The main airport servicing the city of Rotorua is the Rotorua Regional Airport (ROT) which connects international passengers from Auckland Airport to the region. Rotorua is a three-hour drive from Auckland via State Highway 1 or State Highway 5.
Rotorua Regional Airport is approximately 6 miles northeast of the city center, if you have not booked a private transfer through us there are a few options to transport you from the airport to your hotel including buses, shuttles, rental cars, and taxis.What types of transportation can I find at the airport?
Transportation options at the airport include Super Shuttle which offers door to door service to your hotel. Visit www.supershuttle.co.nz for more information.
The airport is situated just 3.72 mile/10 minutes from the city center a taxi ride costs around NZ$30, Rotorua Taxis are the only taxi company available at the airport. Visit www.rotoruataxis.co.nz for more information.
Bus services at the airport are run by Baybus, the buses operate Monday - Saturday from 7 am until 6 pm and Sundays from 7:30 am until 4:30 pm with services every 30 minutes. The cost for a single one-way ticket is around NZ$2.50. Visit www.baybus.co.nz for more information.
There are several rental car companies available at the airport including Avis, Hertz, Budget, and Thrifty. Rental car service desks can be found at the airport.How do I get around the city using public transportation?
The city center of Rotorua is flat and compact, laid out in a grid-like pattern. There are plenty of transportation options in the downtown area which make navigating the city and the attractions easy.
The Rotorua Cityride Baybus service offers 10 different routes around town and to the major tourist attractions. For example, Route 1 travels from the city center to Rainbow Springs, the Agrodome and the Skyline Gondola. The cost is around NZ$2.60 and the main bus stops are located on Arawa Street, Amohia Street, Fenton Street and at the Central city Mall. Buses operate daily until 6 pm Monday through Saturday and until 4 pm on Sundays. Visit www.baybus.co.nz for more information.
Taxis are offered in the city, you can find them at designated taxi stands in the city center with the main one situated on the corner of Haupapa and Fenton Street by the Rotorua Visitors center. Rotorua Taxis are one of the main companies operating in the city, taxis are metered and can also be ordered by phone. Visit www.rotoruataxi.co.nz for more information.Should I Rent a Car in Rotorua?
Renting a car while visiting Rotorua is a great idea as many of the sights and attractions are spread quite far apart. A car will give you the flexibility and freedom to explore the surrounding regions, there are plenty of parking options within the city`s central business district with some free parking options.Where can I park in Rotorua?
The city offers pay and display parking spaces as well as short-term parking, metered parking, and free parking on the outskirts and around the city center. There is a multi-story parking garage at the top of Pukuatua Street, with 244 spaces and no maximum time limit from 6 am until 11 pm daily.
There is free 60-minute parking areas in the city center mostly around Tutanekai, Arawa, Haupapa, Pukuatua, Hinemoa and Eruere Streets. Other streets in this area offer paid parking for around NZ$1 hour for up to three hours.
Parking spaces with a P60 or P15 in the city will allow parking for limited amounts of time for free (15 mins - 1 hour).Is Rotorua a walking city?
The city center of Rotorua is flat, compact and easy to navigate on foot. Plenty of the city`s main attractions are located within walking distance of downtown including Government Gardens which lead to the lakefront where the Rotorua Museum, the Blue Baths, and the Polynesian Spa are located. The city has a 16-mile walkway which is dived up into 8 different sections and categories, the walkway starts at the Council lakeside reserve. You can walk to the spectacular areas of Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, Redwoods Forest and Te Puia in about 30 minutes from the city center. Fenton Street is the main road in town where the majority of the city`s accommodations, dining and shopping can be found, the road runs for just over a mile.Can I ride a bike in Rotorua?
The city of Rotorua and its surrounding regions are world-renowned for mountain biking and people travel from all over the world to experience the famous biking destination. There are over 62 miles of mountain biking trails in the surrounding mountains and hills. Whakarewarewa Forest was listed as one of the Top 8 destinations in the world by Red Bull Magazine in 2012. There are over 62 miles of biking trails to be explored and the area is the host of many mountain biking events.
