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A Long Weekend in Rotorua

Blue water in the Redwoods at Whakarewarewa Forest in Rotorua, New Zealand.

A Long Weekend in Rotorua

Looking for head out of the city for a couple of days? Rotorua has everything you need for a relaxing weekend escape.

A Long Weekend in Rotorua


The doors to Pullman Rotorua ( opened in mid-January to much fanfare and understandably so – up until now a luxurious spot to rest your head in one of New Zealand’s most-frequented tourist towns has been hard to come by. Pullman Rotorua ups the accommodation game in the city with 130 well-appointed rooms and suites, a bar, gym, and not-to-be-missed in-house restaurant, Barrel & Co. The location is enviable – nestled in the heart of the city, key attractions are just minutes away.

Foodies will find the ever-bustling dining precinct, Eat Street, right around the corner. But if there’s one thing that sets Pullman Rotorua apart, it’s the staff. There’s none of that nonchalance that can come with a stay in hotels in some of the country’s bigger cities. Instead, the staff are warm, welcoming and go out of their way to ensure your stay is a memorable one. 


Barrel & Co. Restaurant in Pullman Hotel.

Hotel restaurants can be hit and miss, but Barrel & Co.’s executive chef Arun Pillai has outdone himself. The farm-to-table restaurant serves up the best local cuisine from the Bay of Plenty and beyond. Try the Canter Valley duck breast with eggplant purée, Peking spices and blackcurrant jus. If you usually pass on dessert, make an exception this time as the signature fine apple tart with calvados and macadamia ice cream is unforgettable.  Outstanding service and wait staff are the icing on the cake. 


Meander through Whakarewarewa Forest – The Redwoods – and it’s very easy to understand why trail runners, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts from around the globe flock to Rotorua in droves. Get your head up in the clouds – and amongst 117-year-old redwoods – at Redwoods Treewalk Rotorua. Visit the spot after the sunsets and witness David Trubridge creations illuminate the forest.


You’ll find the city’s best spot for relaxation – also known as Polynesian Spa – perched right on the shores of tranquil Lake Rotorua. Soaking up the health benefits of the geothermal pools is sure to help your unwind but a private lake-view pool followed by one of the many restorative spa treatments on offer is the quickest way to ease into a long weekend.


The beautiful Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake), near Rotorua on New Zealand’s north island. The lake is the sister lake to Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake) and is surrounded by the beautiful Whakarewarewa Forest.

Hop in the car and within 20-or-so minutes you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to breathtaking lake-side spots that are perfect for an autumn picnic. While there are a handful of lakes worthy of a visit, with its white-sand, crystal-clear waters and lush forest surrounds, Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake) is a must-visit. 


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