Free Central Walks from Aura

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There is a certain beauty to taking an early morning walk around a new city and Rotorua is no different. From Aura’s central location there is plenty to discover by foot. We’ve put together some of our favourite free central walks from Aura, suitable for all ages and abilities!

For those wanting to get their geothermal fix, we would recommend heading across to Kuirau Park, the free geothermal public park in the central city. With nice wide walkways and plenty of geothermal action it’s a great place to take the kids, especially those younger ones.  Only 15 minutes walk from Aura, there is also the option to bike across town or take Aura’s free scooters as an alternative. As you head back, grab a coffee or hot chocolate at one of Rotorua’s fabulous eateries! 

Time: 45mins – 1.30hr. 

Park with steaming areas fenced off. Paved footpaths through the park.
Steamy Kuirau Park

One place not to miss is the newly developed Rotorua Lakefront! Only 200m from Aura, the 2021 redevelopement has multiple large pathways along the shoreline and features an epic large playground including bike loops, flying fox and a dedicated small childrens area! We’d recommend an evening or morning walk to see some beautiful colours on the lake or even take a picnic during the day to enjoy at the lakefront. Coming in 2023 is a new commerical space which we are really excited about!

Time: 20mins – 1 hour.

Sun riding over the board walk on a lakefront.
Newly developed boardwalk at the Rotorua Lakefront 2021
Playground equipment with blue sky behind.
Rotorua Lakefront Playground

After exploring the lakefront, you can continue around the lakefront walk where you will reach Sulphur Point. This is the start of the Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge, a huge 145 hectare sanctuary which is home to an array of birdlife amongst a lively geothermal hot spot. There are walkways and bike trails through this area leading you to the Sulphur Flats. Its almost like walking through another planet! This trail eventually leads into the Dog Park area at the Whakarewarewa Redwoods Forest.

You can even pop into the Polynesian Spa on the way back, we definitely recommend trying one of the Little Lato Gelatos they sell! Delicious!

Time: 1 hour – 1:30hr. 

Two people biking on a gravel path with steam either side.
Bikers through Sulphur Flats Rotorua.

Around the corner from Aura are the beautiful Government Gardens.  Home to iconic Blue Baths and Rotorua Musuem there is lots of history in this area with the land having been gifted to the Crown in the late 1800’s to be used as a public space with its magical healing thermal waters. The gardens are always beautifully kept with the Klamath Falls Rose Garden and many other geothermal features for visitors to explore! We would absolutely recommend taking along a picnic to enjoy in the warmer months or stop into the Hello Stranger Cafe located in the Arts Village Center for a snack!

Time: 45mins – 1.30hr. 

Large long building in background, lawn bowls feild in the foreground.
Museum at Government Gardens, Rotorua
Orange and Red tulips in the garden
Tulips in Bloom at Government Gardens


Looking for some more Rotorua Inspiration – check out our other blogs! 

Family Fun for Everyone | Mountain Biking Around Rotorua | Adrenaline Junkie – Rotorua | Lucy’s Top Tips for Two Days in Rotorua