Top 5 things to do in Rotorua during the School Holidays

During the school holidays we need to keep our kids entertained. We’ve put together a list of fun things to do in Rotorua for you to keep the kids and yourself happy this break! You’ll have a world of fun and experience some of the best things to do in Rotorua.

1. The most mind-blowing of things to do in Rotorua – 3D Trick Art Gallery

The 3D Trick Art gallery is the newest attraction of things to do in Rotorua. Some of the Rotorua Canopy Tours team went to check it out and they thought it was really fun and amusing! It is the first trick art gallery in New Zealand with 50 artworks and 5 different themes. The gallery is open 7 days a week from 9.00am – 10.00pm. The paintings were created by professionals to show optical illusions. It took the Rotorua Canopy Tours team members about an hour to go through, but in a larger group it would take longer. The trick art will encourage your kids to think of creative ways to take photos with the paintings. It will also create some great memories, with plenty of photo opportunities to look back on later!


Photo: Pip and Nicki, Rotorua Canopy Tours team members being penguins at the 3D Trick Art Gallery. Photo Credit: Rotorua Canopy Tours

Where to find it: Located in the centre of a Rotorua tourist hotspot, the 3D Trick Art Gallery is situated on Fairy Springs Road, opposite the Rainbow Springs Nature Park.

2.Getting out and about, one of the newest outdoor things to do in Rotorua – Roto Rocks

Inspired by the latest craze in New Zealand centred around uplifting others and inspiring happiness, Roto Rocks is a perfect new activity for the kids. It is definitely one of the most unique outdoor things to do in Rotorua. Your children can create colourful, designer rocks and entertain themselves for hours! Hide them around Rotorua and leave them for others to find. While you’re out and about, the kids can search for other people’s rocks and share them around as well. If #rotorocks is painted on the rocks, they can be identified if they venture outside of the city. Join the Facebook page to get updates on where you can find rocks or let others know about your secret spots. It’s all about enhancing creativity and sharing positive but simple ideas around the country and community. This definitely makes it one of the best things to do in Rotorua!

3. Rotorua Canopy Tours – the most thrilling and educational of things to do in Rotorua

Bring your kids on an exciting but educational experience with Rotorua Canopy Tours. It is a must do on the list of things to do in Rotorua! This 3 hour experience will take you and your children ziplining over trees through New Zealand native forest. The guided tour is suitable for kids over the age of 6 years old. Children can either go tandem with an experienced guide or they can zipline solo. Not only do you experience flying above the canopy, everyone will get to learn about the history of the forest and it’s native animals and birds. This experience will make for a great holiday story to share with your their school friends and teachers when school returns.

A tandem zipline experience with Guide Josh! Credit: Rotorua Canopy Tours

Where to find it: Rotorua Canopy Tours is located at 147 Fairy Springs Road.

4. Puarenga Walking Trail – a simple, beautiful walk on our list of things to do in Rotorua. 

Taking the kids for some fresh air has never been easier, head to the Purarenga walk that passes through native forest. Puarenga walk is high on our list of things to do in Rotorua because it’s a simple fix to boredom for the kids! The walk can be found behind the Waipa sawmill where different sections go through ponga tree forests. The ponga trees are spectacular, they are so ancient that the trunks have woven into one another, creating amazing shapes. The walking track takes around 30-40 minutes to complete.

Where to find it: Puarenga walk is located on Waipa Bypass Road. Keep driving until you pass Planet Bike on the left hand side of the road. At Forestry Road turn onto the gravel where the beginning of the Puarenga track begins.

5. Create your own Tracking Tunnel for the backyard

Children can easily make their own tracking tunnels at home. Tracking tunnels determine if there are any rats or mice living in backyards. They can be made by using basic materials around the house. The kids can then check and relocate the tunnels around different locations in the backyard. You can read the Rotorua Canopy Tours blog on how to make a tracking tunnel here. Or you can watch the step by step video of Ana making a tracking tunnel below.

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