How to plan a family-friendly holiday in Rotorua

Rotorua is one of the most popular places in Aotearoa New Zealand to visit, and there’s no shortage of unforgettable family experiences. Whether you’re looking for a bit of adventure and quick thrills, a spot of relaxation or everything in between – Rotorua is the perfect destination for a family holiday. Check out our tips for the best family-friendly activities in Rotorua:

Dose up on adrenalin

Adrenalin-fuelled experiences aren’t just for the adults! Rotorua is home to some unique, fun-filled experiences that are bound to get the heart rates up – including the kids’! Of course, we think every good family holiday in Rotorua should include a trip to Off Road NZ 😉 Our 4WD Bush Safari is the ultimate adventure that puts you in control – buckle up and take on our epic off-road adventure through native New Zealand forest. This is the perfect activity for the WHOLE family – and children under five-years ride for FREE.

If you’d rather leave it to the experts, our Monster 4X4 Thrill Ride will do the job. We’ll strap you into our purpose-built 4X4 truck and take you and your family on an action-packed adventure through the forest, all you need to do is sit back and enjoy every twist, swerve and tilt – fun for everyone! (minimum 1.2m height requirement for this experience).

There are plenty of other epic thrill-seeking activities in Rotorua that are perfect for families, here’s a couple of our faves: Velocity Valley is the ultimate destination for families, and they have a great range of Family Packages which have been created with children in mind. Rides include the Swoop – nose-dive head first to the ground from 40m high and swoop from 0 to 130km p/h in one second! If you’re keen to feel the force of zero gravity – check out the Freefall Xtreme and experience what it’s like to fly sky high – without the height! For the competitive families out there, the Shweeb is the perfect ride to see who’s quickest! It’s a pedal-powered monorail  – the only one in the world – and you can go as fast as your feet can take you. Take to the water on Agrojet – this epic jet boat ride is full of high speed twists and 360 turns that will have the adrenalin pumping in no time!

Drop in at ZORB for a wet and wild ride! Rotorua is the only place in New Zealand to try this unique downhill ball-rolling experience – and it’s perfect for the whole family. Choose from four different tracks, from high speed to racing tracks and the sidewinder which is full of tight corners – we dare you to try and not laugh! This is a water ride to make sure to pack your togs (warm in winter and cool in summer), and make the most of the hot tubs at the top and bottom of the tracks.

Soak away your troubles

Speaking of hot tubs, you can’t take a trip to Rotorua without experiencing some of the amazing geothermal attractions. For the ultimate geothermal bathing experience, take the family to Polynesian Spa on the edge of Lake Rotorua. Sourced from two natural springs, the Polynesian Spa complex is an iconic must-do activity and, with 3 public bathing areas and 2 private pool areas, there’s plenty of space to relax and soak in the scenery.

Immerse yourself in the Whakarewarewa Forest at Secret Spot Hot Tubs – forest bathing at its finest. Enjoy a 45-minute soak in your own private cedar hot tub surrounded by native ferns – the perfect spot to reconnect with family and share stories from your holiday.


Looking for a free geothermal experience? Head to Kerosene Creek, approximately 20-minutes from Rotorua’s CBD, where you can experience a natural hot water waterfall – the best place to rest achy bodies after a day of adventures.


Seize the night

There’s plenty to see and do after dark that will keep both the adults and kids entertained until bed time. For a totally unique experience, be sure to book a pass to Redwoods Nightlights – one of New Zealand’s top design-led tourism experiences. Walk along 700m of floating bridges suspending 20m above the forest floor and admire 34 stunning lanterns designed by David Trubridge.


If you’re looking for a fun dining experience, check out Eat Streat, located in the heart of Rotorua’s CBD. With over a dozen restaurants and an ice cream parlour, this is the perfect place to take the family out for a special dinner. During the warmer months, enjoy dining al fresco undercover and take in the vibrant dining atmosphere.

If you’re visiting Rotorua during Daylight Savings, we highly recommend experiencing the famous Skyline Luge at night! Enjoy the thrill of riding the luge under the stars (and some disco lights lighting up the way as you twist and turn your way down the track). And if you time it right, you’ll be able to catch the sunset from the top of the track – there is an amazing view out over Rotorua.



Keen to start planning your family holiday to Rotorua? Start by booking your Off Road NZ 4WD experience – we can’t wait to see you!

March 22, 2024


There is nothing more exhilarating than challenging your friends, family or colleagues on the track 🏁🤩�

 #offroadnz #outdooradventures #lifeinthefastlane #AdrenalineRush #speedkarting #racelinekarting
We had the privilege of working with Suzuki to launch their first ever 5 door Jimny!! 🤩🤩
The Off Road crew were even lucky enough to take them for a spin 😎 

#offroadnz #suzuki #jimny #jimnyfest #4wd
Peeking around corners, discovering hidden surprises around every bend!

 #AdrenalineRush #outdooradventures #offroadnz #monster4x4thrillride #naturephotography #familyday #rotoruanz #tourismnz
Can you believe "Le Mans" has made it around our 1.2km track with a time of 1.09.161 ?! what is your personal best? 🏁⏱

 #offroadnz #outdooradventures #ʀᴏᴛᴏʀᴜᴀɴᴢ #lifeofadventure #AdrenalineRush #gokartracing #karting #lifeinthefastlane #speedkarting
Sunday morning strolls look a little bit different here at Off Road NZ 😎

 #ʀᴏᴛᴏʀᴜᴀɴᴢ #lifeofadventure #offroadnz #outdooradventures #monster4x4thrillride #nature
Can you handle our seven metre-high Luge?! 

 #AdrenalineRush #ʀᴏᴛᴏʀᴜᴀɴᴢ #outdooradventures #offroadnz #4WDBushsafari #lifeofadventure #adventureseeker
The 4WD Bush Safari really is one of a kind 🤩 #offroadnz #4wdbushsafari #adventure #rotoruanz
No roof, no doors – there’s nothing between you and great outdoors.🌿

 #outdooradventures #offroadnz #ʀᴏᴛᴏʀᴜᴀɴᴢ #AdrenalineRush #monstertruck #monster4x4thrillride