The Best Rainy-Day Activities in Rotorua

Many people ask, when is the best time of year to visit Rotorua? 

The answer: Any time!

Although Rotorua is a favourite summertime adventure destination for both Kiwi’s and international tourists alike, there are still plenty of adventures to be had on those rainy days too.

With an average yearly rainfall of about 1,400mm Rotorua gets its fair share of wet weather. This however is spread quite evenly throughout the year, so you may find yourself getting caught in the rain no matter the season.

Not to worry though, there’s plenty to do if the weather packs in!

The top 10 best rainy-day activities in Rotorua are:

  1. Enjoy a glass of wine with Volcanic Hills
  2. Walk around lake Tikitapu (Blue lake)
  3. Roll down a hill in a Zorb
  4. Go Luging!
  5. Unwind and relax at Secret Spot
  6. Walk amongst giant Californian Redwoods
  7. Let loose at Motion entertainment
  8. Zip through New Zealand native forest
  9. Take on the Kaituna river whitewater rafting
  10. Enjoy a hot drink at one of Rotorua’s many cafes
An image of a Gondola cabin with dark grey clouds over Lake Rotorua.
Image: A grey day on the Skyline Gondola

1. Enjoy a glass of wine with Volcanic Hills

Sitting high and dry at the top of Skyline Rotorua’s Gondola is the welcoming, warm and cosy Volcanic Hills tasting room.

Take a seat on the giant leather couch and indulge as one of the experienced staff take you through a delicious wine tasting. Chose 3 or 5 wines to taste from their incredible collection.

Volcanic Hills sources their grapes from the best vineyards nationwide. The wine making process takes part at the base of the gondola in their barn-like winery. 

Location: Skyline Rotorua, 178 Fairy Springs Road
Open Hours: Tap here for the most up-to-date opening hours for Volcanic Hills

A couple enjoying a glass of wine at the Volcanic Hills tasting room.
Image Credit: rotoruanz.com

2. Walk around Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)

Heading outside on a rainy day may not appeal to many, however a walk around Lake Tikitapu might be just what you need. Located a short 15-minute drive from downtown Rotorua is one of the city’s most enjoyable and scenic walks.

Protected by the canopy of the surrounding forest, this 5.5km loop around the lake will take you about 1.5 hours at a leisurely pace.

Location: Tarawera Road, Rotorua
Walking Distance: 5.5-kilometres
Walking Time: 1 to 1.5-hours

Beautiful photo of Lake Tikitapu on an overcast day.
Image Credit: theoutbound.com | Josh Currie

3. Roll down a hill in a Zorb

A Rotorua invention that has taken the world by storm and rightly so! The Zorb is a giant inflated ball that people (up to 3 in the same Zorb) roll down a custom-built track. Are you strapped in? No, you simply slide around the interior layer of the ball in warm water.

Won’t I get cold waiting for my ride and afterwards? Again no! Zorb has heated changing rooms as well as hot tubs at the beginning and end of your ride! What’s stopping you? Get out and experience it!

Location: 525 Ngongotaha Road, Fairy Springs
Age Restrictions: Anyone over the age of 5 can ride the Zorb
Weight Restrictions: The maximum weight for the Zorb is 125-kilograms

A couple enjoying the zorb ride.
Image Credit: rotoruanz.com

4. Go Luging!

Rug up warm, poncho and all! Not much stops the Skyline Luge from operating, certainly not a little bit of rain. It only adds to the adventure! Blast down the track leaving only a wake behind you.

If you’re lucky enough the colourful disco lights will be on, helping guide you as you twist and turn down one of our gravity-fuelled tracks.

Shake yourself dry (or warm up in our Market Kitchen Café) and do it all again!

Opening Hours: Tap here for the most up-to-date Luge operating hours
Location: 178 Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua

Two guys riding the luge in the rain, having a great time!
Image Credit: KiwiHali

5. Unwind and relax at Secret Spot

Good secrets don’t stay secrets for long. Secret Spot is one of Rotorua’s newest hot pool spots with a difference.

