Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland with Options - Smaller groups

Badge of ExcellenceAuckland Central, New Zealand
Exciting Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland

From US$223.91

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 13 hours
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


This small-group day trip from Auckland features the highlights and hospitality of Rotorua. Visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute of Te Puia, witness the thermal activity of the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, and tour the city with a knowledgeable guide. Opt for additional free time to explore on your own, or upgrade for a private soak at the Polynesian Spa, a visit to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, or a Maori concert. You have the flexibility to return to Auckland or end with drop-off in Rotorua.
  • Rotorua highlights tour with a professional guide
  • Drive past the farmlands of Waikato and tour the city
  • Watch cultural demos at the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute in Te Puia
  • Stroll past bubbling mud pools and Pohutu Geyser
  • Upgrade to add on Polynesian Spa, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, or Maori concert
  • Travel with a small group by air-conditioned minivan
  • Select a round-trip from Auckland or be dropped off in Rotorua

What's Included

  • Cafe Lunch - buffet when avaiable(vegetarian and gluten free options available)
  • Live commentary on board given by experienced guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off - in Auckland. If you book one way the drop off is in Rotorua
  • Small-group tour Transport in air-conditioned minibus with luxury leather seating
  • Local taxes
  • Morning and afternoon tea available at own expense
  • Infant meals not included
  • Gratuities
  • Please note that because of the amount of travel time this tour is not suitable for children under 2 years as part of the group - It can be booked as a private tour - please ask TripAdvisor/Viator to contact us for the custom price

Meeting And Pickup

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Pickup details

We pickup for free at all Central Auckland accomodation, hotels, apartments, etc. We only go to the hotels/accomodation which are booked for that day. We also offer a subsidised shuttle service for people staying out of the city centre to bring them to meet the tour coach. Please liaise with us re where you are to be picked up. It is essential you get in contact with this information as soon as possible We use shuttles to minimise the time between pickup and tour departure - You will not be driven around for hours at the beginning or end of your tour while other people are being picked up or dropped off

What To Expect

New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Lake Rotorua

1 hour Admission Ticket Free

Te Puia

3 hours Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • Infant seats are required by law in NZ in private vehicles for children under 7 years - We recommend the same standard be applied for your child's safety and have them available in all vehicles for use of seat and child restraint for the day.
  • Infant meals not included
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Please note that because of the amount of travel time this tour is not suitable for children under 2 years as part of the group - It can be booked as a private tour - please ask TripAdvisor/Viator to contact us for the custom Tour price
  • We must know where you are staying in Auckland - We do not have a standard meeting place and go only to prearranged hotels and places to meet people
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult - note must be over 2 years old to be on group vehicle
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Hotel or Accomodation information
  • Pickup address
  • We have been forced to temporarily suspend our policy“We guarantee to travel for one person” due to low numbers and sustained losses caused by Covid19. Until further notice we will need a minimum of “4 people (or price equivalent)” to run tours
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

If you happen to be in Auckland, a trip to Rotorua is a must!
This was a long day but well worth it - I am so pleased I went on the trip.
Fran and Rick really make the bus trips enjoyable with their knowledge of the areas and occasional stops to show us sights not on the itinerary.


