Getting There

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Lake Rotorua benefits from a central North Island location, so getting to the lake is pretty easy. You can reach Rotorua city by plane, car, or bus.

By Plane

You can get to Lake Rotorua by plane via the Rotorua Airport, which is located on the Eastern shore of the lake in the suburb of Rotokawa, approximately 6 km to the northeast of Rotorua CBD, near Hannahs Bay. The airport is served by Air New Zealand's regional subsidiaries, which operate flights between Rotorua and Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

The airport also offers a range of car parks that are available for both short and long term, and you don’t need to pre-book them. Short term parking can be booked for up to 3 days, while long term parking can be booked for more than 3 days. You can pay for the parking onsite by either cash or card.

rotorua airport layout
The Rotorua Airport offers both short-term parking and long-term parking. Photo credit: Rotorua Airport.

By Car

Rotorua is well connected if you want to get there by car as well. It is a 3.5-hour drive from Auckland, a 1.5-hour drive from Hamilton, a 6-hour drive from Wellington, and a one-hour drive from Taupo.

From Auckland, there are 2 main routes to get to Rotorua by car: one on State Highway 1 and State Highway 5, and the other one on State Highway 1, State Highway 27, and State highway 5. Both of them take roughly the same time.

By Bus

You can get to Rotorua by bus from several other cities, including Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, and Taupo. From Auckland, there are several buses per day, and it will take between 3.5 and 4.5 hours to get to Rotorua, depending on the route. There are both direct routes, or routes where Rotorua is a stop in the voyage between Auckland and Gisborne or Wellington.