Set amongst the Whakarewarewa forest and Waipa stream you’ll find yourself in hot pool paradise. Each handcrafted cedar tub can sit six people comfortably, so you can enjoy a tub with your friends and family. There's nothing like a hot soak in the rain. 

Secret Spot also stocks Good George Brewing beer and cider to enjoy as you relax and unwind.

Location: 13/33 Waipa State Mill Road, Whakarewarewa

Five girls enjoying a hot tub at Secret Spot Rotorua
Image Credit: Secretspot.co.nz

6. Walk amongst giant Californian Redwoods

Rotorua is home to the Whakarewarewa Redwood forest. Take a stroll through the Redwood giants, one of which is 72-metres high. While the forest canopy will protect you from the rain, it’s still a good idea to pack a jacket and some warm layers.

There are plenty of trails to choose from. Some taking as little as 30-minutes to complete and are perfect for all ages and abilities. There are also trails that take up to 3.5 hours to complete. All tracks start at the information centre, the friendly staff there will be sure to recommend the right trail for you.

If you’re keen for something a little more adventurous, try the Tree Walk. Not for the faint-hearted, the Tree Walk experience will see you suspended 20-metres high walking between 28 different swing bridges.

Location: 1 Long Mile Road, access off Tarawera Road, Whakarewarewa

Person standing on a suspended bridge at the Rotorua Tree Walk
Image Credit: redwoods.co.nz

7. Let loose at Motion Entertainment

New Zealand’s No.1 Entertainment Mall has something for everyone, and it’s all indoors! There's no chance of the rain getting you in here.

Choose between laser tag, an indoor trampoline park, a virtual reality simulator, mini golf, ten pin bowling, interactive video games and an escape room.

Location: 366 Te Ngae Road, Lynmore

Families enjoying the many activities at Motion Entertainment
Image Credit: rotoruanz.com

8. Zip Line through native New Zealand forest

Rated on TripAdvisor as one of the top outdoor activities in Rotorua, there’s no doubt that you’re in for an adventure and a half. An experience like no other in New Zealand, you’re guided through native forest using a network of Ziplines and suspended bridges high above the forest floor.

Don’t let the rain put you off this adventure, it brings the forest to life, from the fresh filtered air to the beautifully highlighted native bush. Don’t worry about getting wet as the team a Rotorua Canopy Tours provide wet weather gear.

Canopy Tours is right beside Skyline Rotorua, so after your Zipline adventure why not stay for a hot drink and snack at the Market Kitchen Cafe, or dinner at Stratosfare Restaurant.

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

Three adults enjoying a suspended bridge in the rain at Canopy tours
Image Credit: canopytours.co.nz

9. Take on the Kaituna river whitewater rafting

You’re going to get wet anyway, why not make the most of it! The crew at Rotorua Rafting are equipped and ready to take you on an adventure of a lifetime.

Their Kaituna river rafting experience includes rafting through rapids, as well as 3 big waterfalls including the mighty 7-metre-high Tutea falls, the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the World.

Allow up to two hours for this adrenaline filled rainy day activity.

Location: 761 State Highway 33, Okere Falls

A whitewater raft coming down a large waterfall
Image Credit: rotorua-rafting.co.nz

10. Enjoy a hot drink at one of Rotorua’s many cafes

A rainy day coffee. If done right, nothing quite beats it. Rotorua hosts many cafes across the city - and a rainy day trip up the Skyline Rotorua Gondola for a coffee at Market Kitchen Cafe is a perfect way to unwind.

Take your pick of coffee spots, open your book and put your feet up. Ahh

Market Kitchen Cafe: Skyline Rotorua, 178 Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua

A latte being poured into a blue mug.
Image Credit: Skyline Rotorua

Now that you know the best rainy day activities in Rotorua...

Read on to keep planning your perfect day in Rotorua:

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