Some things are just so good that you have to do them twice. Over the past few years we’ve been fairly regular visitors to Rotorua, and far from running out of things to do there are just some things that are so good that we need to do them again!
I feel like we’re not the only ones who feel like this. A number of locations in Rotorua cater especially to the “can’t get enough” market and offer a different experience in the night than they do in the day as well.
So here is our list of the 5 things you need to do twice in Rotorua.
1. The Redwood Tree Walk
Last time James and I were in Rotorua by ourselves for a grown up weekend away we did the night time tree walk.
We adored walking through the trees in the night surrounded by all the Trubridge lights and fairy lights sparkling beneath us.
But this time with not only our 3 kids, but our camping buddies Emma and Jay and their 6 year old son in tow we were keen to try out the daytime walk as well.
It was (as you might expect) a completely different experience.
Not only because we were walking in the day time, but also in the short time since we’d been last they had added in extra paths to take you to all new heights.
The new highwalk is some 20 metres off the ground and has a grated ‘see-through’ floor instead of the wood planks throughout the rest of the walk.
This proved to be a bit scary for the 6 year old in our group – so if you have young children it may be best to avoid this particular part. For our 10, 11 and 12 year old daughters it was just the right amount of scary.
Night or day it is simply spectacular. Where else can you walk through 115-year-old redwood trees by traversing 23 suspension bridges suspended up to 20 metres above the ground?
Make sure you also leave a bit of time at the end to take photos in the Redwoods on the ground.
Hopefully you may get a better result than me…
We’ve written quite a bit about Skyline Rotorua in the past and how you can make an entire day of it (you can read about that over here).
Our whole family loves it so much that it was top of our list of things to do. So while camping over Easter we headed up there with our camping buddies Emma and Jay and their 6 year old and Quentin & Shannon and their 14 and 9 year olds (plus our 3 kids!)
The luge takes on a whole new dimension with a big group. Lines seem shorter, the competition fiercer and there is always someone to buddy up with.
But it still wasn’t enough so we decided to visit Skyline twice in one trip (I know!!)
We’ve been told so many times by you all over on the Getting Lost Facebook Page that we HAVE to try Stratosphere so on our last night camping we decided to head off and try it.
It’s little wonder it is one of Rotorua’s top rated restaurants. There are views for miles…
And the sensational buffet makes sure there is something for everyone to try.
And if watching the sunset over Rotorua with a glass of wine, followed by a scrumptious dinner isn’t enough…
There’s also the night time luge!
Priced at just $7 a ride the night time luge is a must do. Particularly if you are already up there to partake in a bit of dinner and sunset watching.
The track is lit up in rainbow colours and it is a sensational experience flying down there in the dark.
Not to mention floating up through the trees under the stars on the gondola on your way back up.
And staring out at the stars over Rotorua…
3. All Seasons Holiday Park
All Seasons Holiday Park was the first place we went camping as a blended family 4 Easters ago (look at how little they all are!).
I’d like to say it was all smooth sailing that first time around but as those of you blending families know, nothing is smooth sailing! Especially not in that first year.
But it gave us a brilliant frame of reference this time around to see how far we’ve come!
The girls seemed so much more a tight unit – inseparable almost all of the time.
The amazing pool looked so much smaller than the first time our kids had slid excitedly down the first time.
Of course it wasn’t – they were just so much bigger this time. And it didn’t stop them from spending every minute they could in the pool. Only this time with a new contingent of campers to teach their crazy moves to.
We went from a hastily pulled together tent to actually having a relatively good set up. Although never as good as our camping buddy Emma who takes camping to an entirely new level (and yes, that is a heater in her tent).
We went from camping alone with the 3 kids to a camping community of our good friends Emma and Jay and Quentin and Shannon and their kids.
And we went from heating up spaghetti in the camp kitchen to whipping up some pretty gourmet meals amongst the 3 families. The highlight of which had to be cooking pizza in a pizza oven on the back of the ute and drinking Moet to celebrate Em’s new house in the pouring rain.
Had All Seasons changed too? It had.
The park had got even more amazing and there are more renovations on the way.
In all the best ways it remained unchanged.
The dinosaurs remained scattered through the park.
The owners were as laid back as the last time. And the kitchen was warm, cozy and well stocked.
And just down the road is the beautiful Hannah’s Bay – perfect for bike riding and tree climbing.
4. Terrace Kitchen
Okay, so it’s actually the third time we’ve been to Terrace Kitchen but we love it so much!
James and I discovered it on our grown up’s weekend away in Rotorua and it’s been a favourite ever since.
This time with a 6 year old in the mix too our girls loved it even more than last time. They got straight into the dress up box and had a ball.
The food was as always amazing (and the kids meals are epic).
The decor amazing, the atmosphere relaxed and the staff friendly.
It’s absolutely worth a visit (or 3).
5. Fat Dog Cafe
This was another spot that we discovered thanks to all of you over on Getting Lost.
This time it was the emergency hangry stop. I needed coffee. The kids needed food. We all needed a little time out.
You know how when you get just the right food at just the right time and you wonder if you’ve ever tasted food that good? That was us with the vegetable soup at Fat Dog Cafe.
Fat Dog Cafe is so bright and vibrant it’s impossible not to feel great when you walk in and it’s a great stop no matter what the occassion.