In this article, we will take a look through some of the incredible things that you can do on the school holidays, whether travelling from within New Zealand or holidaying locally.
The first thing you’ll want to do on the school holidays is to tire the kids out. The Rotorua area has a 140km of mountain biking tracks that have been purpose-built to provide various levels of difficulty and stunning scenic rides.
You'll see plenty of geothermal activity and enjoy the forest and lakes. There are several options for you to hire bikes and they are very reasonably priced, including Planet Bike.
White Water Rafting
Continuing the active theme, white water rafting is fantastic in Rotorua. The mighty Kaituna River has a commercially rafted waterfall that is higher than anywhere else, Tutea Falls, at 7 metres. There are around 15 rapids, jungle backdrop, and expert guides to help you on your way as you bond in adrenaline-packed white water adventure.
Geothermal Guided Tours
There are plenty of providers of guided tours. Although less strenuous than the white water rafting or mountain biking, you can still expect plenty of activities as you walk around and hike extra trails, enjoying the plant life and bird life along the way.
The Rotorua geothermal activity is as a result of water seeping down deep into the earth and then being brought back up to the top as mud pools, geysers, and other geothermal features. There are fantastic guided tours, and many are free when you get admission to locations, so make sure you ask and book in advance.
The Boat Cruise on Lake Rotomahana
Mount Tarawera erupted and covered the Pink and White Terraces, which were known as the eighth wonder of the world. This boat cruise is a fantastic way to view the geothermal activity and learn about the famous eruption and the culture of the region.
Make sure you book in advance and don't miss the lakeside geyser which is fabulous. It's also great to do the boat cruise when combined with your own self-guided hiking day, complete with picnic.
A great place to have a family swim for free is Kerosene Creek. It's located around 10 minutes from Wai-o-tapu, and 30 minutes from the centre of Rotorua. This hot stream is a natural geothermal spot, with a pool that is fed by a waterfall.
This is a great relaxation spot with birds chirping, the dense forest around you, and plenty of parking. It’s a great budget option to take the family for an unforgettable experience.
Paddle Boarding the Lakes
The Rotorua lakes are best experienced on paddle boards. Enjoy the twilight hours and take a tour complete with cultural information, plenty of birdwatching, and a stunning lake experience.
The kids will love the hidden caves and beauty of the glow worms. Paddleboarding the Rotorua lakes really is a magical experience with plenty of photograph opportunities. Just make sure you have a waterproof camera.
The Agrodome celebrates the agricultural side of this part of the world. You can enjoy the fluffy animals, and even, of course, feed some of the gentler ones.
Kids love animals, and this is a way to experience and learn about farming in New Zealand. There are an interactive farm show and guided tours of the farm, which measures 350 acres. Look out for offers, as you can often find them online, including 2-for-1 tickets during the school holidays.
These are just some of the things that you can do on your school holidays in Rotorua. Some other honourable mentions include Waikite valley thermal pools, and canopy tours of the forest -- as long as your youngest is not less than six (See https://canopytours.co.nz/groups/ for more information). Other amazing places to see and experience are the blue and green lakes of Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi, and the 3D trick art gallery.
Article written by James
(Photo by shenamt via Flickr)