Explore Wheelchair Accessible Adventures in Rotorua

rotorua sky view - Explore Wheelchair Accessible Adventures in Rotorua

Aerial shot of the Rotorua Lakefront.
Photo: Paul Michael – Rotorua Lakefront.

The choice of activities on offer in Rotorua alone is immense, ranging from the serene to heart-stopping, with varying degrees of accessibility. It’s also a great base to discover nearby destinations like Lake Taupo, Bay of Plenty, Waitomo Caves, and even the famed Hobbiton in Matamata.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best wheelchair accessible activities in Rotorua as recommended by previous travellers.

As always ring ahead well in advance and make sure it is going to be accessible for your requirements.

Wheelchair Accessible Activities in Rotorua

1. Skyline Rotorua

The Skyline Gondola offers breathtaking views and accessible options for the Luge and Skyswing. Contact them beforehand to confirm suitability for your needs.

2. Te Puia

This renowned destination for Māori culture and geothermal experiences offers a high level of accessibility along with discounted rates for individuals with disabilities.

te puia pohutu geyser erupting miles holden - Explore Wheelchair Accessible Adventures in Rotorua

Photo: Miles Holden; Pohutu Geyser, Te Puia, Rotorua.

3. Kayak Glow Worm Tour

While this adventurous tour requires a certain physical ability, Paddle Board Rotorua provides an accessible bathroom and changing facilities, and a seating system to help support the kayaker.  Check with them to see if it’s right for you.

4. Hells Gate Sulphur Spa

Enjoy the therapeutic sulphur spa pools, accessible via ramps and boardwalks. Note: the ramp is slightly on the steep side.  A stand-alone accessible bathroom with shower is available beside the pools.  After your spa a further ramp leads visitors to the mud volcano viewing platform.  The rest of Hells Gate has limited accessibility.

5. Paradise Valley Springs

This wildlife park, with African Lions and native birds, is wheelchair accessible.  There is only one mobility parking spot, however they are willing to accommodate more. Contact them for information on mobility parking.

6. The Buried Village

Experience the stories of the 1886 Mt Tarawera Eruption with accessible facilities such as the museum, café, and restrooms, provided along paved pathways.  The walk to the waterfall is not accessible.

7. Waiotapu Geothermal Park

Discover colorful geothermal wonders and the Lady Knox Geyser. While not all trails are accessible, the park offers boardwalks and platforms. If you have a mobility parking permit, let the staff know on arrival and they will allow you to drive to the Lady Knox Geyser and then you can return to explore the rest of the park.  There are steep inclines including at the start, and at the end of the walk.  Staff are very helpful if you let them know what you require.  There are accessible parks, but they are 200 metres away,  Notify staff for assistance upon arrival.

8. Te Pā Tū Māori Village

This recreated traditional village is wheelchair accessible.  They provide transport from your accommodation, but ring in advance as they also allow you to travel in your own vehicle, with prior arrangements.

TNZ BE Support Image - Explore Wheelchair Accessible Adventures in Rotorua

9. Sir Howard Morrison Centre

If you’re in the mood for some entertainment the Sir Howard Morrison Centre is always worth checking out. Depending on configuration, there are up to eight allocated wheelchair spaces in the Sir Owen Glenn Theatre and up to four in Te Haumako | Black Box Theatre. You’ll find wheelchair-accessible toilets on the ground floor and a drive-through drop-off zone at the front of the building.  Check availability before booking.

Wheelchair Accessible Walks in Rotorua

In addition to activities, Rotorua also offers a number of accessible walks.  You can also rent a Trail Rider at Redwoods Forest Park and, with the help of two others, you can take on almost any trail in the Rotorua region. If you haven’t come across a Trail Rider before grabyourwheels.nz, has a great article on how it works, and a review.

  1. Redwoods Forest Walks – Just five minutes drive out of Roturua, Redwoods has two wheelchair-accessible walks: the 30-minute Memorial Grove track and the hour-long Waitawa walk.
  2. Hannah’s Bay – Just 12 minutes out of town you’ll find this delightful beach surrounded by kahikatea forest. The wetlands boardwalk track is accessible for 2km to Silver Beach and has accessible toilets.
  3. Rotorua Lake Front – With beautiful views of Lake Rotorua, the boardwalk has several wide pathways and stretches into the lake.
  4. Kuirau Park – Free to enter, this walkway covers a 1.4km loop through mud pools, boiling lakes and other geothermal wonders right in the heart of Rotorua.
  5. King Hill Reserve – Just 20 minutes from Rotorua, and 20 minutes long, this flat well-defined track heads through rimu and tawa forest, amid remnants of the area’s mining past. Will be muddy after heavy rain.
  6. Museum Gardens – Wheelchair-friendly pathways wend through the Government Gardens around Rotorua Museum. You can also join the daily 11.00am-12.30pm guided tours.
  7. H Tree Track – The H Tree Track in Whirinaki Te Pua-a-Tāne Conservation Park is an easy loop through grand podocarp forest, and home to a number of native birds including kaka.
Redwoods Forest Rotorua scaled - Explore Wheelchair Accessible Adventures in Rotorua

Accessible Redwoods Forest board walk in Rotorua

Accessible Accommodation in Rotorua

Rotorua has a number of accessible accommodation options.  For short term stays there ae a number of hotel and motel options in our play and stay directory.  If you are planning a longer stay or using Rotorua as a base to explore surrounding areas, then we’ve picked out some great accommodation options that give you plenty of spay.

All Seasons Holiday Park

This family favourite is just a short drive from both the town centre and the airport. Units are available with an accessible bathroom, handles for toilet and shower and a fold-down seat in the shower. Doorways are 800mm wide. You may have a problem with the gravel in the car park, while steps make the office and ‘dinostore’ inaccessible.

Lounge to Lawn to Lake

A place we feature in our Play-and-Stay directory, this is a great accessible holiday home built with a paraplegic’s needs in mind. Entryways are ramped and it has an accessible bathroom.   The kitchen is not accessible. Sleeps up to five.

Paradise Valley Lodge

Set in beautiful gardens, the lodge has a cottage that sleeps two or three with accessible entry and bathroom. However the kitchen is not accessible.

For more information on accessible activities and accommodations in Rotorua, explore our Play and Stay Directory. Don’t forget to leave your own reviews to help future travelers plan their inclusive adventures.