Rotorua Blog Post


The town of Rotorua is renowned for it’s adventure sports and geothermal activity. We had an incredible time wading through the different tourist activities in the area. However when travelling on a budget you don’t only have to pick your activities wisely you also have to think about what and where you should eat.

Both of us know what it is like to eat cheaply, living as students, but add limited cooking facilities and a camp stove to the mix and it all gets a little more complicated. During our time in New Zealand when we believed we were about to cycle 2000 kilometres we stuffed ourselves with pasta and bread with glee thinking about the calories we were going to burn. Alas, this didn’t work out and with our jeans that little bit tighter we had to consider how to eat ‘healthily’ and cheaply during our trip.

To my surprise campsites in New Zealand (at least in the North Island) have pretty good kitchen facilities. I envisioned us both sitting next to our camp stoves every night with two tiny little pots cooking pasta and beans for the 100th time. Luckily many of the these cooking facilities have come to our rescue meaning we can pretty much cook anything we want, at least anything our limited budget can afford. Our meals have included lamb, rice and asparagus as well as beef, cous cous and tinned green beans (the green beans were thrown out pretty swiftly, NEVER buy green beans from a tin in NZ).

The best meal that we have cooked for ourselves so far was from a steam oven called a Hangi. This is a traditional Māori way of cooking. For 3 and a half hours we cooked pork and vegetables in the Hangi and the meal was certainly worth the wait. Take a look at our latest vlog to see our campsites version of a Hangi for yourself.

Rotorua on a Budget

This is a tough one as there are so many different paid activities being offered in Rotorua. However I am pretty proud we managed to have a great time without completely breaking the bank.

  • The Redwood Forest: on the outskirts of the city lies the beautiful Redwood Forest. There are a number of different walks for all abilities and they are all well sign posted –
  • Go to a campsite or motel that has it’s own hot pools: Pretty much all of them do. Our campsite Cosy Cottage Thermal Holiday Park had 3 of it’s own hot pools, a mud pool, a hot water beach and a Hangi –
  • The Green and Blue Lakes: A 15 minute drive outside of Rotorua and you arrive at the beautiful Green and Blue Lakes. We did a nice 5.5 kilometre run around the Blue Lake as well as went to the view point for both lakes.
  • Pick one of the really awesome activities on offer and just do it: I am pretty guilty for being stingy with cash but sometimes you do just have to part with it. There are a lot of paid activities around Rotorua which can be quite pricey so pick the one that entices you the most and just go with it. We went luging and it was so much fun! For 55 NZD you get 5 rides and a gondola trip. There’s also a cafe at the top where you can sit and take in the views of Rotorua –

Robyn 🙂

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