Rotorua is an absolutely incredible destination in the center of New Zealand’s North Island. Rotorua is full of more hot springs than you can count, some of the most beautiful lakes in New Zealand, and some underrated hikes in the mountains outside the city. We put together a guide of 3 full days of incredible things to do, for FREE! Everything in this guide is 100% free, and we guarantee you’ll have the time of your life. Put your wallet away and get ready for an adventure!
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0:22 – Government Gardens
1:17 – Kuirau Park
2:02 – Rotorua Night Market
2:52 – Whakarewarewa Redwoods Forest
3:37 – Lake Tarawerawera
4:02 – Lake Rotokakahi
4:20 – Lake Tikitapu
5:32 – Rainbow Mountain
6:23 – Kerosene Creek
6:50 – Bonus – Heading to Raglan!
6:58 – Ngarunui Beach
7:16 – Bridal Veil Falls
7:47 – We Competed in a Dumpling Eating Contest at the Rotorua Night Market – FULL VIDEO
On Day 1 we are going to explore downtown #rotorua with the #governmentgardens and #kuiraupark. These are awesome places that you can wander through for an entire day and look at the awesome hot springs and flowers! There is even a free hot pool in Kuirau Park! After your day, head to the Rotorua Night Market, which is every Thursday night, and is full of awesome food and ambience. We even entered a dumpling eating contest while here and Zach got second place! Julie couldn’t finish the 15 dumplings…
Day 2 is to be spent exploring some of the epic adventure zones located just outside Rotorua. First is the #whakarewarewa #redwoods walk, which is an ENORMOUS forest full of redwoods and palm trees. After that, #laketarawerawera, #lakerotokakahi and #laketikitapu are all must sees. Lake Tikitapu AKA Green Lake was the best to explore on, and we went stand up paddleboarding!
Day 3 is for an epic hike up #rainbowmountain and to #kerosenecreek. This former is an awesome mountain overlook, and the latter is a FREE hot springs! FREE! And the hot springs is an awesome temperature, you may not every want to leave Kerosene Creek…
As a bonus, we went over 1 free day exploring Raglan New Zealand! Raglan is an awesome surf town, and if you want to surf you gotta check out #ngarunuibeach. This is the perfect place to learn to surf. After that, #bridalveilfalls is the place to go, as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of New Zealand!
On our 3 month journey through New Zealand we are sharing free things to do in places all over the North Island and South Island. We are exploring on a budget, so we happen to be finding free activities by necessity, but we’ve found that New Zealand is full of AMAZING things to do that won’t cost a dollar to do!
We are living the van life in a self-contained campervan in New Zealand. With a self-contained campervan, we can camp for free at Freedom Camping sites located in convenient places all across New Zealand! We get to camp at beautiful places, and don’t have to pay! Sounds like a perfect situation to us… Freedom Camping is the best way to see New Zealand, especially when you are on a budget.
If you have any New Zealand places to recommend, please let us know in the comments of this video!
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Who Are We??
We are Julie and Zach Ruhl. At the end of 2018 we sold almost everything we owned and moved out of our Chicago apartment and into a 2001 Volkswagen Eurovan. We took a leap of faith, and had the best year of our entire lives. We built a life on the road, and lived each day to the fullest in our wonderful tiny home (named Winnie :)).
Living the van life taught us so much about ourselves and helped us grow as individuals and as a couple. We now know how to live on less than $1000 per month, and how to see tons of amazing things along the way. We know how to live an extreme minimalist lifestyle, and will now practice extreme minimalist travel tactics everywhere we go. We know tons of beautiful sites in the USA and Canada that we had no clue about just a year ago. And most of all, we learned secrets on how to live our dreams and make time & effort for what we value most in our lives.