It's looking to be a bustling and lively next couple of weeks as families get out and about, and visitors flock to Rotorua for the July school holidays.
And there is plenty going on to keep the kids entertained.
Destination Rotorua head of insights and marketing Jo Holmes said a lot of tourism and accommodation businesses had been telling them that May and June were excellent months compared to previous winters, and much busier than they were expecting.
"Our forward-looking accommodation reports show that bookings are strong for the school holiday period across all accommodation types, but there is still some space for those looking for a last-minute holiday.
"We know that's how New Zealanders are operating more and more now - booking lead times are significantly shorter than they used to be."
Holmes said Rotorua was the winter "go-to" destination for so many Kiwis because there was so much here to cater to every interest, weather condition and age group.
"While international travel is restricted, most of us are choosing destinations closer to home that offer enough variety to keep everyone in the family happy. Rotorua definitely fits the bill."
She said Rotorua was the perfect place for a winter holiday because you didn't have to worry about what the weather was doing and there was plenty on offer for those looking for outdoor adventure.
"There are plenty of options to cater for rain, sun and any temperature. In fact, hot pools and steamy geothermal landscapes really come into their own during the winter months."
She said Rotorua was also the world's best year-round mountain biking destination.
"For something new these holidays, we'd encourage people to come and ride the brand new Whakarewarewa Forest Loop which is a fun grade 2 level scenic day ride."
Visitors should also check out the newly-developed lakefront, which opened just in time for the school holidays, she said.
Rotorua Moteliers Association chairman Mike Gallagher said of the motels he had spoken to recently - high end and mid-range - they were almost full and looking busy for the entire school holidays already.
He said the holiday rentals section was also looking really full.
"I think it's really great for Rotorua and the school holidays is an awesome opportunity for the wider regions to come and experience Rotorua's thermal hot pools - during the winter is the perfect time to come."
He said with borders closed it looked promising that the domestic market was getting out and experiencing the regions - "It's great to see".
Air New Zealand said well over half a million Kiwis were preparing to take to the skies these school holidays, in what it's calling its busiest July break ever.
It said regional hubs were booming.
Over the July school holiday period, there were 13,300 seats booked in and out of Rotorua (up 41 per cent of last year) and 240 flights in and out of Rotorua (up 35 per cent on last year).
Plenty to do
From creative art to self-defence, library fun to netball action, safe stage combat to stunning costumes and more in between, there is something for all these school holidays.
Once again, the Rotorua Library has a plethora of activities available to help keep kids entertained.
Just a few of these include Busy Board Games, Making Movie Magic, Night Sky Dance Party, coding, Lego, and pompom flowers.
Rotorua Library youth and early learning lead Kylie Holmes says these holidays see the return of their popular dance party.
"Families are invited to think stars and all things sparkly when they dress up.
"These holidays we will have an event every weekday, and there will be five new busy bag activities for families to take home and do later."
The Great Te Aka Mauri Winter Reading Challenge was also back, running until August 1.
Kids can pick up their entry form or download it on the library website and start reading, with the opportunity to read away library fines.
All entries need to be returned to the library before 4pm on August 1.
Some of the library's July school holiday activities have a cost associated with them and some require bookings, so it pays to get in early. For more information go to www.rotorualibrary.govt.nz.
The Lakes Performing Arts Centre is holding three different options for children these school holidays.
On Tuesday, July 13, there is a self-defence workshop for ages 9 plus.
Managing director Rebecca Brake says the centre has teamed up with Tukaha Rotorua Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to put the workshop on.
Another option is a Princess Workshop on Wednesday, July 14, 9am to 3pm, where children will get dressed up in costumes, make tiaras, have a tea party and have a dance.
From Monday, July 19 to Friday, July 23, 9am to 3pm, there will be a Stage Combat School Holiday Programme held at the centre.
The New Zealand Stage and Screen Combat School will provide fun, safe activities.
Spaces need to be booked for all and there are different costs. Contact email@example.com or call (022) 531 5833.
The Arts Village is also back with its Holiday Arts Academy these July school holidays.
It will involve two four-day programmes where young artists (8 to 12 years) will learn new skills, make new friends, try new materials, and create art to take home.
The programme is being taught by local artist Jane Rotherham and local guest artists, and is $30 per day per child. All materials are supplied.
Other school holiday activity ideas
- Saturday, July 17: Costume Exhibition and Craft Market, 10am to 4.30pm, Millennium Hotel, free.
- Sunday, July 18: Splice Construction Magic versus Tactix, 6.15pm to 8pm, Energy Events Centre, www.ticketmaster.co.nz
- Tuesday, July 20: Operatunity's The Luck of the Irish, 11am to 1pm, Rotorua Baptist Church, tickets $30-$40, book at www.operatunity.co.nz
- Tuesday, July 20: NZ Mountain Film Festival National Tour, 7pm, Harvest Centre Auditorium, tickets - adults $22, under 17 $17.50 and under 12 $12.50, TryBooking website and from Harvest Centre on the night.