Rotorua might not be the first place you think of when it comes to planning a winter family holiday in New Zealand. But with a heap of things to do in every weather, and a hot pool around every corner, Rotorua could be the perfect place for your next getaway during the colder months.
Just 2 hours drive from Whakapapa ski field, it’s also a good option to break up the journey if you’re heading to the snow, or a fun plan B when the weather at the mountain isn’t playing ball.
Ok, we know it’s an obvious choice, but do you know just how many options there are for a hot swim in Rotorua? Our geothermal waters are the perfect follow up to warm up after any outdoor activity, or a relaxing way to spend a rainy day. Little legs tired after a few days skiing? We’ve got just the thing!
Get on your bikes
Rotorua is one of New Zealand’s only year-round mountain biking destinations. Thanks to our weather and free draining soil, the trails here hold up really well in winter. There’s options for every ability, from the kids loop, to the Whakarewarewa Forest Loop, the newest Great Ride on the New Zealand Cycle Trail, right up to expert downhill trails. With shuttles to take you uphill on both sides of the forest, a host of bike hire options and family friendly cafes, and of course hot pools, this should be number one on your list for a spot of riding this winter.
A Rotorua classic, the Luge at Skyline Rotorua has always been a must-do for any family holiday in Rotorua. With brand new tracks open, featuring tunnels, corkscrews and more twists and turns, the luge is now better than ever. While you’re up there, there are food options, the Jelly Bean shop and Rotorua’s only winery and Tasting Room, Volcanic Hills Wine, enough to keep everyone in the family entertained.
A great option for those rainy days, the 3D Trick Art Gallery is a hit with families of all ages. Grab your camera and a sense of adventure and dive in! A unique experience in New Zealand, you’ll become part of the attraction as you hop into 53 pieces of artwork to create fab family photos and hilarious memories.
If the kids are animal lovers, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Agrodome. Famous for the Farm Show, they also have a great farm tour that takes you out to explore the working farm and feed some of the animals. For an extra dose of cuteness, the farmyard nursery is home to the smallest and cutest animals, ready for cuddles year-round!
Zorb Rotorua have a host of tricks up their sleeve to keep you warm in the winter. Hot tubs at the top and bottom of the hill, and even a sauna so you’ll be spoiled even when you’re waiting for your turn to ride down the hill in a giant inflatable ball. For the ride itself, you’ll even have warm water in the ball with you.
If you’re keen to explore more, check out our guides to family accommodation in Rotorua and where to eat with the family.