Discover Rotorua's best places to eat, drink, shop, and more with our guide.

Bubbling mud pools, impressive forests, and a township deservedly proud of its Māori heritage makes Rotorua a hot spot (quite literally) for visitors passing through.

With a landscape like Rotorua's, it would be rude not to make the most of it, so those who visit are often found on the mountain bike trails, luge, gondola, or even white water rafting.

When it comes time to rest the body, it’s easy to agree that Rotorua really does come out on top thanks to the mind-boggling array of natural geothermal pools. Take a wander around the lake itself and see the magic that lies below the surface, then sink into one of the many local hot pools and feel any big city worries just slide away.

Tourism has always played a big part in Rotorua’s history. The city's famed pink and white terraces (considered one of the eight wonders of the world), impressed visitors back in the 19th century before they were destroyed by the Mount Tarawera eruption.

12 Hours Rotorua

Birds-eye view of many dishes on a table at Okere Falls Store.

The best things to see, eat and do in Rotorua

The People Behind the Places: Meet Rotorua’s Hospitality Heroes

A man wearing a chef's outfit holding a tray of Maori food.
Rotorua

What separates a good restaurant or café from a great one are the people behind the counter or in the kitchen. Hospitality staff are the keys to bringing a venue to life, and Rotorua has no shortage of hospitality heroes. From chefs with decades of experience to community champions and service aficionados, here are the people who go above and beyond to make their customers’ experiences special.

Night Moves: The Best Things to do in Rotorua in the Evening

An outdoor dining area at dusk.
Rotorua

When you're out having a good time, the last thing you want to do when the sun sets is call it quits and head back to your hotel room. Fortunately, there's no shortage of activities in Rotorua to keep the fun going well into the night. So whether you're after an adrenaline rush, a meal or drink worth savouring or simply a quiet way to unwind under the stars, here's our guide for what to do in Rotorua after dark.

From Filled Cronuts to Fresh Fare, Here's Your Guide to Rotorua's Foodie Scene

Syrup being poured onto a plate of brunch.
Rotorua

Whether you’re short on time or you’re just eager to go straight to the best, keep scrolling to find out where to eat and what to order in Rotorua.

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Poco Tapas and Wine

A table setting underneath a window looking out towards a sunny Rotorua street.
Place Rotorua
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The entranceway to Poco Tapas & Wine (“Poco” meaning “a little” in Spanish) in Rotorua isn’t immediately evident from the street, but once...

Eastwood Café

The green entrance of Eastwood Cafe, framed by large triange frames.
Place Rotorua
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Located on the open, airy ground floor of the Scion Research Centre, Eastwood Café in Rotorua is a tad off the beaten track but worth the detour.

Te Pā Tū

Bowls of weaved bowls on a table at Te Pa Tu in Rotorua.
Place Rotorua
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Te Pā Tū is a celebration of Māori culture—history, traditions, aspirations, and, of course, kai (cuisine).

The Fainting Goat

Customers dining in the sunny front courtyard of The Fainting Goat bar.
Place Rotorua
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The Fainting Goat is a fun, funky and family-friendly gastropub located in the heart of Rotorua’s CBD, complete with pinball machine.

Ani’s Gin Bar & Tapas

A beautiful plate of food on a white table at Ani's in Rotorua.
Place Rotorua
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One hundred per cent Māori owned and featuring exclusively New Zealand-based produce and drinks, dining at Ani’s Gin Bar & Tapas feels like you’re being...

Yamato

A waitress holding a bowl of food.
Place Rotorua Editor's Pick
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Bowls of hot sticky rice, thick udon noodles and hot miso broth sound like your kind of thing? Then you best get yourself down to Yamoto.

Rotorua Night Market

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Place Rotorua
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Every Thursday from 4:30pm - 8:30pm enjoy shopping street side at an impressive range of boutique food, arts and produce stalls.

Stratosfare Restaurant

Close up of salads.
Place Rotorua
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Get your hungry self to this brilliant eatery, leagues above when it comes to the Rotorua dining scene (both metaphorically and literally).

Okere Falls Store

Flat-lay of a table of sweet and savoury dishes and coffee and cocktails at Okere Falls Store.
Place Rotorua Editor's Pick
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The Okere Falls Store team is big on walking the talk when it comes to giving our environment a helping hand.

ahu boutique

Jewellery on display on a table inside the store.
Place Rotorua Editor's Pick
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A clear Māori influence means the pieces at ahu boutique are stunningly unique.

Capers Café + Store

Syrup being poured onto a brunch meal.
Place Rotorua
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Capers is a fail-safe place to settle in for a brunch, lunch, dinner or simply a coffee and newspaper session.

Artisan Café

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Place Rotorua
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An easy-going eatery that is deservedly proud of its authentic approach to good food, good coffee and good service.

Ciabatta Café and Bakery

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Place Rotorua Editor's Pick
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Come early enough and you’ll be privy to the glorious sight of fresh pastries being wheeled out of the kitchen and into the display cabinet.

Atticus Finch

A meat dish and a bread dish and a glass of beer sit on a table at Atticus Finch.
Place Rotorua
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With a menu designed to share, it pays to come here with a friendly group who won’t mind you digging your fork into a dish on their side of the table.

Brew

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Place Rotorua
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Loaded fries, pizzas, burgers, fish and chips and rump steak, the best advice we can give you is to come to Brew bar hungry.

Abracadabra

Bench seating outside the cafe and restaurant.
Place Rotorua
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As the name suggests, this restaurant and café has somewhat of a magic touch to it.