121 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 121 reviews
Great and worthwhile trip but wished had more time
roberto_L, Oct 2023
Really enjoyed this trip , only thing why didn’t give it 5 stars was could have been a little more time at both geo thermal and Polynesian spa , also the Polynesian spa hot springs were great but facility needs major remodel and upkeep but enjoyed our time there
Great experience, both at...
Wesley_F, Sept 2023
Great experience, both at the cultural center, and touring the rotorua geysir area. It does end up being a long day trip, but is worth it.
Good option for shorter stay in Auckland
DAISUKE_O, Sept 2023
Good option for shorter stay in Auckland, you will still have enough time to enjoy Rotorua in this tour.
Unique day of experiences
Susan_G, Sept 2023
Fabulous day. Tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable, flexible and accommodated the needs of a diverse group of travellers. Polynesian Spa was a relaxing end to our day.
What a day!
Manish_N, Sept 2023
What a day! By far the best we have had in our New Zealand trip. Rotorua was good and Te Puia was the highlight - the geysers were an out of the world experience. The buffet lunch was fantastic. Thanks a ton to Louise for the meticulous planning of our Rotorua and Te Puia visit. Louise is a walking encyclopedia and an exceptional driver. Louise is the best tour guide we have ever had. Overall a memorable trip. Thank you Louise and the entire FelxiToursNZ team.
Highly Recommend!!!
Tee_T, Sept 2023
This trip was absolutely fantastic! I highly suggest going to Rotorua and experiencing a little bit of the Māori rich culture and the geothermal area. One of my favorite parts was the Māori concert. It was truly amazing to see that in person! Our FlexiTourNZ guide Louise was such a kind and knowledgeable delight!! Truly enjoyed her company!
Rotorua is a beautiful...
AnaIsabel_G, Aug 2023
Rotorua is a beautiful City of New Zealand with amazing views. Our guide is an expert in history, all the way to Rotorua was sharing a lot of information pf the country and City.
Natalie_H, Aug 2023
When shopping I selected Viator due to convenience, they said transfer to and from your hotel, then proceeded to charge me on top of the $250.00USD price (for one day) Quite disappointing. Otherwise Day Spa was best part, very cool to see a real kiwi animal and learn of Mauri culture. Wouldn’t recommend for the price!
Response from Host, Aug 2023
This client is both misinformed and incorrect. In Viator we clearly state that there is free pickup in the central city and that we charge a subsidized shuttle fee if they wish to be picked up outside of the city center. She then chose to book a hotel by the airport (probably because these are substantially less expensive than central hotels.) The airport hotel is 25km from the city and would create a 40 minute detour for us to collect her. Most companies just tell people to just get to the city. We offer the option to go to the city, or a subsidized shuttle. We offer these at NZ$70 return( we pay the shuttle company NZ$70 each way) because we want make sure everyone gets to the right place on time and safely gets to the tour. Her tour included the tour and lunch at Te Puia - retail price $135 + Polynesian Deluxe lake Spa admission fee $69. Beyond this she was in a small group tour vehicle with luxury fit-out and a maximum of either 9 or 12 passengers. To carry so few people and make sure there is space and they are comfortable is not cheap. If anything we are charging too little for what we are giving. You will see if you read other reviews that 99% of people who have travelled with us agree with what I am saying.
Maori culture
Marcia_A, Aug 2023
I enjoy history and learning about the different cultures. My driver Darryl knew a lot of history about the area. We had some great conversations about history. This is a beautiful tour as you get to see the beautiful landscape and learn about the Maori people.
Maori concert option is a must!
cstranis, Aug 2023
One of the hi-lights of my trip to New Zealand. Michelle, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and provided interesting facts through the day. Geysers and mud pits tour by Maori guide was great. Maori concert option is a must! Buffet lunch was fantastic. Van with extended step was appreciated.
Our guide Edson has made...
Yi_C, Aug 2023
Our guide Edson has made all the difference. He was extremely friendly and knowledgeable and just made this trip extra special. Rotorua is amazing. And we opted the polynesian spa, which was also excellent.
A great way to get to Rotorua
Caroline_A, Aug 2023
