Nestled on the Waipa River, Otorohanga is a charming gateway town near the enthralling Waitomo Caves, Pirongia Forest Park and the bustling city of Hamilton. Along with fascinating wildlife experiences, Otorohanga provides a popular dining and nightlife strip and a tranquil riverside park.
Things to do in Otorohanga
Are you interested in getting up close to New Zealand’s most famous bird? Head to the Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park to see these interesting flightless and nocturnal birds in large aviaries between walking paths and ponds. You can also listen to informative daily talks and partake in feedings.
While you’re near the centre of town, check out the restaurants and bars along Maniapoto Street, such as Otorohanga Club Inc, which is known for its bar games, beer and hearty pub fare. You can also eat at popular international restaurants, including Sushi Corner, Jasmines Thai Restaurant or Flying Horse Chinese Takeaway and Noodles. Don’t forget about the classic cocktails at The Thirsty Weta Bar & Eatery.
When you need a break from sightseeing, chill out in Island Reserve, a riverside park with plenty of grassy space for picnics. Afterwards, stroll past Kiwiana Town Otorohanga, which has street art and an iconic statue of a kiwi bird. Don’t miss seeing the Huiputea Historic Tree, which was the site of a notable battle back in 1822.
Adventurous travellers will enjoy a day trip to Kakepuku, a 449-metre-tall mountain about 20 minutes’ drive from Otorohanga. You can also go on a once-in-a-lifetime rafting excursion through the Waitomo Caves to see thousands of glow-worms, cascading waterfalls and intricate rock formations.
Getting around Otorohanga
Otorohanga is about 50 minutes’ drive from Hamilton, where you can fly into Hamilton Airport and rent a car. You can catch buses to Otorohanga and the town is easily explored on foot, while a car is required for accessing nearby attractions.