Rotorua Airport is situated about ten kilometres east of the main town centre and has daily connections to and from Auckland, Christchurch, Mount Cook, Queenstown, Taupo and Wellington. If you are arriving by air from outside the country you will have to fly to one of these terminals first as only domestic services operate in and out of Rotorua.
More often than not, however, your arrival in Rotorua will probably be by bus or train from one of these terminals or from elsewhere on the North Island. If you use the former, you will be dropped off at the Tourism Rotorua centre at 67 Fenton Street on the corner of Haupapa Street, right in the town centre which is where all the major tour companies arrive and depart from.
InterCity is the most popular bus service in the region and operates daily connections between Rotorua and Auckland, Hamilton, Opotiki, Taupo, Tauranga, Wellington and Whakatane. Newman’s also operate from Rotorua to Napier, Palmerston, Taupo, Tauranga and Wellington. Numerous other private tour companies also serve Rotorua including the Kiwi Experience and Magic Bus.
The rail station in Rotorua is located on the corner of Railway Road and Lake Road about one kilometre northwest of the town centre. Because the station is only open at arrival and departure times, however, you must buy your tickets from Tourism Rotorua. Services are limited too and the main one is the Geyserland train which operates between Auckland and Rotorua with a stop off at Hamilton. This travels on a daily basis departing Auckland at 8.04am reaching Rotorua at 12.17pm.
If you wish to travel in Rotorua and the surrounding area, there are numerous private tour companies which operate tours on a daily basis. If you inquire in your hostel they should be able to advise you about the best services and the best prices. All can be booked in the Tourism Rotorua office.
Among the most popular is the Pink Bus which travels to Waiotapu and Waimangu. It picks up passengers at the tourist office and from some hotels and hostels leaving at 9.00am and returning at 12.30pm. Prices range between $35 for the former attraction to $40 for the latter and this includes admission fees. This company also operate an afternoon farm and forestry tour for $65 and a full day tour of the region for $99.
The Magic of Maori shuttle operates numerous tours daily beginning at the tourist office at 8.45am with the last one leaving at 4.45pm. This travels around the whole region calling at the Agrodome, Rainbow Springs, Whakarewarewa among others. The cost is $4 for a one-way trip and $10 for an all day pass.
Carey’s Sightseeing which is based at 1108 Haupapa Street also take you around the geothermal region where you will see geysers, silica terraces, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the Champagne Pool and many more local attractions. They operate over twenty different tours and depart daily from outside their office.
These are just three of the vast number and variety of tours on offer so remember to shop around as prices also vary considerably.