My driver arrived right on time, bright and early. Unfortunately, he had trouble navigating the entryway of my pickup spot and had a slight accident in which he scraped the roof of his vehicle on an overhang. Once we got on the way, all was well. The driver chatted to us most of the way, which was a bit much as it was early morning and some people were obviously trying to sleep. Upon arrival in Rotorua we had a short tour of the town, including a singing performance from our guide (very good and very memorable), then we were brought to Te Puia. My activities there were a little spread out. I attended a show at 11:30. I was told to wait in the waiting room to be taken to the show, and it was right at 11:30 that someone arrived, causing me and my companions to miss the beginning of the show. A delicious buffet lunch was next, definitely a highlight of the day so far. There was more free time until 2pm, and I was disappointed that we couldn't look around Te Puia on our own while waiting for the tour guide. Again, there was a lot of down time, and only so much time can be spent in a gift shop. The 2pm tour was good. The guide was informative and talkative, perhaps at some points offering a little too much information. The high light was seeing the geysers and getting to sit on the hot rocks. Very beautiful scenery and I would have been happy to spend more time there. I was passed on to a different guide who delivered me to my accommodation in Rotorua. All in all, it was a fun day, and a great way to get from Auckland to Rotorua!
Great time in Rotorua
Celeste_D, Aug 2023
We had a great time on this tour. Michelle, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable and helpful in making changes to our itinerary that I had made on error. Rotorua geyser, Māori tribe events, and boiling mud pits exceeded our expectations.
Geysers and Hot Springs in Rotorua
Jozsef_B, Aug 2023
Had a fantastic day from start to finish out to Rotorua to see the geysers at Te Puia Māori Centre. Louise, our guide and driver, deserves special recognition- she made the day. Very informative commentary, very professional and punctual - she is a real asset to this tour.
Great trip really enjoyed...
Lorraine_S, Jul 2023
Great trip really enjoyed the views and our driver Philip went out of his way to show us extra locations if interest. Roads a little scary on the drive back but great day
Rumbling to Rotorua
David_A, Jul 2023
Wow. This was an amazing visual and cultural experience. Three hour drive was well worth it. Guides were amazing.
Highly recommend
Stephen_B, Jun 2023
I highly recommend doing this tour with a tool guide. Otherwise you will miss a lot of commentary along the way. The Geysers was wonderful to see it erupt. Was looking forward in seeing the hot mud pool, and that did not disappoint seeing the meaning of the Māori dance and also sing three Kiwis they were so cute
Amazing Excursion
Eric_H, Jun 2023
My husband and I feel that our driver /guide Edson was fabulous! He made the day great and it didn’t seem as long as it was. Our guide at the Rotura experience Miya, we aren’t sure if that is spelled correctly, was just as wonderful as well. We would highly recommend this trip. It’s educational and gorgeous to say the least. It did not disappoint.
Response from Host, Jun 2023
I a so glad you were happy - We strive to give the highest quality and employ great drivers. NZ is difficult in that it takes a long to time to get to places and it is for this reason we keep our groups small ( no ore than 12 people) and put extra legroom and space in the vehicles. Thankyou for taking the time to send in a review
Hokey Pokey heads up.
glennperry, Apr 2023
Visited Rotorua on a day trip from Auckland. A full day’s entertainment was had. Well hosted by knowledgeable Dirk. Even discovered a delicious ice cream flavour he recommended.
Te Puia is a must see
CarolW_L, Apr 2023
Te Puia and the Maori Cultural Institute were both amazing: natural geothermal elements as well as the celebration and teaching of traditional Maori crafts. Highly recommend these for visitors. We had a great tour guide/driver from Auckland in Edson from Flexitours. Because of the way Flexitours scheduled our transportation from Auckland along with others going to Hobbiton, however, we were turned over to a sub contracted shuttle driver. We were driven around the area with no specific plan for hours waiting for our assigned lunch reservation. To the driver’s credit, we did end up at a beautiful redwood forest near Rotorua but our driver was not trained as a tour guide and we learned nothing in the hours spent randomly driving around. Had those hours been well planned, we would have enjoyed having much more than twenty minutes in the redwoods, for example. A quick drive through stop was randomly made at the Agrodome but had there been a plan, we could have seen a full demonstration. Those considering a day trip from Auckland to Rotorua with Flexitours would be wise to ask detailed questions about the schedule for the day. Our pick up time in Auckland was an early 6:30 am and it turned out that nothing was scheduled other than the 2.5 hour drive to Rotorua before our 12 noon lunch reservation in Rotorua. Buyer beware.

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