When in Rotorua, and you need to move around quite a bit, as most of the attractions are quite spread out. If you do not posses a valid driver's license, there are very few public transport options, and taxis can be very costly. Please give GRUMPY LIMO (aka Rotorua city transfers) a try. I was introduced to this by a friendly staff at the visitor center. She saw me with a large suitcase and will need a good half hour walk to my motel, she suggested I give this guy Grumpy (yes, his real name!) a try. he has about 5 to 6 people working under him. They all use minibus for transportation. He can get you from anywhere to anywhere within Rotorua for NZD5 per person, regardless of the distance, and this also include airport pick ups and drop offs!
I met Grumpy the owner and he is friendly gentleman in his 60s, very punctual and caring. I was going to the Rotorua musem, he even chose a road to give me a good view of the lake before arriving in there. His number is 0800 222 141. In New Zealand, it is a free call number. He works from 8am to 6pm everyday.
If you want to see the glowworm caves in Waitomo, take the Waitomo Wanderer bus. The driver owns the company and is very friendly. He provides pickup from your hotel.
The only other way there is by renting a car!
The bus leaves early in the morning and takes about 2 hours each way.
Rotorua is a hard place to get around unless you rent a car! I HIGHLY recommend it. We rented a car for an excursion I had planned in advance. We used the car all day prior to the trip. If not for the car we would've spent much more than the rental price on cabs to visit attractions in the area.
Don't forget--- In New Zealand the driver sits on the right side and you drive on the left. So, if are you from the U.S. etc.. you can say it is on the wrong side of the road. I don't say that because I guess they could say the same about us!
This was my first time driving like that and it was very cool. It made things more like an adventure!
Finding your way around Rotorua is pretty simple, as the streets are on a grid~type layout and there is always the lake to help you get your bearings.
If driving to and around Rotorua, parking is plentiful, but you will need some $2 coins for the parking meters. This will get you a couple of hours before you need to top up. (the major tourist attractions have free parking, so no worries there).
Included in the price of your meal and show at the Tamaki Maori Village is the transportation to and from your place of accomodation. They have a very intricate system which picks each of their customers up throughout the city, then drops them off in town at the Realm of Tane location for a evening drink, and a relaxing thirty minutes or so while the others arrive.
Then everyone jumps onto one or two buses to head out to the village, which is located just outside of town. On the way, the bus driver teaches everyone a little about what is going to happen, and also picks a chief.
I was lucky enough to be the chief on our trip and we enjoyed the experience!
Sarah and I ventured out on our trip to enjoy Rotorua by renting a vehicle from Europcar in Auckland's CBD. It ended up saving us quite a bit of money not to rent from the airport location, because it was 10-15 NZD per day less than what we had quoted over the internet.
We drove from Auckland to the Coromandel Pennisula, then down to Rotorua, using less than a tank of petrol. It was truly a beautiful drive, and was much better than the alternative short flight from Auckland.
We ended up paying 135 NZD for 4 days rental, including unlimited mileage. Our vehicle was a Peugeot, and it ran nicely... with plenty of room for the two of us.
If you would like to rent from the location in Auckland that we used for your trip, go to the website and use:
Location Code: AKLC01
Rotorua is actually quite easy to navigate and there are many street signs and tourist signs to show you where the attractions are.
The town is also generally flat and well-laid and the main town area is near the lake. There are also numerous hotels/motels and a few hostels in Rotorua and only in summer peak period, will it be hard to find a place to stay.
We highly recommend staying at a motel with a private hot spa. It's really great and a luxurious way to relax at night. There are many spa motels in Rotorua, all you need to do is check the signs. The price ranges from $65 to $95 and we stayed at the Aspen Motel for $85 per night.
ok the trick to getting around Rotoura is to hire your self a car, almost everything is not with in walking distance, so for ease of transporting your self and seeing more of the place hire a car and your passangers can have a nap between places
There are cheap hire car places every where
By road, a wide variety of bus, coach and scenic tour operators connect Rotorua with most North Island towns and cities.
Rotorua is only a one hour drive from the cities of Taupo, Hamilton and Tauranga, a three hour drive from Auckland and a five hour drive from Wellington.
It costs $$17.00 for an adult's return trip up the mountain and back again by Gondola.
Take in the fascinating view of all over Rotorua and surrounding areas.
A Gondola Annual Pass
offers unlimited rides per adult
Children $15 ......5 years to 14 years
We arrived at the airport and the Lamberts (Jonathan, Anthony, Gladys, Raylene, and Jonathan Sr.- the father Jonathan, Anthony, and Raylene) were already there waiting. Maria (our scatterbrained New Zealand guide) put them to work by helping us load or luggage onto the conveyor belt. There were 3 hours and a half hours before the departure of Air New Zealand 10 to Honolulu. We wandered about the airport for a while, taking photos of me together with the Lamberts and them taking photos of my family together. Gladys Lambert still sends Christmas cards to my Grandma Atkins.
From Auckland : By Air 35 mins, by Coach or Train about 4 hours and by Car around 3 hours.
From Hamilton : By Train or Coach around 2 hours, By Car around 1 ½ hrs.
From Wellington : By Air 70 mins, By Coach around 8 hours and by Car around 6 hours.
The best way to travel there is to have a friend meet you at the dock and drive you there. We were so fortunate to know KIWI (Pam.) She took us around the whole day. It was wonderful.