The Luxury Guide to Rotorua© Volcanic Air - Destination Rotorua
The Luxury Guide to Rotorua

The Luxury Travel Guide to Rotorua [2023]

© Volcanic Air – Destination Rotorua

How to Plan a Luxury Trip to Rotorua

Soothing mineral hot springs, dramatic volcanic scenery, and captivating Maori customs, legends and traditions… Rotorua certainly sets the right tone for a memorable yet diverse luxury getaway. It’s one of the most compelling destinations in New Zealand, so plan at least a couple of days in the small city if you’re on a tight itinerary. Otherwise, you can easily spend weeks in Rotorua, engaging in different natural, cultural and gastronomical experiences each day.

Discover Rotorua’s premium tours, activities, fine dining venues and accommodations with this luxury travel guide to Rotorua.

Luxury Activities in Rotorua

  • Fly and land on the Mt Tarawera volcano with Volcanic Air
  • Enjoy an authentic Maori tour with Kahukiwi Experiences
  • Drive the 4WD challenges at Off Road NZ
  • See one of the most stunning and off-the-beaten-track forests with Foris Eco-Tours
  • Indulge in the hot pools and spa treatments of the Polynesian Spa
  • Treat yourself to fine dining at Mokoia Restaurant, The Regent Room or Aorangi Peak
  • Explore the Whakawerawera Forest via Ebike with Mohawk Ebike Tours
  • Embark on a lake sailing experience with Pure Cruise NZ
  • Visit Rotorua’s geothermal and volcanic highlights with Elite Adventures Rotorua Tours.

For more details on each experience, check out the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Rotorua.

The Luxury Guide to Rotorua© Volcanic Air - Destination Rotorua

Luxury Adventure Activities

Get out and experience Rotorua’s lush forests, volcanos and geothermal hot pools on one of the premium tours. Delve into the Maori culture and even enhance your travel photography on specialised tours. It’s all available in Rotorua.

Volcano Helicopter Flights

Some of these attractions can also be admired 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 but some of the top adventures include a helicopter landing on the iconic Mt Tarawera. Stand on the lunar-like landscape of this volcano that had a famous eruption in 1886 but is now dormant. Alternatively, a flight via floatplane over Mt Tarawera is available. Check out Volcanic Air’s tours on ViatorTripadvisor or Klook.

Private Maori Tours

You can hardly visit Rotorua without experiencing the richness of the Maori culture, with one of the most luxurious Maori tours being Kahukiwi Experiences. Explore the natural wonders, historic and cultural sites of Rotorua with your passionate Maori guide on a private or 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.

Luxury Geothermal Tour

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 with a naturalist guide, to the shores of Rotorua’s surrounding volcanic lakes, on a bushwalk to a waterfall, to the historic Buried Village and much more. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.

See more adventures, like an off-the-beaten-track forest and bird watching tour, as well as a private photography tour in the 10 Best Luxury Activities in Rotorua.

The Luxury Guide to Rotorua© Destination Rotorua

Luxury All-Weather Activities

Whatever the weather, there’s always room for adventure or relaxation in Rotorua.

Off-Roading Tours

Starting off with the adventure, 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 the weather is fine, however, 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.

Luxury Hot Pools

While Rotorua seems like it’s only full of big adventures, it’s also actually one of the best places to relax thanks to its abundance of geothermal mineral hot springs. Easily the most luxurious option 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 deluxe soaps and shampoos and a more tranquil ambience than the neighbouring Pavilion Pools. 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

For more all-weather experiences, check out the 15 Things to Do in Rotorua on a Rainy Day.

The Luxury Guide to Rotorua© Volcanic Hills - Destination Rotorua

Fine Dining in Rotorua

Conclude each day in New Zealand’s famous hotspot with a sumptuous meal along with local wine and craft beer, or whatever you prefer.

One of the top choices is Mokoia Restaurant (77 Robinson Avenue at the Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort) serving up impeccably presented plates of Pacific Rim cuisine using indigenous herbs and spices. Try something from their grill menu with prime meat cuts and indulge as you enjoy the views from the stunning lakeside location.

For something a little closer to town, try The Regent Room (1191 Pukaki Street at the Regent of Rotorua) offering an elegant European-style restaurant in the heart of Rotorua. Relax on the classic French or leather sofas, sip on creative cocktails and dine on contemporary New Zealand cuisine.

Finally, feel on top of the world at Aorangi Peak (353 Mountain Road), home to a boutique winery and an effortlessly romantic restaurant with expansive views of Lake Rotorua. Enlighten your tastebuds with an intriguing mix of French and Japanese cuisine.

Another great winery to try is Volcanic Hills (176 Fairy Springs road) where you will get to sample platters and wines amongst an industrial decor well worth half a dozen IG shots. Access the wine tasting lounge by taking the Skyline Gondolatickets are available on Klook.

For more recommendations, see The Foodie Guide to Rotorua.

More About Rotorua

That’s it for the luxury travel guide to Rotorua, but not for our advice about visiting Rotorua. Check out these other guides that may help enhance your trip:

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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