Rotorua, New Zealand

Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s most exciting and fascinating destinations. Geothermal activity has turned parts of the area into an otherworldly playground of geysers, mud pools and hot springs, all residing underneath a shroud of steam. Rotorua is perfect for some serious rejuvenation or just for the unique experience to tell people at home about.

Once you’re feeling refreshed and relaxed, head to Lake Rotorua, where you can spend the afternoon paddling, fishing, swimming, and viewing the lake and surrounding scenery from up high on the Skyline Gondola.

The streets of Rotorua themselves warrant a visit too, with the city being voted New Zealand’s most beautiful multiple times. Rotorua is rich in culture as the home of one of the most well-known Maori tribes, the Arawa, who were one of the first tribes to provide guides of their area to European settlers (a tradition that continues today). A trip to Rotorua will inevitably leave your body and spirit similarly rejuvenated.

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53 night cruise sailing from Auckland aboard the Regatta.
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Port Location

Cruise ships dock at the Port of Tauranga, in Mount Maunganui. The port resides within ‘The Bay of Plenty’, as the region is referred to. The port sits on the central north shore of New Zealand’s northern island and is about an hour north of Rotorua. Tauranga itself is a very popular city for tourists and is only about 10 minutes away from the port on foot. Auckland, New Zealand’s capital, is about a 2.5 hour journey to the northwest.

Port Facilities

Most people will head to Rotorua immediately after disembarking. However, if you need or want anything immediately after leaving the ship, there are facilities right next to the dock at the tourist office and the centre of Mount Maunganui.

Facilities nearby include:

  • Shops
  • Cafés
  • ATMs
  • Visitor centre for transport and tour bookings
  • Public toilets
  • Friendly tourism staff with maps and guides. 

How to Get Around

One of the best ways to travel from the port to Rotorua is via a guided shore excursion or shuttle bus, both of which are best booked in advance. You’ll experience spectacular views of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful coastlines and stunning landscapes. Alternatively, private cars can be hired very near the terminal.

Taxis are the most convenient option for travel around Rotorua.

Travel times from the port:

On foot:

  • It is a 1 minute journey to Mount Maunganui Visitor Information Centre
  • It is a 4 minute journey to the centre of Mount Maunganui.

By taxi/car:

  • It is a 1 minute journey to the centre of Mount Maunganui
  • It is an 10 minute journey to Tauranga
  • It is a 1 hour journey to Rotorua
  • It is a 9 minute journey from Rotorua to Lake Rotorua. 

General Information

  • Currency - The currency used in Rotorua is the New Zealand dollar. Coins are available in $1, $2, 10c, 20c and 50c denominations. Notes are available in $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations.
     
  • Time Zone – Rotorua is on New Zealand Standard Time, which is 12 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Rotorua implements daylight savings time, putting the region an extra hour ahead from late September to early April.
     
  • Weather – Rotorua’s climate is generally mild and pleasant. Temperatures tend to fall as you get further inland. The average temperature in summer is 24 degrees Celsius and 13 degrees Celsius in winter. Rotorua enjoys lots of sunshine in every season with occasional showers.

Highlights

  • Lake Okataina - Visitors will inevitably find themselves at Lake Rotorua, but there are 15 other beautiful lakes in the area including the marvellous Lake Okataina. Experience the natural beauty of the area on one of the walking trails that start from the lake, including a stunning 7-hour trail that passes by the Bullring dry crater.
     
  • Te Whakarewarewa - The smell of sulphur, the steam hissing out from between rocks, the mud pools bubbling away - located just 3 kilometres from the city centre, Te Whakarewarewa is a sanctuary of geothermal excitement. There are over 500 hot springs in the area, the most famous of which is Pohutu, a geyser which shoots a 30 metre torrent of boiling water into the sky at least 20 times every day.
     
  • Blue Baths - Situated in a striking art deco heritage-listed building, the Blue Baths have been providing locals and tourists with geothermal heated fresh water to bath in since 1931. For those that don’t enjoy public bathing, the location is also home to a highly regarded restaurant and host to modern dance, music and theatre cultural performances. 
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