The Best Evening Activities in Rotorua
There are many awesome things about Rotorua and just one of them is that there are so many things to do in Rotorua at night! Rotorua is not only a city to experience throughout the day (where you can spend your time doing the 25 Best Things to Do in Rotorua) but features an array of Maori evening shows, twilight hot pools, and even ziplining tours after dark. In short, there is no way you can get bored in Rotorua at night.
At the end of an adventurous evening, make sure you have somewhere amazing to stay by checking out The 50 Best Accommodations in Rotorua.
1. See a Maori Evening Show
Rotorua is the hub for Maori experiences in New Zealand. Some of the best cultural shows and traditional feasts happen to occur at night! Tamaki Maori Village (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook), Mitai Maori Village (on Viator and Tripadvisor) and Te Puia (on Klook, KKday, Viator and Tripadvisor) all offer evening shows with captivating performances of traditional Maori song and dance, including the haka. You’ll also be treated to a hangi – food slow-cooked in an underground oven.
Location: Tamaki Maori Village transport departs from 1220 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua city centre. Mitai Maori Village offers Rotorua accommodation pick-ups. Te Puia – Hemo Road.
2. Unwind in Some Hot Pools
After a day’s adventuring, relax in some naturally-heated geothermal hot pools. You’re seriously spoiled for choice in Rotorua with the Polynesian Spa, open until 10pm (more info on Klook, KKday, Viator and Tripadvisor) or the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, open until 8pm (on Klook, Viator or Tripadvisor). You could even go for an evening mission to one of the free natural hot pools around Rotorua that we mention in 5 Free Natural Hot Pools in Rotorua.
Location: Polynesian Spa – 1000 Hinemoa Street. Waikite Valley Thermal Pools – 648 Waikite Valley Road, Waikite Valley, 35km (22 miles) from Rotorua.
3. Treat Yourself to Some Good Food on Eat Streat or the Rotorua Night Market
We’re not exactly winning the idea of the century with this one, but the evening is a good time to eat, right? Why not try some of the local cuisines in one of the many restaurants around Rotorua? Eat Streat, as the name suggests, is a good place to start with a street full of international flavours. Better yet, the Rotorua Night Market is worth checking out for its street food and boutique shopping. Catch it every Thursday at 5pm-9pm in summer or 4.40pm-8.30pm in winter. Check out more activities like this in the 9 Foodie Experiences in Rotorua, as well as restaurant recommendations in The Food Guide to Rotorua.
Location: Eat Streat is at the end of Tutanekai Street. The Night Market is on Tutanekai Street (between Haupapa and Hinemoa Streets).
4. See the Redwoods Treewalk Light Displays
The Redwoods Treewalk takes you through the exotic Whakarewarewa Redwoods Forest at new heights! What makes the nighttime treewalk extra special are the stunning light displays illuminating the forest in colourful and creative ways. There are around 30 lanterns to give you amazing photo opportunities. The experience lasts approximately 40 minutes and is open until 10.30pm. Check out more experiences like this in the 12 Most Romantic Things to Do in Rotorua for Couples.
Location: Longmile Road, approximately 5km (3 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
5. Play Mini Golf with Fairy Lights and Rabbits!
Certainly one of the quirkiest attractions on this list of things to do in Rotorua at night, Rotorua Mini Golf is not just a mini golf course but an animal attraction. You’ll share the course with giant flemish rabbits, while after dark games are lit up with fairy lights. This mini golf attraction is open until 10pm. We also list this activity in the 20 Things to Do in Rotorua with Kids.
Location: 152 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, approximately 4.5km (2.8 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
6. Have a Race on the Night Luge
The Luge at the top of the Skyline Gondola is pretty impressive throughout the day but after dark, it’s a whole new crazy experience! Ride these gravity-powered go-karts down either the multi-coloured scenic Luge track or the white lights of the intermediate track. Night Luge has various opening hours, with more sessions throughout summer, but are mostly open on Friday and Saturday nights.
Location: 178 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, approximately 4.5km (2.8 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
7. Catch a Rotorua Sunset
There are many beautiful places to watch the sunset in Rotorua. Lake Rotorua itself or the surrounding lakes of Lake Okareka and Lake Tarawera cast vibrant reflections as the sun is setting. The sunset is even intensified by the steamy geothermal goodness at Kuirau Park, which is a free geothermal park in Rotorua’s city centre.
Location: Lake Rotorua – Lakefront Drive, Rotorua city centre. Kuirau Park – Kuirau Street, Rotorau city centre. Lake Okareka – Acacia Road, approximately 12km (7 miles) from Rotorua city centre. Lake Tarawera – End of Tarawera Road, approximately 17km (10.5 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
8. Have a Drink at Rotorua’s Bars
Again, this isn’t exactly an original idea, but when night falls it’s a good time to have a drink with your mates or party into the night! Rotorua isn’t exactly the party capital of New Zealand but it does have some awesome bars for a casual drink with your mates. Try the Pig and Whistle, Rotorua’s oldest pub, or the Stratosphere Bar on top of the Skyline Gondola, or a backpacker favourite is the Lava Bar.
Location: Pig and Whistle – Corner of Haupapa and Tutanekai Streets. Stratosphere – the Skyline Gondola, Fairy Springs Road, approximately 4.5km (2.8 miles) from Rotorua city centre. Lava Bar – 1286 Arawa Street.
9. Relax in a Mud Spa at Hell’s Gate
[Update: Hell’s Gate has changed its opening hours until 6pm].
More geothermal experiences can be found at Hell’s Gate, which takes the geothermal hot pools to a whole new level with their mud baths. Hell’s Gate is open for some Rotorua mud bathing with all kinds of healing properties until 8.30pm. Find out more about Hell’s Gate on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook or KKday. Plus, see more experiences like this in the 10 Luxury Experiences in Rotorua.
Location: State Highway 30, Tikitere, Rotorua.
10. Go Stargazing in Ngongotaha
The Rotorua suburb of Ngongotaha is said to be the best place for stargazing on the North Island, so head there on a clear night to see the beauty of the Southern Hemisphere’s night sky. Check out what to look for by following our guide, What to Look for When Watching the Stars in New Zealand.
[Update: Stargazing tours with Skyline Rotorua are suspended until further notice]. Alternatively, Skyline Rotorua offers stargazing tours with high-powered telescopes to see the likes of the Southern Cross, nebulas, planets, the Milky Way and other galaxies.
Location: Ngongotaha is 7km (4 miles) from Rotorua centre up State Highway 5. Skyline Rotorua – Fairy Springs Road, approximately 4.5km (2.8 miles) from Rotorua city centre.
[CLOSED] Zipline Through the Forest
The New Zealand forest is still alive at night! Join Rotorua Canopy Tours for their evening tour with ziplines, swing bridges and platforms high in the forest. Get all the action of the forest while the sun sets and see how the forest changes as the sounds change from bird song to the awakening of New Zealand’s nocturnal wildlife. Evening tours are available during summer.
Location: 147 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua.
More About Rotorua
Need more inspiration for things to do in Rotorua at night? Check out the guides below where you can pull out some extra experiences.
- 20 Awesome Places to Visit in Rotorua
- 25 Best Things to Do in Rotorua
- The Complete Travel Guide to Rotorua
Finally, if you found this guide useful then you might find planning the rest of your trip super easy with the North Island in Two Weeks: New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary and North Island in One Week: New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary.