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Car Rental in Rotorua: Maori culture and geothermal activity
Rotorua is a fascinating city to visit for lovers of geysers and Maori culture alike. While there are numerous attractions to keep you busy in town itself, from lakeside lounging to Maori guides to the geysers at Te Pula or the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village, you’ll certainly want to explore Rotorua’s unique surroundings as well. Make the most of your visit to the city by hiring a car. Book yours today.
While Rotorua witnesses four distinct seasons each year, summers are rarely oppressively hot and winter temperatures rarely reach the freezing point. Winter months—June through August—typically receive slightly more rain than the summer months of December through February.
The three official languages of New Zealand are English, Te Reo Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language. English and Te Reo Māori are the primarily spoken languages of Rotorua’s residents.
Rotorua is located in the New Zealand Time Zone, UTC+12.
The currency is the New Zealand dollar and the vast majority of transactions take place via credit or debit card throughout the country.
Car hire is available in 2 locations throughout Rotorua, Rotorua Regional Airport (ROT) and downtown.
Australians can visit New Zealand indefinitely, and citizens of the United Kingdom can stay for up to 6 months. Citizens of many other nations can visit New Zealand as tourists for up to 3 months visa-free. Check visa regulations for your nationality before you make travel plans, as you may need to apply for a visa at a New Zealand diplomatic post or British embassy before you depart for the country.
Expect to undergo strict inspection at all ports of entry to ensure you do not mistakenly transport any infected or noxious foods, plants, or animals to New Zealand’s very well protected and isolated ecosystem.
Driving in Rotorua
Although a bicycle is the preferred means of travel for Rotorua’s residents, a rental car is ideal for visitors, regardless of season, particularly if you plan to leave the city and explore this beautiful region of New Zealand’s North Island. Planning to take a number of road trips during your stay in Rotorua is highly recommended!
- Traffic drives on the left-hand side of the road throughout New Zealand.
- In town: 40 to 50 km/h
- On rural roads: typically 100 km/h, though sometimes 60 to 80 km/h.
- As a city that primarily thrives from the tourist industry, you won’t experience much of a rush hour in Rotorua. If you plan to travel to Auckland or any other major industrial centers, however, be sure to plan your trip to avoid morning or evening rush hours.
- Parking is regulated by time and fee in central Rotorua during the weekdays and on Saturday mornings, though there are a number of free parking spots available in the center of town, as long as you only stay for one hour. Every additional hour costs around $1.
- If your domestic driver’s license has not been issued in English, you will be required to carry an additional international driver’s permit to rent and drive in New Zealand.
- There are three toll roads on North Island, all north of Rotorua: the Northern Gateway Toll Road into Auckland, the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road, and the Takitimu Drive Toll Road, also near Tauranga. You can pay your tolls online at https://www.nzta.govt.nz/roads-and-rail/toll-roads/
- The minimum driving age in New Zealand is 18, but you will have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car, and you can expect to face young-driver surcharges until the age of 25.
Cheap Car Rental in Rotorua
Car hire in Rotorua typically starts at around $35 a day. Here are some of the best deals in Rotorua:
- Toyota Yaris (economy class) - $37 per day
- Holden Barina (compact class) - $42 per day
- Toyota Corolla (intermediate class) - $46 per day
- Holden Commodore (fullsize class) - $52 per day
- Toyota Camry (standard class) - $60 per day
Note that prices vary depending on the availability of each specific car and the season in which you rent. For the most accurate offers, use the search bar above.
Tips for Renting a Car Inexpensively in Rotorua
There is not much seasonal variation in price for rental cars in Rotorua, where prices at the Rotorua Airport are typically at least $10 cheaper than rental car prices downtown. In order to get the best deals on car hire in Rotorua, be sure to book your car at least 3 months in advance of your arrival, particularly if you are planning to arrive during the busy summer months.
At the airport, Thrifty is typically the rental car agency that can offer visitors the cheapest prices in Rotorua. With the help of discounts, Hertz and Economy Bookings can match these cheap car hire prices at their downtown locations from time to time. Keep an eye out for discounts of at least 8%!
You can also typically save around $5 a day by extending your rental period to over a week.