Rotorua on a lottery winner’s budget
Rotorua may be popular with backpackers, but those with a more generous budget will find the sky's the limit when it comes to sightseeing opportunities. Float planes, chauffeur-driven cars, helicopters, jet boats and catamarans can all be chartered from your stylish city hotel to enhance your New Zealand experience.
Fly over an active volcano
Get a bird's-eye view of Rotorua's dramatic landscape with a float plane flight that takes off from Lake Rotorua itself. Fly over the peaks, lakes and craters of Mount Tarawera and land at White Island, New Zealand's only permanently active volcano. The return journey is just as exciting, taking in the stunningly beautiful Bay of Plenty, sheep farms and fruit orchards before landing on the lake and motoring back to shore.
Descend into underground caves
Another scenic airborne adventure involves a charter flight to Waitomo, passing the peak of Mount Tarawera and the geothermal attractions that are clearly visible from the air. After landing, don a helmet and descend into the extraordinary Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Spend time rafting through a series of flooded limestone chambers admiring the iridescent glitter of thousands of glowworms that light up the cavern roof.
Hit the slopes of another active volcano
Whakapapa is one of two ski fields on Mount Ruapehu, an active volcano in the heart of the Tongariro National Park. Charter a private flight or book a car and driver through your concierge at the Millennium Hotel Rotorua or Copthorne Hotel Rotorua to make the 180km journey. Ideal for all levels of expertise, the 30 pistes are served by 11 ski lifts. At an elevation of 2300 metres, great snow conditions are pretty much guaranteed.
Jet boat through mighty rivers and bungy jump
Credit: Hukafalls Jet
The most exciting way to see the cascading Huka Falls is on a 30-minute jet boat ride up the Waikato River to the turbulent base of the falls. The exhilarating jet boat ride accelerates through the gorge at a hair-raising 80km/h. See the Aratiatia dam, Wairakei geothermal power station, sheer rock cliffs and clouds of steam where hot springs meet cool river water. Your captain will demonstrate the amazing manoeuvrability and precision of these ultimate speed boats with an adrenaline-pumping 360-degree spin. After viewing the falls, the return journey is just as awe-inspiring. Daredevils can add other activities including a second ride (it's addictive), white-water rafting on the Tongariro River or a bungy jump.
Cycle and cruise through scenic surrounds
The ultimate Lake Taupo cruise starts with a 4x4 transfer from your hotel in Rotorua to Kinloch, where you will pick up your mountain bike and helmet. The ride winds through native bush to Kawakawa Bay, where your private lunch will be waiting. Refresh yourself with a dip in the clear lake waters before tucking into a sumptuous lunch on the boat. The three-hour cruise across Lake Taupo includes viewing unique Maori rock carvings, which are only accessible by boat, and you can try your hand at trout fishing and clay target shooting. Return to Rotorua by road, or end on a high note with a scenic helicopter transfer.
With plenty of activities involving water, air and underground adventures, why not take the opportunity to enjoy the unique natural beauty of Rotorua in luxury?
Need inspiration for your next adventure? Check out what else New Zealand has to offer.