New Zealand day 5: Rotorua

Tuesday was (moderate) adventure time as we set off for Rotorua and its Skyline Luge.

Upon arrival we bought our tickets and travelled up the hill towering over the geothermal town of Rotorua and its huge lake in a gondola (otherwise known as a cable car). The view was absolutely fantastic.


There were lots of adrenaline-seeking activities up there: a zip line, a sky swing, mountain biking and the luge.

Although I was filled with trepidation upon seeing the other options, the luge seemed like a must-do thrill and it didn’t disappoint. It reminded me of the toboggan run at Robin Hill on the Isle of Wight (niche reference there!) but on a proper track rather than a metal tube track.



There are three tracks there: scenic, intermediate and advanced. Scenic was the longest, weaving through the forest down the hill overlooking Rotorua, but had least opportunity to build up speed. Intermediate had some great slopes to get speed on and had some great overtaking moments. Unfortunately advanced was closed for maintenance when we were there.

Frazer and I had great fun there, having paid for five luge rides and you get the trick of it very quickly. It actually gets pretty competitive on the track!


We spent just over two hours in total at Skyline Rotorua, and left after a beautiful return journey on the gondola back towards the lake.

We then headed into town to Eat Streat, a trendy boulevard of restaurants. After some perusal of the menus, we sampled and enjoyed Ambrosia, where I had a cheese, spinach and mushroom gnocchi and Frazer had a chicken and brie sandwich.


Just to mix things up, we then went over the road to CBK to have the ‘famous’ skillet cookie – basically warm, fresh cookie dough with ice cream on top. So delicious.


Next stop was the Polynesian Spa, for several years voted one of the world’s top 10 best spas by Conde Nast Traveller magazine (but not since 2011). We chose to go in the adult pool complex, although other choices included the deluxe spa and standard and deluxe private pools.


The adult pool section had seven different pools fed by the Prince and Rachel Springs, meaning it’s all geothermal water rich with minerals. Best of all it all overlooks Lake Rotorua, a beautiful sight to soak up while you relax in the hot waters. Bliss (but not for more than about an hour – we definitely started to overheat!)



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