoods Treewalk at Night
Walking through the giant Californian redwood forest of Whakawerawera is a romantic experience in itself but things are heightened further with the Redwoods Treewalk at night. As you walk across 28 suspension bridges high in the canopy of the Whakawerawera Forest, marvel at the exquisite lanterns decorating the trees in this unique night lights experience. Check out tours that include the Redwoods Tree walk on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Longmile Road, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
8. Fly Through the Trees Together on a Ziplining Tour
Strengthen your bond by conquering a multitude of ziplines some 22m (72ft) high in the forest with Rotorua Canopy Tours. While shorter tours are available, a no-brainer for couples is The Ultimate Canopy Tour, a 3h30mins adventure including a tandem zipline so you can soar through the forest at the same time. The eco-tour allows you to get close to nature in vibrant native forest where you’re likely to meet forest residents like native robins, tui and kereru. Learn more about Rotorua Canopy Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 147 Fairy Springs Road, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Rotorua city centre. Pick-ups are available.
9. Indulge in Local Wines and Platters at Volcanic Hills Winery
Nothing concludes a day out in Rotorua together quite like a special dining experience with your loved one. Indulge the senses at Volcanic Hills Winery and their tasting room located at the top of the Skyline Gondola. Absorb in the spectacular views of Lake Rotorua while you sip on locally-produced wines and share a gourmet platter.
Location: Take the gondola from 178 Fairy Springs Road, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
10. Treat Your Loved One to a Romantic Dinner at Rotorua’s Restaurants
Speaking of the Skyline Gondola as mentioned in point #9, also at the top is the Stratosfare Restaurant, which is ideal for a special romantic meal in Rotorua. The restaurant sets the right tone with its Italian marble, granite, schist, timber and lighting designed by the same designer as the Redwoods Treewalk lights (see point #7). Alternatively, dine on cuisine from the most romantic country in the world at Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria. If your loved one prefers something cool and casual, head to the Abracadabra Cafe & Bar serving plates designed to be shared. For more recommendations, check out The Foodie Guide to Rotorua.
Location: Stratosfare Restaurant – 178 Fairy Springs Road (up the gondola), Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria – 346 Te Ngae Road. Abracadabra Cafe & Bar – 1263 Amohia Street.