Check out my Rotorua Travel Tips: The Best Free or Cheap Things To Do in Rotorua! Rotorua is a cultural, adventure & geological wonderland and possibly the strangest place I have ever visited.

It sits within a volcanic crater and as you walk through the streets you can literally see holes in the ground that are bubbling and steaming with geothermal activity! There are so many Rotorua activities to do including: Rafting, Biking, Hiking, Volcanic Craters, Hobbits, Geothermal Mud Pools, Scenic Gondola, Bungy Jumping, Zorb, Adventure Activities and too many cultural activities to choose from! But if you're on a budget check out these free or cheap things to do in Rotorua.

Free or Cheap Things To Do in Rotorua

1. Kuirau Park

A free geothermal park located adjacent to Base Rotorua. Explore the mud pools and bubbling lakes, you can even soak your feet in the free foot pools which are often lovely and warm. If that's not your thing you might enjoy the local flea market every Saturday morning.

Kuirau Park is a great place to relax, have a picnic and enjoy the surroundings.

free things to do in rotorua kuirau park
Kuirau Park Rotorua

Michal Klajban ( [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

2. Ohinemutu

The village of the original Moari settlement of the Ngati Whakaue tribe. You can visit the Marae and the historic Church which has the most amazing Maori Carvings.

ohinemutu rotorua things to do
St Faiths Church Ohinemutu

Shellie Evans [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

3. Lady Knox Geyser

Lady Knoz Geyser erupts everyday between 10:15am & 10:30am and is only a 20 minute drive from Base Rotorua. Entry is free and the geyser can reach heights of up to 20m.

cheap things to do in rotorua lady knox geyser
Lady Knox Geyser

David Broad [CC BY 3.0]

4. Lakefront Geothermal Activity

Take a walk along the lakeside of Rotorua and continue along the footpath, past the golf course until you reach stunning lakes that are surrounded by bubbling, geothermal activity.

pictures of rotorua free or cheap things to do in rotorua
Rotorua Lake


5. Kerosene Creek & Hot and Cold Pools

These are non commercial geothermally hot pools that are known by locals as a secret spot, and just a short drive from Rotorua. The freshwater stream meets a hot spring and there a lot of little hot pools formed by people piling up small rocks.

6. Rainbow Mountain

Walking & Mountain Biking trails that offer 360 degree views of the region.

7. Rotorua Museum

A beautiful building in itself located in the government gardens - a beautiful setting. Wingspan has recently released 3 baby falcons in the gardens and you can spot these young ones flying around.

8. Cycling

If Biking is a passion of yours - then you must have heard of Redwood Forest - famous for its mountain biking tracks. There are also many hiking trails and even wineries that can offer tours – just ask the girls at reception.

Rotorua is a Maori term that means 'two lakes.' The name was given before early tribes discovered that there are in fact 18 lakes in the region. The town has so many activities and once in a lifetime opportunities that I definitely recommend at least 5 days here when travelling or backpacking through New Zealand.

Need somewhere to stay in Rotorua? Stay at Base Backpackers Rotorua! And don't forget to check out the Lava Bar - Rotorua's craziest bar!

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