Luxury Travel to Rotorua and Taupo
Discover Rotorua and Taupo in style with Jacada
Steaming mud pools, erupting geysers and Maori traditions all make Rotorua and Taupo a special area to visit – one that is distinctively unique to the rest of New Zealand.
You’re likely to smell the sulphur-rich geothermal playground of Rotorua before seeing it, with its endless volcanic pools bubbling throughout the city. This destination is one of the most popular tourist spots in the North Island thanks to its unique thermal activity and multitude of activities.
- Explore and wander around the assortment of geothermal parks.
- Venture into the native forests for hiking or mountain biking along numerous world-class trails.
- Soak up the scenery at one of the 18 freshwater lakes or tackle the swift river rapids in a raft.
- Get your adrenaline pumping with zip-lining, zorbing or even bungee jumping.
- Take inspiration from the locals and idly soak in the mineral-rich hot pools.
The region of Rotorua was revered by the Maori and it’s the perfect place to gain insight into this culture – from its many maraes (greeting houses) to sampling a traditional hangi feast, which is cooked in the steaming ground.
An hour’s drive south of Rotorua is its counterpart resort town, Taupo – resting on the northeastern shores of Australasia’s largest lake. Actually a volcano crater, the lake’s deep blue waters draw visitors with its idyllic swimming holes, reputable fishing and adventure sports. On a clear day, the views stretch out over the glassy water to the snowcapped volcanoes of Tongariro National Park in the distance. The country’s longest river, the Waikato, also flows out of here, crashing over the nearby and must-see Huka Falls.
- Paddle in one of the swimming holes of Lake Taupo.
- Try your hand at fishing on the banks of Waikato River.
- Enjoy a sunset cruise across Lake Taupo, with a refreshing tipple in hand.
- Set off on a walking route to the spectacular Huka Falls.
- Learn about the culture of the Maori by visiting Mine Bay to see the rock carvings.
A five-minute walk from the lake’s edge takes you to the compact, friendly settlement of Taupo, where New Zealand families gather en masse for their summer holidays.
Discover true Māori culture in the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua and feast on a traditional Māori hāngi. Go on to explore New Zealand’s largest lake: Lake Taupo and revel in the thunderous blue waters of Huka Falls.
Our top itineraries for a luxury journey to Rotorua and Taupo
Our favourite places to stay in Rotorua and Taupo
Huka LodgeSince 1924, Huka Lodge has maintained the spirit of generous hospitality as was espoused by its charming founder, Irishman Alan Pye. Originally harbouring a reputation primarily as a trout fishing paradise, it is now known as an exceptional luxury retreat, and regarded among the best in the world. The lodge sits upon the banks of the exceedingly picturesque Waikato River, its rushing waters on the literal doorsteps of 20 spacious junior suites. The Owner’s Cottage enjoys a muted woodland palette and is upmarket and refined, white wooden beams arching over comfortable living spaces which are warm and rustic. Constructed with strong cedar, heart timbers, stone and brick, The Alan Pye Cottage is a nod to early 20th-century architecture with a reinterpretation of contemporary design. The kitchen at Huka Lodge upholds a tradition of generous cuisine, changing daily to accommodate all palates and preferences. Raw honey is collected from the numerous bee hives from the local breeding programme on the property, ideal for deserts as it’s not too sweet. Outside the lodge, activities abound. Enjoy anything from white water rafting to the lodge’s gorgeous namesake of nearby Huka Falls. Traverse the horse riding trails or similarly embark along hiking trails through this volcanic region.
Treetops LodgeThe Treetops Lodge is hidden away in 2,500 acres of ancient forest typical of New Zealand’s abundant natural beauty. The 12 residences are varied yet all retain an exceptional level of award-winning hospitality, meaning your stay at this acclaimed eco-lodge will be both memorable and leisurely. Settle down in the lavish interiors of a secluded villa or perhaps you are in a large group, in which case the incredibly spacious Pheasant Cottage or Lodge Rooms are ideal. Dining is a treat at the Treetops Lodge. Wake up to a gourmet breakfast, sit down to a delicious lunch of locally-sourced trout or game and, as night falls, savour dishes exploding in spectacular flavours, colours and smells. Of course, there is a comprehensive wine list of local vintages as well as a selection of fine coffees, teas and cocktails. Maori healing rituals can be found at the spa, an environmentally-sensitive and sustainable wellness centre designed to best integrate into the wilderness around you. Ease aching muscles under the expert hands of a professional masseuse or enjoy the healing powers of a Manuka honey body scrub.
