Free and Low cost Activities around Rotorua
If you are planning a visit to Rotorua, you might like to consider these free or low cost activities:
Elim Art Gallery
An art gallery in Rotorua, established by the Elim church. Free. 1149 Eruera Street (just along from Bibleworld) www.elimgallery.com
St Faiths Anglican Church at Ohinemutu
The church has a beautiful stained glass window depicting Jesus wearing a Maori cloak and walking on the water. Entry by donation.
Features a playground, walking tracks enabling you to explore mud pools, several footpools for soaking your feet (bring a towel to dry off). Free. Corner of Ranolf Street and Lake Road.
Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest
Great for walking, mountain biking, orienteering, and picnics. One of our favourite walks is a 30 minute climb up the Pohutaroa track to a lookout overlooking Whakarewarewa village, thermal area and Rotorua city. We would also recommend orienteering - you can buy several maps for different levels from the information centre on Longmile Road.
Lots of excellent tracks in the Whakarewarewa Redwoods Forest. Free if you have your own bikes.
Enjoy a fun run through a unique Rotorua geothermal area! A free timed 5 km run every Saturday morning at 8 am at Puarenga Park. Register on the website, print out your very own barcode and bring it to the run. http://www.parkrun.co.nz/puarenga/
Violet Bonnington Reserve
This reserve offers a great 3.2 km nature walk with heaps of excellent signage about all sorts of topics: bird life, pests, insects, trees, etc. Requires average fitness. Allow 1 hour. Free. Paradise Valley Road.
Waikite Hot Pools
Beautiful setting, 25 minute drive from Rotorua. Has a short 'Eco Trail' where you can see the source of the boiling water. Adults $16.50; children $9. www.hotpools.co.nz
This natural hot pool sits in the middle of a farmers paddock (fenced off) in Reporoa about 35 minutes drive south of Rotorua. It has a changing shed and toilet and is free, thanks to the generosity of the owner. Due to the nature of this pool, it would be very important that people do not put their heads under the water, so it may be best avoided if you have young children who will be tempted to do so. http://trampingtracks.co.nz/butchers-hot-pool.html
A treasure hunting game using GPS ... All you need is a Smartphone (download a geocaching app), some imagination and a bit of adventure. You can find out more at www.geocaching.com