Rotorua is a major destination for international and domestic tourists. It’s 230 kms from Auckland and is in the centre of the North Island. The major industry for this city of 55,600 residents is tourism.

 Reasons to visit Rotorua include:

Geothermal activity

Rotorua is renowned for its ‘pong’ – actually the smell of sulphur – that is likened to bad eggs. This is caused by the geothermal activity releasing hydrogen sulphide into the air. The same geothermal activity is also responsible for many of Rotorua’s best-known attractions such as its geysers and bubbling mud pools.


This living Maori village is situated within Rotorua and gives visitors a wonderful understanding of the indigenous culture as well as the chance to see geysers and mud pools close up.

Rotorua Thermal Pools and Spas

Rotorua promotes itself as the thermal pool and spa capital of the South Pacific with many motels and other facilities offering the chance to soak in naturally hot waters reputedly with the power to heal the body.


The Rotorua region has 17 lakes and provides an entire range of water activities – fishing, swimming, waterskiing and boating. Rotorua hosted the 2007 World Waterski Championships and Lake Rotorua was the venue for the 2009 World Blind Sailing Championships.

Maori Culture

Rotorua is a great place to find out more about the Maori culture. Visitors may take a trip round a traditional Maori village, sample a Hongi (a Maori feast) and although slightly touristy see shows of Moari dancing and singing.

Check out this short video for more on New Zealand's Maori traditions