There are bike friendly paths and trails in the central business district with plenty of bike rental places available for around NZ$35 a day. Taking a bike ride around the beautiful Government Gardens which leads down to the lake shores provides a flat, easy ride through spectacular scenery.Is Rotorua a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?
New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world. Rotorua is a safe destination to visit but like any other country has its share of petty crimes. Visitors should exercise the usual caution when visiting and keep valuables secure at all times and remove any valuables from your vehicle at night. Kuirau Park and Okere Falls should not be entered after dark. Don`t wander into un-populated or unlit areas at night. Most of the hazards in the area are linked to the geothermal sites where geysers, boiling hot springs, mud baths and steam can be extremely dangerous. It is important to follow the footpaths provided and respect the safety barriers and signs in these areas. Another distinctive characteristic in Rotorua is the sulfuric smells (the smell of rotten eggs) from the toxic gases that are presented in the air from the geothermal areas.What are some popular areas for shopping?
Rotorua has some unique, quaint shopping destinations including many souvenir and gift stores, markets, outdoor equipment and even a mall which cater to visitors needs. Handmade Maori gifts and arts and crafts are popular keepsakes to take home which are made in the area and can be found in the shops situated in the city center and at tourist attractions. The Rotorua Central Mall is located on Amohau Street housing popular chain stores along with a food court. Rotorua offers 4 markets: the Flea Market, Hot Lakes Craft Market, the Night Market and the Craft Market all filled with unique items and delicious food.What are some good spa`s to visit in Rotorua?
The Polynesian Spa located on shores of Lake Rotorua was recognized for being a Top 10 Spas in the world by Conde Naast Traveller Magazine. One of the best experiences in the area is soaking in the healing thermal waters which feed into the 28 mineral hot pools found at the spa. Other relaxing and rejuvenating spa therapies are available along with a juice bar, café and gift shop.
The Blue Baths is a heritage listed building that dates back to the 1930`s in a Spanish art deco building with elegant architecture. There is a museum, tea rooms, thermal pools and evening shows including dinner, dancing and live music offered.What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?
The units of currency in Rotorua is the New Zealand dollar $, $NZ or $NZD, sometimes referred to as the `kiwi` or `buck`. US dollars are not accepted. Please be sure to have the correct currency on hand or be prepared to exchange your dollars for New Zealand dollars ($NZ) upon arrival. Currency exchange desks can be found at the airport and many locations throughout the city. For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in New Zealand.
There is a 15% Goods and Service Tax (GST) that is applied to everything in New Zealand. Good and services include the GST and you should not be charged extra at checkout, for international travelers there is a tax refund available for items purchased over a certain amount, upon departure you will fill out the necessary paperwork and be refunded the 15% if applicable.What is the food like?
The city of Rotorua offers a selection of varied cuisines including traditional New Zealand fare, European dishes, and Indian, Chinese, Italian, Thai, Mexican and Turkish dishes to satisfy every palette. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from offering different menus and unique locations such as the downtown area and lakeside dining with spectacular views. The café scene is a big hit in Rotorua with a large concentration of quaint and quirky cafes situated at the end of Tutanekai Street which is also referred to as `Eat Streat` where visitors can enjoy al fresco dining all year round with a geothermal heating during the winter months. Be sure to try a traditional Maori `hangi` while in town which consists of meat cooked in a steam vent in the ground. And visit the Markets, most importantly the Thursday Night Market which is filled with delicious local food.What is the nightlife like?
There are bars, pubs, and nightlife in Rotorua where visitors can enjoy a night out. The weekends tend to feature live music and drink specials with most establishments open until late. Eat Streat features a collection of great places to sit and relax with a drink. The Lakeside can also be the perfect evening destination for dinner and drinks by the shore.
A big part of the Maori culture is the `hangi` feasts which combine a giant feast with evening entertainment with Maori greetings and dance performances.I don`t speak Maori will there be many people who speak English?
The official languages spoken in Rotorua are English and Maori and in 2006 it was the only country in the world to declare sign language (NZSL) as an official language.What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?
In case of emergencies dial 111 for the police, ambulance or fire services.
Rotorua Hospital tel. 64-7-348-1199
Southern Cross Hospital tel. 64-7-921-2700