Blue Spring Putaruru
On the way to Rotorua is a natural spring with such clear water you won’t believe your eyes. This is a very easy walk that is done is 3 hours return but you can walk less if you want.
Sulphur City - Rotorua
Rotorua is known for its geothermal activity and Māori culture. Throughout the city, you can notice the smell of sulfur and at first, it is really disturbing but you will eventually get used to it. Anyways, you cannot really see New Zealand without passing through Rotorua because there are heaps to do here and around.
The Redwoods Treewalk is very interesting as you can walk either in the forest or on suspended bridges. The last option is however not free. I particularly enjoyed the walks in the forest, as there were easy, not too long and full of colors. The redness of the trees and the path, the blueness of the water and the greenness of the ferns made the walk incredible.
I highly recommend visiting the Mitai Māori Village. The experience takes place during the evening and will give you information about the culture and traditions of the Māori people. You will walk around the natural bush, see the traditional warrior canoe (waka), eat an authentic Hāngī meal, see cultural performances and meet some kiwis at the Rainbow Springs park.
Time to transform into a fish! Try the Wet’N’Wild Rafting which offers more than an hour of fun on the Lower Rangitaiki river. There are different grades so don’t worry. I did a grade 2 ride and it was really calm and not bouncy at all, I could appreciate the beauty of nature and even have a short swim in the cold river.
And now time to be a bird ! Go on a 3 hour guided tour of the Canopy forest with the Rotorua Canopy Tours team. Explore the forest, walk on bridges, spot and feed some birds and zipline through the forest while enjoying the landscape.
After that it is of course time to relax, clean and treat your body by experiencing a mud bath and sulfur spa at Hells Gate and WaiOra spa.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley is an easy self-guided walk that takes you back to the Prehistoric era (that was the feeling I had when entering the place). During the 1.5 hours walk, you will see nature, craters, geothermal activity (like smoke coming out of a rock for example) and much more. Arriving at the lake, a bus will take you back to the main entrance.
Wai-O-Tapu is not to be missed! No filters are required here when taking a picture. This active geothermal area offers a wide range of sightseeing going from the colorful hot pools to the yellow rocks, green waters and many more.