The Best Adventure Activities in Rotorua

Depending where you're from, you'll either agree or disagree when we say "Rotorua is the adventure capital of New Zealand". It's a friendly piece of competition shared with Queenstown - which is often referred to as "the adventure capital of the WORLD!". Either way, these two great New Zealand cities share the same ethos - they're home to adventure, and adrenaline fuelled activities.

Take the world famous Skyline Luge, or the Zorb, they were invented right here in Rotorua!

In Rotorua, adventure awaits you no matter what your interests are. A visit to Rotorua will be sure to get the blood pumping, so no matter how braver you are (or aren't) read on to discover the best adventure activities in Rotorua.

The best adventure activities in Rotorua are:

  1. The Skyline Half Day Adventure Pass
  2. A forest adventure at Canopy Tours
  3. White water adrenaline at River Rats Rafting
  4. Velocity Valley Adventure Park

1. Skyline Rotorua Half Day Adventure Pass

A Skyline Rotorua Gondola Cabin Makes Its Way To The Top
Image: The Skyline Gondola high above Rotorua

No trip to Rotorua is complete without a visit to Skyline Rotorua!  With the half day adventure pass ticket, you will be able to Luge, Swing and Zoom through their adventure filled gravity Rides.

Start the experience with a tranquil Gondola ride up the side of Mount Ngongotaha where you can soak in the views over Lake Rotorua and the surrounding city. Then when you arrive at the top, get ready to pick up the pace.

The Half Day Adventure Pass at Skyline Rotorua includes:

  • Return Gondola Ride
  • 5 Luge Rides
  • Zipline
  • Skyswing
  • Activity photo on the Luge

Take on these activities in any order you like, the day is yours to enjoy!

Luge

By far the most famous of all the rides in the Half Day Adventure Pass and invented in Rotorua by Skyline Enterprises... this ride will have you wanting more! It's just as well you can experience this 5 times over on the Half Day Adventure Pass! Once is never enough on the Luge.

Start on the scenic track, hone your skills on the intermediate track, then race your family and friends down the advanced track - these 3 professionally built tracks make the Luge an adventure activity that's perfect for the entire family.  

The Luge tracks take you three quarters of the way down Mount Ngongotaha, where you will return to the top via a two-seater chairlift which takes approximately ten minutes.

A family rides the Luge together beneath colourful lights.
Image: Family fun on the Luge!

Zoom Zipline

The Zipline is a whole new way to experience Mount Ngongotaha. The unique 400-metre-long dual ziplines allow you to race your friends and family at speeds of up to 60kmph! Soar just metres from the treetops and experience the thrill of flying, with Lake Rotorua as your backdrop. 

Each flyer will ride one 400 metre long Zipline and return to the top complex via the chairlift - so rest the legs and save your energy for the next adrenaline fuelled activity.

Tours leave from the top complex every 30 minutes; they're led by 2 experienced guides and each tour takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Weight restrictions: Flyers must weigh between 27killograms (59.5pounds) and 115 kilograms (253.5 pounds)

Two friends racing down the Ziplines side by side.
Image: Race down the Zipline at Skyline Rotorua!

Skyswing

Skyline Rotorua is the home to a New Zealand’s only Skyswing, and it's renowned for being the biggest adrenaline rush in Rotorua! 

As many as 3 riders are strapped in by one of the trained experts, then prepare to be launched from the side of Mount Ngongotaha, reaching speeds up to 150 kilometres per hour.

This ride will have you screaming at the top of your lungs, as you swing and spin through the air.

3 People About To Take Off On The Skyswing.
Image: Screams and smiles on the Skyswing

Purchase Tickets: Follow this link to buy your tickets online today, or at Skyline Rotorua
Location: 178 Fairy Springs Road Rotorua
Open: See our open hours page for the most up-to-date operating hours

The half-day pass is ideal for children 5 years + and adults, with a minimum weight of 27kgs and a maximum of 115kgs.


2. Canopy Tours

Fly through the 1000-year-old native forest canopy on a network of scenic ziplines. Hold your breath as you navigate the stunning swing bridges, cliff-walks and tree top platforms on a 3-hour tour with Canopy Tours Rotorua. 

Canopy Tours is one of the best kept secrets in Rotorua and will leave you absolutely in awe of what New Zealand's flora and fauna, while feeding your hunger for adrenaline along the way.

Choose between two unique experiences, depending on the level of thrill you're looking for. Two experienced guides lead small groups (of up to 10 people) through the lush forest, ensuring everyone has an intimate and personable experience.

People walking over the canopy tour forest swing bridge at Canopy Tours Rotorua.
Image: Hold on, it's a swing bridge!

Original Tour

The Original Tour is an unforgettable and enlightening adventure, perfect for all ages. Journey deep into ancient New Zealand forest in small groups, of up to 10 people.

The highly trained guides ensure everyone has a relaxed enjoyable time, while challenging themselves at the same time. The guides exert an overwhelming sense of safety, so you'll be relaxed enough to enjoy their awesome stories, which make this tour one of the highlights of your time in Rotorua.

The Original Tour is suitable for ages 6 years and above, and is 3 hours in duration.

Every customer contributes to the restoration of the forest through their ticket purchase, because of this 250hectares and growing is now pest free!  You will be educated on this tour on how they are undertaking this pest eradication project.

Canopy Tours Original Tour route map.
Image: Tour map for the Original Tour

Ultimate Tour

The Ultimate Canopy Tour is the ultimate zipline adventure – higher, longer and more spectacular than the award-winning Original Canopy Tour. This journey takes you deeper into untouched New Zealand forest.

