Handpicked by a Rotorua Local Expert, we bring you our guide to 'Best Free Things To Do in Rotorua'.

For the budget conscious travellers, there's a good choice of free things to do in Rotorua. From geothermal activity in public parks, hot pools in scenic reserves and a towering Redwood Forest, we've picked out some must see places that don't cost a thing!

Government Gardens

Beautiful and spacious gardens near the centre of Rotorua. The Government Gardens offer a bowling club, petanque, croquet and a golf course.  Within the gardens, you'll also come across various points of interest that include the 1927 Arawa Soldiers Memorial, a number of geothermal features and the Kwaqiulth Totem Pole.  The beautifully maintained gardens are a short walk to Lake...

The Redwoods

Experience nature just minutes from Rotorua city. Wander through Californian Coastal Redwoods or fulfil a need for speed on mountain bike tracks. Located in Whakarewarewa Forest, just a few minutes' drive from Rotorua city centre, the Redwoods is a spectacular natural area that caters for every sort of outdoor pursuit. Visitors who like gentle walks can enjoy some of the short tracks or the ...

Kuirau Park

Kuirau Park is a public park situated off Lake Road just 10 minutes walk from the Rotorua`s city centre. The park offers a chance to get up close to impressive steaming geothermal activity with well laid walking tracks.  The park includes a play area for children, an expansive garden area, ornamental lake, and geothermal heated foot pools. The paddling pool is a popular spot for familie...

Okere Falls

Okere Falls Scenic Reserve is an 11 kilometre stretch of the Kaituna River that features a series of four stunning waterfalls before opening out to the Okere Trout Pools. The Trout Pools provide a spectacular and popular fishing spot. Below the Trout Pools, the river flows into the sea at Maketu. Okere Falls Scenic Reserve features a scenic walk through the bush that includes a number of viewin...

Sulphur Bay

Explore the magical geothermal landscape. Spot native birds and plants amongst the terraces. Located at the southern end of Lake Rotorua, Sulphur Bay is a perfect example of Rotorua's famous geothermal environment. The constantly changing landscape around the bay has everything visitors to Rotorua could wish for. Silica flats, rocky terraces, and sulphur ledges sit alongside active boiling m...

Kerosene Creek

Kerosene Creek is a hot spring that flows through the natural bush of Rotorua, approximately thirty kilometres from the city centre. The natural hot springs features a two metre waterfall that flows into a tranquil hot pool. It's the perfect retreat for those who want to enjoy the thermal delights of nature and of course there is no entry fee to pay! There's even a few excavated mini pools that...

Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve

Rainbow Mountain Scenic Reserve is a geothermal landscape containing rare plant species and a striking coloured terrain. Heading to, or from Taupo, the reserve is 26 kilometres to the south-east of Rotorua and just off State Highway 5. From its volcanic origins, Rainbow Mountain (Maungakakaramea) has a smouldering landscape with brown, orange and red soils, and native vegetation that is regener...

Rotorua City Walk

A great way to see many of the best scenic spots of Rotorua is with a short walk around the city.  We embarked on a 90 minute loop walk that takes in Sulphur Bay, Lake Rotorua, Ohinemutu Maori Village, Kuirau Park and the Government Gardens. .   We think it’s the best short walk in Rotorua and will now share what you can expect if you have a couple of hours to spare… Rototu...

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