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The trout fishing on the Rotorua area’s lakes, streams, and rivers is some of the finest in the world. For outdoor enthusiasts there is no shortage of activities such as trail biking, white-water rafting, sledging, luge riding, canoeing, and bungy jumping.
Agrodome Adventures. Outside town and part of the Agrodome complex, there's Agrodome Adventures. Try bungy jumping from a 140-foot-high crane, or the Swoop where one, two, or three people are put into a hang-gliding harness and raised 120 feet off the ground before a rip cord is released. If you're looking for further thrills, try Freefall Extreme, where a 180-kph (108-mph) wind from a giant fan lifts you 10 feet into the air. Or then again there's the Shweeb, a five-car monorail racetrack using pedal power. The cost to get you screaming is NZ$108 for your choice of two. 141 Western Road, Ngongotaha, Rotorua. 64 7/357–1050. 9–5 daily.
Kaitiaki Adventures. The folks in Rotorua keep coming up with ever more fearsome ways to part adventurers from their money (and their wits). The tertiary qualified guiding team will take you down a number of rivers on trips that begin at $95. Try white-water sledging with Kaitiaki Adventures. For around NZ$109–$299 you get a trip shooting rapids on a specially designed plastic water raft the size of a Boogie board and a soak in a natural hot pool. They supply a wet suit, helmet, fins, and gloves. 1135 Te Ngae Road, Rotorua. 64 800/338–736. www.kaitiaki.co.nz/.
If you want to keep the trout of a lifetime from becoming just another fish story, go with a registered guide. Prices vary, but expect to pay about NZ$90–NZ$100 per hour for a fishing guide and a 20-foot cruiser that takes up to six passengers. The minimum charter period is two hours; fishing gear and tackle are included in the price. A one-day fishing license costs NZ$25 per person and is available on board the boat. (You'll need a special fishing license to fish in the Rotorua area, and in Taupo.) For general information about local lake and river conditions, check with the Tourism Rotorua Visitor Information Centre.
Bryan Colman. With Bryan Colman you can troll Lake Rotorua or try fly-fishing on the region's many streams, including a private-land source. He takes up to five people at a time and a day long trip is $860. 32 Kiwi Street, Rotorua, 3015. 07/348–7766. www.TroutFishingRotorua.com.
Gordon Randle. A trip with Gordon Randle is about NZ$95 per hour or you can charter the boat (and Gordon) for the day at a cost of $750. 11 Te Ana Place, Rotorua, 3010. 64 7/349–2555; 0274/938–733 boat. www.rotoruatrout.co.nz.
Silver Hilton Trout Fishing. Boat and flyfish all year with this outfit, which requires a three-hour minimum on a boat or four hours for flyfishing outings. 4A Ward Rd., Hamurana, Rotorua, 3097. 07/332–3488. www.troutfly.co.nz.
The Rotorua region has rivers with Grade III to Grade V rapids that make excellent white-water rafting. For scenic beauty—and best for first-timers—the Rangitaiki River (Grades III–IV) is recommended. For experienced rafters, the Wairoa River has exhilarating Grade V rapids. The climax of a rafting trip on the Kaituna River is the drop over the 21-foot Okere Falls, among the highest to be rafted by a commercial operator anywhere. The various operators run similar trips on a daily schedule, though different rivers are open at different times of year, depending on water levels. All equipment and instruction are provided, plus transportation to and from the departure points (which can be up to 80 km [50 miles] from Rotorua). Prices start around NZ$90 for the short (one-hour) Kaituna run; a half day on the Rangitaiki costs from NZ$120. Many operators sell combination trips.
Go Wild Adventures. Gentler natures can opt for a serene paddle on one of Rotorua's lakes. Among the variety of tours are a half a day spent paddling on Lake Rotorua (NZ$80) and a full day on Lake Tarawera (NZ$140) that includes a swim in a natural hot pool. The adventurous might also like either overnight or multiday trips that begin at $210. 64 27/4997–402 cell; 64 7/533 2926. www.gowildadventures.co.nz.
Kaituna Cascades. Kaituna Cascades knows the river it takes its name from like the back of its hand (or raft). The company organizes one-day or multiday expeditions using rafts or kayaks with a focus on fun and safety. A rafting trip will cost NZ$84 while a double kayak ride is NZ$140 but only to those who weigh under 84 kilograms. Trout Pool Rd., Rotorua. 64 7/345–4199 or 0800/524–8862. www.kaitunacascades.co.nz.
Raftabout. This outfit focuses on day trips, some pairing rafting with jet-boating. Check the website for details. State Highway 33, Okere Falls, Rotorua, 3015. 64 7/343–9500. www.raftabout.co.nz.
River Rats. River Rats provides day trips to the main rivers as well as adventure packages. 391 State Highway 33, Mourea, Rotorua. 07/345–6543 or 0800/333–900. www.riverrats.co.nz.
Wet 'n' Wild Adventure. One-day itineraries cover the Rangitaiki, Wairoa, and Kaituna rivers. Wet 'n' Wild Adventure has multi-adventure and double-trip options. 2 White Street, Rotorua. 07/348–3191 or 0800/462–7238. www.wetnwildrafting.co.nz.