Solitaire LodgeSolitaire Lodge is located in a lush environment upon the fringes of Lake Tarawera, with a spectacular backdrop of volcanoes and forest, a vista which each of the 10 stylish suites makes the most of through vast glass walls. Fine dining at the restaurant is a particular highlight here, with Solitaire’s talented chefs creating daily changing contemporary New Zealand fare prepared with fresh local ingredients, complemented by a variety of superb wines from selected regional vineyards, enjoyed in the communal dining room or somewhere more private. Head down to the lake to explore its waters aboard the lodge’s motorised dinghies and kayaks, fish from the jetty or simply swim from the private beach. There’s a spa menu to indulge in, self-guided hikes to nearby Tarawera Falls and cycle trails past some stunning geothermal sites. Scenic helicopter flights, Maori guided tours of Rotorua and more challenging hikes can also be arranged, along with a full roster of adventure sports nearby or perhaps a visit to the Hobbiton village movie set from The Lord of the Rings.
The Kinloch ClubSet in the tranquil 254-hectare grounds of the Kinloch Club course on the shores of Lake Taupo, is The Kinloch Club. This modern, luxury lodge was designed to emulate a Scottish castle but with a distict, 21st-century feel. The main lodge with its schist stone exterior looks out over the magnificent golf course and Lake Taupo. On arrival, guests will pass through the central courtyard with outdoor fireplace and reflecting pool. Inside, the great room, dining room, bar and den are cosy and luxurious with splashes of velvet and cowhide and a warm and inviting colour scheme. A short walk from the main lodge are one- and two-bedroom villas as well as suites, each offering magnificent views. Freestanding bath tubs and sumptuous handmade New Zealand rugs ensure a comfortable stay, and those staying in the villas will enjoy use of their own private terrace. The Kinloch Spa is the perfect escape and when hunger strikes, the restaurant offers gourmet cusine to be enjoyed with New Zealand’s world-class wine. You can also choose to dine in the comfort of your own villa or suite.
Poronui LodgePoronui is a magical wilderness retreat, a 16,000-acre private estate in the breathtaking Taharua Valley in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island. The collection of luxurious lodgings make it the ideal getaway for hikers, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. Dotted across the reserve, places to stay include the main lodge and seven individually appointed guest cabins that have transformed a rustic fishing camp into one of the world’s finest sporting lodges, with a kitchen serving up gourmet seasonal cuisine – much of it sourced on the estate – and a convivial feel to be found around the crackling fires. There’s also the private use Blake House, sat overlooking the Taharua River, with two grand suites as well as two bunkrooms making it ideal for families and small groups. The kitchen here is well equipped for either guest use or with your own personal chef. Finally, the two canvas and wooden huts of the rustic Safari Camp provides an authentic wilderness experience without foregoing creature comforts like crisp cotton sheets, hot running water, flushing toilets, gourmet food and fine wine. For the use of all the guests at Poronui, the stables contain modern gym and health club facilities – including steam, sauna, and massage treatment rooms. Also located in this complex is a full-sized antique English billiard table and two additional dining venues – the cabana (outdoor barbeque) and the atmospheric underground wine cellar. Activities at Poronui are suitably outdoorsy, and range from incredible fly fishing to horse riding, guided walks, hikes, cultural experiences with the Ngati Tuwharetoa tribe of the Maori, mountain biking, archery and shooting. Poronui is also close to various attractions such as the geothermal lands of Central North Island, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and adventure sport enthusiast favourite Taupo.
Acacia CliffsOn the shores of Lake Taupo sits the Acacia Cliffs Lodge, in an enviable position overlooking this most scenic of waters. The four boutique suites are stylish and modern, without compromising on the charm of a holiday retreat. Each room is large and spacious, coming with either a large private deck with breath-taking lake views or a private garden courtyard. The communal areas drink in the landscape through vast glass walls, with the dining area particularly spectacular, a fitting setting for wonderful meals complimented by local wines. Acacia Cliffs Lodge is a great base from which to explore everything Taupo has to offer, whether a scenic flight over the lake and nearby active volcanoes, fly fishing, golf, hiking and more. The nearby town of Taupo has a great selection of cafes, galleries and restaurants, easily reachable by bike, and you can look forward to returning to a selection of in room spa treatments.