Not for the faint of heart, this experience is a step up in zipline adventure level and incorporates some incredible new features that will blow you away, including a 1200 metre long zipline, cliff walk and will have you undertaking a controlled descent when exiting the forest.

The Ultimate Tour is suitable for ages 10 years and above, and is 3.5 hours in duration.

Canopy Tours, Rotorua
Location: 147 Fairy Springs Road, Fairy Springs, Rotorua 3015

Prices include transport to and from your accommodation.

Canopy Tours Ultimate Tour route map.
Image: Tour map of the Ultimate Tour

3. River Rats Rafting

For those water lovers out there, and those who want to push their limits like never before, River Rats Rafting is the perfect day of adventure.

Rotorua is one of the very few places in the world where you can raft down a Grade 5 Waterfall, without any prior rafting experience. The mighty Kaituna is the perfect river to provide white knuckle thrills, being home to the world's highest commercially rafted waterfall at 7 metres.

Group white water rafting at Velocity Valley in Rotorua.
Image: Raft the Grade 5 Kaituna River (Credit - River Rats Rafting)

Safety comes first at River Rats. All raft guides are qualified experts and operate safe and professional rafting and kayaking expeditions. Even if you're new to white water, rest assured that initial training is given prior to all expeditions, along with the appropriate safety gear to ensure that you get thrills without the chills.

Group white water rafting at Velocity Valley in Rotorua.
Image: Going over! (Credit - River Rats Rafting)

Minimum Weight: 44 kilograms
Maximum Weight: 125 kilograms
Provided: Safety helmets, life jackets, wetsuits, polar fleece tops (weather dependent), spray jackets (weather dependent), wetsuit booties
You need: Swimsuit, towel
Location: 837 Te Ngae Road, Owhata, Rotorua 3074

If you meet the weight restrictions, River Rats is suitable for all active people 13 years and over.


4. Velocity Valley

If you're looking for a variety of activities in one area, Velocity Valley is where you will find it. There are 6 unique activities on offer, including the Shweeb Racer.

Shweeb Racer

Unique to Velocity Valley, this is the only pedal powered monorail track in the world. Strap in and experience the exhilaration of high-speed acceleration, fuelled by nothing other than your own adrenaline and pedal power.

People riding the Sweeb (a sort of pedal powerd mono-rail) at Velocity Valley in Rotorua.
Image: The Shweeb Monorail (credit: Velocity Valley)

AgroJet

The custom designed course the Agrojet follows allows you to experience 3G’s of force as you fly through the water in the world-class jet boat. Hold on and feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins as you reach speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour, while undertaking 360 twists and turns.

Age: Riders must be 3 years and over and over 1 metre tall
Riders: 2 riders at a time

Group enjoy a ride on the Agro Jet at Velocity Valley in Rotorua.
Image: Agrojet at Velocity Valley (credit: Velocity Valley)

Freefall Extreme

Defy gravity on the Freefall Extreme where you can experience what it really feels like to fly sky high. This is the only place in New Zealand you can body fly outdoors. No strings attached – you take on zero gravity at full force.

With exhilarating speeds up to 220 kilometres per hour, the Freefall Extreme simulates a skydive of over 12,000 feet. 

Riders: 1 flyer at a time
Duration: 30 Seconds flight time, this is longer that a 12,000ft skydive
Minimum Weight: 20kg
Maximum Weight: 150kg

Girl enjoying an indoor skydiving experience thats outside at Velocity Valley in Rotorua.
Image: Freefall Xtreme (credit: Velocity Valley)

Swoop

If nose diving to the ground from 40 metres in the air is on your bucket list, you can tick it off at Velocity Valley.  A superhuman swing that puts the power of adrenaline into your own hands. Suspended from the height of a 11-storey building (40 metres / 141 feet) and strapped into a body bag, your fate is in your hands – release the cord to face your biggest fears and swoop from 0 to 130kmph in 1 second.

Riders: 3 flyers at time
Restrictions: Flyers must be 1m tall, but there is no maximum weight or height limit.

Image: Riders on the Swoop (credit: Velocity Valley)

Rotorua Bungy

Take yourself to the edge and find out what you’re really made of. Nothing will make you feel more alive than a 43-metre freefall hurling you towards the ground at 60 kilometres per hour. You can take this leap of faith by yourself, or in tandem with a loved one or friend.

Minimum Weight: 35kg
Maximum Weight: 150kg

Image: Bungy at Velocity Valley (credit: Velocity Valley)

Free Style Airbag

Drop in and hit one of three ramps (beginner, intermediate or advanced) to push your limits of jumping like never before. Float through the air as you throw down all your best tricks, before landing in a giant freestyle airbag. Whether you're starting off learning the basics of jumping, or you're a pro rider - the air bag provides the safety and comfort to perfect your latest trick.

Minimum Age: 8 years, parental consent required for those 8-13 years.

Bookings are essential.

People enjoying the Freestyle Airbag at Veloity Valley in Rotorua.
Image: Show off your tricks on the airbag (credit: Velocity Valley)

Regardless of how much of an adrenaline junky you are (or aren't), Rotorua has the perfect array of adventure activities to suit everyone.

You don't have to look far to be pushed outside of your comfort zone and have your boundaries tested.  What comes with that is a massive sense of achievement, a part of which we look forward to sharing with you here at Skyline Rotorua.


Now that you know the best adventure activities in Rotorua...

Read on to make sure your trip to Rotorua builds memories that will last a lifetime:

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