9 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night© Redwoods Treewalk - Destination Rotorua
9 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night

10 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night šŸŒ™ [2024]

© Redwoods Treewalk – Destination Rotorua
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
Article Single Pages© NZPocketGuide.com
NZ Pocket Guide is 10 years old. Thank you for trusting us with your trip for over a decade!

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 Māori 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. Experience the Māori Culture Through an Evening Show

Rotorua is the hub for Māori experiences in New Zealand. Some of the best cultural shows and traditional feasts happen to occur at night! Te Pā TÅ« (formerly Tamaki Maori Village – more info on Viator and Klook), Mitai Māori Village and Te Puia all offer evening shows with captivating performances of traditional Māori song-and-dance, including the haka. You’ll also be treated to a hāngÄ« – food slow-cooked in an underground oven.

Location: Te Pā TÅ« transport departs from 1220 Hinemaru Street, Rotorua city centre. Mitai Maori Village offers Rotorua accommodation transfers. Te Puia – 20 Hemo Road.

NZPocketGuide.com© NZPocketGuide.com

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 11 pm (more info on Klook and KKday), the Wai Ariki Hot Springs open until 10:30 pm, or the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools open until 8 pm. 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. Wai Ariki Hot Springs – 1047 Whakaue Street. Waikite Valley Thermal Pools – 648 Waikite Valley Road, Waikite Valley, 35 km (22 mi) from Rotorua.

9 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night© Polynesian Spa - Destination Rotorua

3. Go on a Glowworm Mission

That’s right, it’s not just Waitomo that has amazing displays of New Zealand’s endemic glowworms! Join Real Rotorua for an after-dark journey to a little-known spot awash in glowworms and cascading waterfalls – like something out of a fairytale! To add a little more adventure, 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. 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.

Location: Real Rotorua and Paddle Board Rotorua – Tours depart 1167 Fenton Street (i-SITE). River Rats Rafts & Kayak – 837 Te Ngae Road (transfers are available).

10 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night šŸŒ™ [2024]© Paddle Board Rotorua - Viator

4. Treat Yourself to Some Good Food at 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 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 from 5 pm to 9 pm in summer or 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm in winter. Check out more activities like this in the 10 Foodie Experiences in Rotorua, and get some restaurant recommendations from The Food Guide to Rotorua.

Location: Eat Streat is at the end of Tutanekai Street. The Night Market is on 1029 Tutanekai Street (between Haupapa and Hinemoa Streets).

9 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night© NZPocketGuide.com

5. 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 pm. Check out more experiences like this in the 15 Most Romantic Things to Do in Rotorua.

Location: Longmile Road, approximately 5 km (3 mi) from Rotorua city centre.

Rotorua NZ© Rotorua NZ

6. 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 with fairy lights. This mini golf attraction is open until 10 pm. Find out more about the attraction on Viator and Klook. We also list this activity in the 20 Things to Do in Rotorua with Kids.

Location: 152 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, approximately 4.5 km (2.8 mi) from Rotorua city centre.

10 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night© Unsplash

7. 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 is mostly open on Friday and Saturday nights.

Location: 178 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, approximately 4.5 km (2.8 mi) from Rotorua city centre.

10 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night šŸŒ™ [2024]© RotoruaNZ

8. 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. For more freebies, check out the 15 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Rotorua.

Location: Lake Rotorua – Lakefront Drive, Rotorua city centre. Kuirau Park – Kuirau Street, Rotorau city centre. Lake Okareka – Acacia Road, approximately 12 km (7 mi) from Rotorua city centre. Lake Tarawera – End of Tarawera Road, approximately 17 km (10.5 mi) from Rotorua city centre.

9 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night© Destination Rotorua

9. 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 Stratosfare Bar on top of the Skyline Gondola.

Location: Pig and Whistle – Corner of Haupapa and Tutanekai Streets. Stratosphere – the Skyline Gondola, Fairy Springs Road, approximately 4.5 km (2.8 mi) from Rotorua city centre.

9 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night© NZPocketGuide.com

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.

Location: Ngongotaha is 7 km (4 mi) from Rotorua centre up State Highway 5.

9 Things to Do in Rotorua at Night© Britz - THL

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.

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.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

Was this article useful?