• Top experiences in Rotorua under $50 or free

Top experiences in Rotorua under $50 or free

Brimming with natural geothermal wonders and vibrant Māori culture, it’s no wonder that Rotorua is recognised as the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand. A top destination for visitors from all around the world for hundreds of years, there are plenty of world-class experiences for you to enjoy here – affordably under $50 or free!


Cultural Experience at Whakarewarewa

New Zealand’s only living Māori Village, Whakarewarewa is a top cultural experience in Rotorua that offers you a first-hand look into an authentic Māori Village that is open for everyone to visit. It is the legacy of the Tūhourangi Ngāti Wāhiao people and currently home to twenty-one families, who have shared their unique way of life with visitors from around the world for over two hundred years.

You can book a 3-hr cultural experience with a guided tour or stay the entire day exploring the stunning surrounds of Whakarewarewa with natural geothermal wonders, nature walks with extensive tracks to discover and traditional Māori food to enjoy.


Direct online special: $40.50/adult, $18.00 child (5-15 years)

Guided tours (approximately 1 hour long)

9.00am, 10.00am, 12.00pm, 1.00pm, 2.30pm, 3.00pm, 4.00pm.

Cultural Performance Times

11.15am and 2.00pm (30 mins long)

NB From 5 November to 22 April, we have a third cultural performance at 12.30pm.

Adventure along Whakarewarewa’s picturesque walking tracks


Hot Water Beach

Enjoy a half-day or full-day outing at Hot Water Beach on the pristine shores of Lake Tarawera – just pack a picnic (and your swim gear) and spend a beautiful day out at Hot Water Beach (HWB) with its natural hot thermal spring trickling into the freshwater lake.

Only cost to consider? Water taxi transfers which double up as a scenic boat tour across Lake Tarawera.


Return water taxi transfers from The Landing. $45/adult, $30/child 5-12 years old.

Taxi to HWB: 9am 12pm 2pm

Taxi returning from HWB: 9.30am 12.30pm 3.30pm


Tarawera Trail

Perfect for active explorers who want to get some time out in the serene green. The 15 km Tarawera Trail is an easy to moderate walk that takes you through some of New Zealand’s most stunning native bush in about 4-5 hours’ time.

Once devastated by the 1886 Tarawera eruption, the Tarawera Trail is open today for you to explore – representing a return of the people to their land and the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand.

Start the Tarawera Trail from the Te Wairoa carpark with beautiful open views of Lake Tarawera, until you reach Tarawera Landing 2 kms in. The Tarawera Landing is the pickup and drop off point for passengers who have booked water taxis going to and from Hot Water Beach.

You’ll continue through secluded bays and panoramic lookout points with several toilet facilities along this hidden gem of a trail.

Walking the Tarawera Trail is free – it’s just the water taxi cost to consider.


One-way water taxi from The Landing: $28/Adult, $20/child 5-12yrs

Taxi to HWB: 9am 12pm 2pm

Taxi returning from HWB: 9.30am 12.30pm 3.30pm


Geothermal gems at Kuirau Park

Kuirau Park is situated at the heart of Rotorua’s city centre –a beautiful public park with a variety of geothermal activity to view and experience! With scenic walking tracks, sprawling gardens, a crater lake, mud pools, natural hot springs, a children’s playground, BBQ and picnic tables as well as a Saturday morning market, Kuirau Park is a must-do when in Rotorua. To conclude your visit, you can unwind and soak your feet in thermal foot baths – all this is free to access for you to enjoy.


Redwoods Treewalk

This is a walk to remember. The Redwoods Treewalk is something straight out of a fairy-tale wonderland. It’s an otherworldly experience to traverse amidst 117-year-old majestic Redwood trees, perched upon suspension bridges that give you a unique birds’ eye perspective of the beloved Whakarewarewa forest. From a 2-week-old infant to a 97-year-old nature lover, pretty much anyone can treewalk.


$29/Adult (16 years and over)

$19/Child (5-15 years of age)


Rotorua Night Market

Family friendly with a whole lot of buzz, the Rotorua Night Market is a flagship event for the city that attracts locals and visitors alike. Held every Thursday evening from 5-9pm on Tutanekai Street (weather permitting), the Rotorua Night Market offers a variety of unique arts and crafts stalls, food trucks offering tasty Kiwi and ethnic cuisine, fresh produce as well as a host of visiting and local musicians providing live, free entertainment.

Wanting some free family fun? Check out the Rotorua Night Markets for food, crafts and entertainment


  • "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
  • "Friendly people help you gain a genuine impression into Maori culture in a thermal setting. A relaxed experience that was truly enjoyable."
    Rudolf – New Zealand – via TripAdvisor
  • "The welcome at Whakarewarewa brought me to tears... Our guide was friendly, funny and informative."
    Susie – Rotorua, New Zealand – via TripAdvisor