• Fun-filled, family friendly ideas for 24 hours in Rotorua

Fun-filled, family friendly ideas for 24 hours in Rotorua

24 hours can turn into the best family holiday  you’ve had in years. Here are Rotorua’s top quality experiences carefully selected with families in mind. Enjoy!

1. Government Gardens

The historic Government Gardens is like strolling through a picture book amidst, Tudor style architecture and sprawling landscaped gardens. Family photos in front of the iconic Rotorua Museum is a Rotorua must-do – especially since the Rotorua Museum is currently closed for earthquake strengthening so no one is allowed entry. Surrounded by historical and cultural landmarks, a stroll through Government Gardens is the first step to discovering the wonders of Rotorua. Amidst rose gardens and tea houses, you’ll also find geothermal activity like the legendary Rachel Spring Whangapipiro and the nearby Polynesian Spa for geothermal bathing.

Rotorua Museum and Goverrnment Gardens are perfect for the family

2. Eat Streat

Just a few minutes’ walk from Government Gardens, Lady Jane’s iconic ice cream parlour on Eat Streat is the perfect pick me up for a big day of exploring. Perfectly situated between Government Gardens and Kuirau Park, ice cream is the best incentive for little kids and big kids to get a move on. But if you need a bit more fuel, then you’ll be spoiled for choice by the selection of dining options at the ever popular, pedestrian only Eat Streat. A gathering place in the heart of the city at the lake end of Tutanekai Street, Eat Streat is a true family friendly hotspot – with geothermal underfloor heating and retractable awnings, it’s a great go-to whatever the weather.

3. Whakarewarewa Village

A visit to Rotorua wouldn’t be complete without a trip to New Zealand’s only living Māori village. Whakarewarewa is a welcoming place and home of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people, who have been sharing their unique way of life with visitors from all around the world for over two hundred years. Together as a family, learn about the unique history of this area, enjoy a Māori cultural performance, stunning nature walks (ranging from 5 minutes to 50 minutes) that everyone in the family will be able to complete and thoroughly enjoy. And when it comes to traditional Māori food, you are invited to feast on sweet corn on the cob geothermally cooked in Parekohuru – the largest mineral pool at Whakarewarewa. Or tuck into an authentic Hangi meal or prepared by the forces of nature in geothermal steam vents and hot springs. There’s also our world-famous Hangi pie – a tasty parcel of traditional Hangi favourites enveloped in golden puff pastry.

Visit Whakarewarewa Village in Rotorua with the family

4. Lakeland Queen Cruise

A great way to experience the magic of Rotorua is on an evening boat cruise with dinner on-board! Sit back and relax, enjoy a stunning sunset on the lake, as well as a full buffet dinner complete with starters, salads, a hot meal selection and of course dessert. The Lakeland Queen Dinner Cruise has combo packages on offer in partnership with Whakarewarewa Village so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

5. Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest

Before leaving Rotorua, spend some time to connect with nature at the Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest. Just a few minutes from downtown Rotorua, the Redwoods is a 5600ha natural playground perfect for walking, running, horse riding and mountain biking (with trails to suit all ages and abilities). Immerse yourself in the beauty of this legendary forest brimming with native and exotic trees, including giant Californian Redwoods. You also have the chance to experience the award-winning Redwoods Treewalk for an incredible journey above the forest floor traversing beautifully designed suspension bridges.

Cycle through Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua


  • "So informative full of history. Very authentic... Delicious hangi one must try when there. Having been to other Villages this one is one of a kind! "
    Karolina – Palmerston North, New Zealand – via TripAdvisor
  • "It is once impressive for the landscape itself and twice impressive for the fact that it is a populated village where people get on with their lives by utilising the earth’s powers ."
    PhillipP- 03/2020 – via TripAdvisor
  • "The welcome at Whakarewarewa brought me to tears... Our guide was friendly, funny and informative."
    Susie – Rotorua, New Zealand – via TripAdvisor
  • "The Guide’s passion for their home was so beautiful and genuine. The waiata to finish the tour brought a tear to my eyes."
    Monique Enoka-Davidson – New Zealand – 01/2021- via Google Map
  • "Amazing heritage in this area, very friendly and inviting." 
    Estee Blom- New Zealand – 01/2021- via Google Map