5 ways that make Rotorua New Zealand’s warmest place in winter

This winter, warm up your mind, body and spirit in Rotorua.

Winter in Aotearoa typically evokes visions of crisp, frost-kissed mornings and cosy evenings spent by the fire. For many mums and dads, it also means braving the cold to cheer or coach their winter sports-loving children. For the rest of us, it's typically the season of hunkering down and enduring the chill until the warmth of spring returns.
Yet, amidst this traditional winter tale, Rotorua tells a different story. Here, where geothermal energy rises from within the earth, where locals exude a warm hospitality, and where a myriad of playful activities await, Rotorua proudly claims the title of New Zealand’s warmest winter destination.
Here are five ways that make Rotorua New Zealand’s warmest winter destination.

1. Feel the geothermal heat

Rotorua's winter warmth isn't just a metaphorical concept; it's as literal as can be. Our city's abundant geothermal activity provides a natural heat that combats the chilly season. Even on the gloomiest of days, head to one of our geothermal parks and warm up at the sight of boiling mud pools bubbling away and geysers blowing off steam while they erupt.

Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park & Mud Spa
Kuirau Park
Orakei Korako Cave & Thermal Park
Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge
Te Puia (pictured above)
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Waimangu Volcanic Valley

2. Experience the warmth of te ao Māori

Beyond physical heat, Rotorua offers a cultural warmth that emanates from our welcoming community. Manaakitanga, our Māori concept of hospitality and care for visitors, infuses every interaction. From the warm smiles of our locals to the rich storytelling and cultural experiences shared with visitors, Rotorua's cultural warmth creates a sense of belonging and connection.

Mitai Māori Village
Mountain Jade (pictured above)
Te Pā Tū
Te Puia
Totally Tarawera
Whakarewarewa – The Living Māori Village

3. Wairua that warms your heart

Winter can be a time of introspection and solitude for some, but in Rotorua, it's a season filled with wairua (spirit). Whether it's gathering around a crackling fire with loved ones, sharing stories and laughter over a hearty meal at one of our excellent cafés or restaurants, or experiencing the genuine kindness of locals, Rotorua offers a sense of community and welcome that brings warmth to the heart and soul.

Buried Village of Te Wairoa
Foris Eco-tours
Kahukiwi Experiences 4WD Culture Tour (pictured above)
Outside the Walls Historical Government Gardens Tours
Whirinaki Forest Footsteps

4. Wrap yourself in wellness

Rotorua's reputation as a world-class spa and wellness destination means that winter warmth extends to the body and mind. With an array of spa treatments, warm mud baths, thermal baths, and wellness activities available, visitors can indulge in self-care and rejuvenation, combatting the winter blues with relaxation and inner warmth.

Hamurana Springs Nature Reserve
Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park & Mud Spa (pictured above)
Manupirua Springs Hot Pools
Polynesian Spa
QE Health
Secret Spot Hot Tubs
Wai Ariki Hot Springs and Spa
Waikite Valley Hot Pools


5. Play in nature’s warmth

Surrounded by lush forests, shimmering lakes, and beautiful landscapes, Rotorua offers natural warmth that transcends the lower temperatures. Whether it's exploring the earthy scents and peaceful sounds of Whakarewarewa Forest, enjoying the serenity of Lake Tikitapu, or embarking on outdoor adventures that’ll warm you from the inside, the beauty of Rotorua's natural surroundings provides a sense of warmth and wonder.

Self-drive 4WD or 4x4 tour at Adventure Playground or Off Road NZ
Kaitiaki Adventures’ crater walks on Mt Tarawera (pictured at top)
Rotorua Canopy Tours (pictured above)
Rotorua Treewalk
Rotorua Ziplines
Whitewater rafting on New Zealand’s warmest river

Don’t spend the next few months waiting out the cold, instead, come to Rotorua to experience New Zealand’s warmest winter.


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