Shutterbugs, be trigger happy. Love documenting your travels online? So does the Tamaki Māori Village team! Here are some of our favourite Instagram-worthy places to visit in Rotorua. They’re sure to bring out the photographer in you.
1. Hamurana Springs – the first stop on our list of places to visit in Rotorua
Remind yourself to stop clicking and absorb the surroundings as you walk through towering redwoods along a tranquil stream on the Hamunara Springs Loop Track. The crystal clear springs – the deepest natural fresh water springs in New Zealand – are home to the most turquoise shades that translate beautifully to still imagery. They’re located just 15 minutes drive from the town centre and are free – one of the most popular places to visit in Rotorua!
2. Mount Tarawera
Epic 360 degree views are guaranteed on a hike up Mount Tarawera, renowned for its infamous eruption in 1886 that destroyed the Pink & White Terraces. Running down the scree hill, into the crater, while trying to get the perfect shot requires real skill. If you get it, you’ve definitely earned boasting rights!
Local’s tip: The only way to hike Mount Tarawera is with Kaitiaki Adventures, who have exclusive rights to this sacred mountain.
3. Whakarewarewa Forest a.k.a. The Redwoods
Nature lovers, hikers, mountain bikers, horse riders…there’s a place for everyone to play under the mighty Californian Redwood trees of Whakarewarewa Forest. Just a five minute drive from the city centre, this place is all shades of pretty. You can turn your visit into an adventure or just soak it in with a picnic.
4. Tamaki Māori Village
Our authentic, pre-European Māori village is a great spot to soak in the local culture when you plan the places to visit in Rotorua. From the powhiri (traditional Māori welcome) to the haka performed by powerful & expressive Māori men and hangi (Māori food), you’ll enjoy it all. Your Instagram feed would be incomplete without this immersive and powerful Rotorua experience.
Locals tip: Early evening is a beautiful time for photos at our village – the glow of sunset gives the ancient forest an otherworldly feel.
5. Hells Gate
A visit to Rotorua wouldn’t be complete without capturing our awesome geothermal wonders. Head out to Hells Gate and snap some photos of the impressive geothermal mud & waters the Māori have been enjoying for 700 years. They’re also home to Rotorua’s most active geothermal park – take an evening walk before packing the phone away and soaking in the goodness of a geothermal spa under a starry night sky.
6. The Bath House building
Housing Rotorua Museum, this is the most photographed building in New Zealand. While the museum is currently closed due to earthquake damage, visitors can enjoy the majesty of this building from outside. The historic Government Gardens also make a picturesque spot – very worthy of the recognition they get on social media.
7. Canopy Tours
Want to tick off something more adventurous? Then #YOLO and fly through a Rotorua native forest on ziplines with Canopy Tours. At 22m high not only is this a breathtaking experience, but you will get plenty of chances to take the perfect picture of you flying through our beautiful New Zealand forest. And if you are a real thrill seeker – try it upside down!
8. Last on our list of the places to visit in Rotorua is the Skyline
Ride up the gondola for extensive views of Rotorua, the surrounding lakes, the lush countryside and the geothermal activity. Then come screaming down the hill on the luge, before doing it all over again.
Locals tip: Again, sunset up the top of Skyline is beautiful – time your visit for late afternoon and spend your last Luge ride enjoying the sun dip beneath the trees.
It’s the diversity of experiences (and photos!) on offer that makes Rotorua such an awesome place to document your travels. Don’t forget to add the hashtag #RotoruaNZ when you stop at the best places to visit in Rotorua– this is a great way to see what other people have captured in the region as well.