Rotorua, New Zealand

Hello from Rotorua! This was my favorite place that we visited on the north island. I pre-booked two activities ahead since there were a few things I didn’t want to miss out on, zip-lining in the morning and a kayaking/hot springs/glow worm cave excursion in the evening. It was an activity-packed day, but it turned out to be so much fun and I will remember that glow worm cave for the rest of my life!


I’ve been zip-lining in Costa Rica, Thailand, and the US so I knew I would enjoy doing this in New Zealand. The lines weren’t as high or long as the ones in Costa Rica, but you zip through a beautiful moss-covered forest which was unique. I would definitely recommend it. We booked through Rotorua Canopy Tours and did the Original Canopy Tour.

Geothermal activity

The city of Rotorua is an area known for its high geothermal activity. It’s essentially built on a volcano. You’ll be driving around and see plumes of steam coming out of the ground in random places.

Pohutu Geyser
Bubbling mud pools
Sulfur lake. It smells like rotten eggs all around the city due to the sulfur.


The second activity I pre-booked for our day in Rotorua was a kayaking, hot springs, and glow worm cave excursion. There were four other girls from my tour group who signed up for this activity and it ended up being just us plus the tour guide which was really nice. So far this was my favorite activity that I’ve done in New Zealand! It was such a cool experience. We started by kayaking across the lake to a small secluded island.

Hot Springs

Once across the lake, we docked our kayaks and relaxed in some hot springs pools. Then we had a little BBQ and watched the sunset. Each of the pools was a different temperature so everyone could find the one they liked the most. It was very relaxing. Some of the pools were too hot for me to even put my feet in let alone my entire body.

Glow worm cave

After relaxing in the hot springs, we hopped back in our kayaks and paddled to a glow worm cave on the opposite side of the lake. I’d never been kayaking in the dark and it was a little scary at first, but we had the moonlight to guide us and the stars looked really nice at this time of night.

It was cool because we were the only people out there and it felt super authentic. Not like a tourist trap which is hard to find these days. Our guide led us to the entrance of the cave and I asked her how she knew where to go in the dark and she just said she knew where the entrance was based on guiding multiple prior trips. I felt like we were paddling right into the side of the cliff but then suddenly a small cave entrance appeared. I never would have been able to find it on my own.

When we arrived at the entrance to the cave we slowly loaded our three kayaks in to take a look around. It was amazing on the inside! Imagine thousands of tiny luminescent glow worms all over the ceiling glowing in a blue/green hue. I felt like I was looking up at the night sky. It was really incredible and I was in complete awe of nature.

Our kayaks also had a little light on the back so we could see each other in the dark.
The pictures are a little blurry because I was taking them while sitting in a moving kayak, but you can get the gist of what I’m describing here.
Soooooo cool!


Tofu poke bowl from Sobar.
Food was included during our kayaking trip so our guide grilled salmon and sausages for the meat eaters and provided spring rolls and quiche for the vegetarians.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Zainab Riyami says:

    The glow worm cave!!!!! 😍

  2. Julie Little says:

    The hot springs area reminds me of Yellowstone! The kayaking, hot springs pools and glow worm cave are incredible!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.