Best Areas to Stay in Rotorua, New Zealand

New Zealand, Oceania, Rotorua  /   /  By bestdistricts

Where to stay in Rotorua – A Guide to This New Zealand City

Rotorua is a city in New Zealand, located in the heart of the North Island, on the shore of the lake to which it owes its name.

Geothermal, volcanic and geyser activity are part of Rotorua’s attractions.

Rotorua is also surrounded by mountains, rivers, forests and freshwater lakes that make it the perfect place to connect with nature.

Like all of New Zealand, Rotorua maintains its Maori culture intact, based on the customs and traditions of the country’s indigenous people.

This city has the Rotorua airport, about 10 minutes from the city centre, which is the gateway to the Bay of Plenty region.

Many of Rotorua’s main attractions are outside the city centre. Therefore, it is convenient to use transport (such as Geyser Link or Thermal Shuttle) to move between its areas.

The best area to stay in Rotorua is the CBD, the Central Business District, for being surrounded by tourist attractions and for its variety of hotels for all types of budgets. (See accommodation in CBD).

Here’s a guide with the best areas to stay in Rotorua, New Zealand.

The Best Areas to Stay in Rotorua

1. Our Favourite Area: Rotorua CBD

The CBD or Central Business District of Rotorua is located on the shore of the lake to which the city owes its name.

This area is the mecca of tourist activity, with attractions such as the Government Gardens, a park that contains the city’s museum.

Business travelling focuses on this area, which is also home to Rotorua’s best bars and restaurants.

Street art is part of the CBD, with interesting murals and graffiti.

Rotorua CBD is also a cyclist’s paradise, featuring some of the best off-road mountain bike trails in the world.

As for accommodation, the CBD has a good number of hotels that make it the best area to stay in Rotorua, New Zealand.

Where to stay in Rotorua - Rotorua CBD

Where to stay in Rotorua – Rotorua CBD

Accommodation in Rotorua CBD - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Rotorua CBD – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in Rotorua:

  • Best area for business travellers
  • Great views
  • Mountain biking

Accommodation in this area

Top Choice

The Backyard Inn Accommodation

The Backyard Inn is located on 1.6 hectares of land in the centre of Rotorua and offers a restaurant, barbecue facilities and a heated geothermal pool. The establishment is 15 minutes.

Budget

Rock Solid Backpackers Rotorua

The Rock Solid Backpackers Rotorua is centrally located, next to a climbing wall, and offers free WiFi, a spacious lounge for guests, a tour desk.

Luxury

Millennium Hotel Rotorua

Conveniently located next to the mystical Lake Rotorua and the Polynesian Spa, the Millennium Hotel Rotorua offers rooms with views of Lake Rotorua, the city, or the hotel’s landscaped courtyard.

 

 

 

2. Rotorua Lakefront

In the surroundings of Lake Rotorua, some hot springs and spas arise due to the great volcanic activity in the area.

Here is the central island of the lake called Mokoia, a major wildlife sanctuary for some of New Zealand’s endangered bird species.

In addition to natural beauty, near lake Rotorua, you can enjoy the legends of the Maori culture since a large number of people of this Polynesian ethnicity are concentrated in Rotorua.

Other activities that can be done at Rotorua Lakefront include golfing, fishing, going to a spa, quad biking or mountain biking.

This is a recommended area to stay in Rotorua if you are looking for tranquillity during your visit.

This is also one of the best areas to stay in Rotorua for outdoor activities or to enjoy nature.

Best areas to stay in Rotorua - Rotorua Lakefront

Best areas to stay in Rotorua – Rotorua Lakefront

Accommodation in Rotorua Lakefront - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation in Rotorua Lakefront – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in Rotorua:

  • Hot springs and spas
  • Fishing
  • Golfing

Accommodation in this area

  • Top Choice
    Lakes Lodge B&B Rotorua

    Located a 2-minute walk from the centre of Rotorua, Lakes Lodge B&B Rotorua offers free WiFi and a continental breakfast included in the rate. It also offers a breakfast room.

 

 

 

3. Near Te Puia & the Whakarewarewa Maori Village

This area is home to the Rotorua Pohutu Geyser, the largest geyser in the southern hemisphere, which can spray 30 metres of water.

Nearby is another active geyser, Te Tohu, which also has regular, albeit smaller, eruptions.

You can go to Te Puia by bus, on a journey that takes about 10 minutes, by taxi or on foot.

There are also steaming alkaline springs, which Maori use for cooking, and bubbling mud pools in the area.

Near Te Puia and the Maori village of Whakarewarewa, you can discover the interesting geothermal landscape of the Te Whakarewarewa Valley.

The essence of Maori culture is also present in this area with its gastronomy, myths and legends.

You can also find cheap hotels to stay in Rotorua here.

Where to stay in Rotorua - Near Te Puia & Whakarewarewa Maori Village

Where to stay in Rotorua – Near Te Puia & Whakarewarewa Maori Village

Accommodation near Te Puia - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation near Te Puia – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in Rotorua:

  • Geysers and mud pools
  • Connected by public transport
  • Great food

Accommodation in this area

  • Top Choice
    Apollo Hotel Rotorua

    Apollo Hotel Rotorua is within walking distance from Whakarewarewa Thermal Pools. Guests have free access to the pool, whirlpool, fitness centre.

 

 

 

4. Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park

Among Rotorua’s best attractions is Rainbow Springs, home to the Kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird.

It is a whole area full of fun and strange wildlife, where the burrows of this endangered species are.

It is also possible to get on the skyline cable car to the top of the volcanic mountain and appreciate the best views of the lake and geothermal landscapes.

Another option is to visit the city of Kawaha Point, the home of the Rotorua Museum.

Here there are hotels of all categories that make it one of the best areas to stay in Rotorua.

Accommodation near Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park - Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Accommodation near Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park – Click on the map to see all available accommodation in this area

Why We Love This Area for a Stay in Rotorua:

  • Great views
  • Kiwis and other wild animals
  • Rotorua Museum

Accommodation in this area

  • Top Choice
    Rotorua International Motor Inn

    Located in Rotorua, less than 1 km from Rainbow Springs Nature Park (where to see kiwis) and 3 km from Polynesian Spa, Rotorua International Motor Inn offers accommodation with free WiFi.

 

 

 

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