The Best Things to Do in Rotorua at Night

February 4, 2023

We all know that there’s plenty to do in Rotorua during the day. But did you know the city is also buzzing with activity at night? To make sure that you’re just as entertained when the sun goes down, here is the Rotorua Zipline team’s top picks for things to do at night.


1. The Rotorua Night Market

When the evening meal beckons, head to the famous RotoruaNight Market. Found in the centre of the city on Thursday nights, you’ll be spoilt for choice with delicious street food, local crafts and talented musicians. Not here on a Thursday? Head to the restaurant-packed Eat Street instead. 

group walking through the rotorua night market with fresh fruit and veges

2. Soak in a spa

One of Rotorua’s biggest draw cards is its luxurious geothermal spas, and the good news is you can enjoy some of them in the evenings too. With Polynesian Spa open until 11pm and Waikite Valley Thermal Pools closing their doors at 9pm, this is the perfect way to soothe your muscles after a day of ziplining. 

couple looking out over lake Rotorua from the Polynesian Spa Pools

3. Board a cruise

For a relaxing evening, enjoy a dinner cruise aboard the Lakeland Queen. Departing at 6pm, this one-hour scenic cruise of Lake Rotorua – complete with a classic Kiwi buffet that includes mussels, lamb and pavlova – is the perfect way to end a busy day.

the lakeland queen on lake rotorua at sunset

4. Night luge

Us flying enthusiasts are partial to a good dose of adrenaline, so we highly recommend hopping on the gondola and luging down Mount Ngongotaha. As fun as it is during the day, the luge is especially exciting in the dark. Don’t worry, thanks to the stars and the disco lights, you can still see the track!

5. Experience Maori culture

You can’t visit Rotorua without experiencing some Maori culture. Complete with traditional performances and a Hangi, an evening show is one of the best ways to enjoy a cultural show. Te Pa Tu - The Gathering Place, New Zealand’s Most Awarded Cultural Attraction, shares a 4-hour evening feasts aligned to and changing with the maramataka (Māori lunar calendar).

maori warriors during a ceremony at Te Pa Tu

6. Take a hike in the Redwood Treewalk

What do whitewater rafters do for fun at night? Take a hike, of course! At night, the stunning Redwoods Treewalk is illuminated with 30lanterns, giving this striking forest a whole new look. A boardwalk 20 metres above the ground leads you from tree to ancient tree for an enchanting, fairytale feel.

woman on swing bridge treetop walk surrounded by trees and lightsy


What are your nighttime plans in Rotorua?

From food to forests, culture to spas, Rotorua is one of NZ’s best cities to explore at night. What’s your favourite post-rafting activity? The team at Rotorua Ziplones would love to hear all about it!

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