Rotorua Adventure Activities (for the Brave and Slightly-More-Cautious)

Rotorua is the adventure capital of the North Island of New Zealand and for good reason – there’s a whole host of fun just waiting for you!

Whether you’re a massive adrenaline-seeker or are a little more cautious (maybe just looking to test your boundaries), these activities will cater to everyone in your group.

Serious fun, guaranteed!

Prefer to take it easy in Rotorua?  Check out this itinerary to help with your planning!


If you’re looking for a good time in Rototua, book yourself a ride in an OGO!

From the inventors of the Zorb, these New Zealand inventions promise fun, adventure and a little bit of madness (and they sure do deliver).  I promise, giggles are a given.

With four tracks to pick from, two different styles (wet or dry) to OGO in, and the ability to roll solo or with friends, there’s something for everyone.

My personal favourites?  The mega drop for pure speed, and the sidewinder for dizzying fun all the way down.  I’d recommend doing both as a ‘wet OGO’ if at all possible… the warm water makes for a much more exciting ride and with a spa pool awaiting your return and heaters in the changing rooms, you’ll be toasty even in the depths of winter.

Also, if you’ve got a buddy with you, be sure to take them in for maximum enjoyment.  As the team there likes to say – human spaghetti!

Since our visit the team has opened their new track; Big Air.  You can bet we’ll be back to try it out next time we’re in Rotorua.

The Ultimate Canopy Tour

Thanks to New Zealand’s geographical isolation and our lack of native land mammals, our country practically became a haven for birds.  With their gorgeous calls, there’s no better place to enjoy them than in our bush and forestry, or better still, listen to our native birdsong whilst zipping from tree to tree!

The Ultimate Canopy Tour is the newest, most adventurous tree-top course by Rotorua Canopy Tours and it hits the adventure sweet spot perfectly.  It’s exciting enough for adventure-seekers but also achievable for those that like to live a little more cautiously, making it the perfect group activity.

With more than 1,200m worth of zip lines, beautiful bush walks, bridges and more, you’ll see Rotorua from the perfect vantage point – made even better with a good dose of adrenaline.

Want to help Aotearoa on its conservation mission?  Rotorua Canopy Tours have spent a great deal of time and money trapping the nasty predators in the region in a bid to support local birdlife.  When you join one of their tours, your payment helps facilitate this very important work.

Adventure Playground

If you’re looking for a one-stop-fun-shop in Rotorua, Adventure Playground is your spot.  With horse riding, claybird shooting, 4×4 self drive buggies and the option of a guide-driven 4WD, the most difficult part is choosing which activities to leave out.

Claybird Shooting

Though Nathan had been claybird shooting before, this was my first attempt at the sport and it’s fair to say that I’m hooked!

More challenging than normal target shooting (perhaps because of the larger gun and certainly because of the moving target), the flood of adrenaline when you take that first shot (and better still, hit your claybird) is incredible.

The team will drive you up to the range which is tucked away discretely on their private property, so it’s also a great choice for the adventurers among us that aren’t quite as physically able.  They’ll kit you up with three guns, help you find your favourite and give you tips whilst firing off claybirds for you.  With an undercover range, it’s a great rainy-day activity too!

4×4 Self Drive Buggies

Nathan’s favourite activity of the trip, these zippy little 4x4s can go practically anywhere!  With more power and protection than a quad bike, they’re safer, more comfortable and more exciting to drive.

What’s not to love?

Driving yourself, your guide will lead you up higher than the Rotorua Skyline where you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views out over Lake Rotorua and the historic Mokoia Island.

After a brief photo-stop, you’ll continue on through native bush and forest, on tracks that will put your 4×4 through its paces!  Don’t worry though, with an automatic transmission and fantastic engine braking, if you can drive a normal car, you’ll be set to get behind the wheel of one of these fun-machines.

The Squeeze

Jet boating is available throughout New Zealand but nowhere else in the world is it done quite like in Rotorua.  The ride begins with a leisurely ride down the river, through incredible Kiwi scenery before taking things up a notch.

After an hour or so, you’ll climb out of the boat and begin to wade through a stream in what is the most unique part of the trip – the Squeeze!   With naturally heated water cruising on past you, you’ll do exactly what the name suggests – squeeze your way up through a mini-canyon.  When you get to the end, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a geothermal waterfall which you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy before heading back towards the boat ready for the final part of the adventure.

Hold on tight because the ride that took you an hour on the way downstream will take less than half that amount of time on the return.  In true jet boat style, your guide will zip you past rocks and branches, all at unbelievable speed (and proximity!)

The Squeeze combines everything we love about adventure tourism and is an absolute must!

The great news?  It’s easily accessible both from Rotorua and Taupo.

Rotorua is a place that offers practically everything to everyone and regardless of whether you’re a seasoned adventure-seeker or just looking to test the waters, these activities should all be top of your Rotorua wish list!

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Rotorua is the adventure capital of New Zealand\'s North Island and these five activities are the best of the best.  Prepare for serious fun, stunning natural scenery and a great dose of adrenaline as you prepare for your next trip.  Are you up to the challenge? #rotorua #newzealand #travel

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