Rotorua is 'touristy', but for good reason. No visit to New Zealand
would be complete without seeing the awesome display of nature's power.
And, apart from the boiling mud pools, geysers and craters, Rotorua
is the heart of Maori culture.
Lake Taupo is a
massive volcanic crater and NZ's largest lake. It's a haven for natural
wildlife and a popular place for water skiing, cruising, sailing, swimming
Mount Ruapehu has
the country's largest ski resorts and the longest season. There's spectacular
scenery and top facilities for all levels of skier. In Waikato you'll
find the magnificent Waikato River, the city of Hamilton and Waitomo,
home of the famous glow-worm grotto and soft adventure.
See and Do
- On arrival get
sulphur-acquainted with a visit to the thermal reserve of Whakarewarewa
(on the way into town).
- For a full day
of thermal wonder, take a trip to the beautiful Waimangu Valley where
the village of Te Wairoa was once buried in a volcanic eruption. Now
excavated it is worth a visit as is a cruise to the steaming cliffs
of Lake Rotomahana.
- Don't miss a
night out Maori style - a traditional cultural dance and hangi (feast).
- You could also
consider staying overnight in the communal Maori marae (meeting house).
- Pay a visit
to the Agrodome and Rainbow Farm.
- Take the Skyline
Gondola ride for great views then ride a luge back down. Great family
- There is superb
trout fishing in 14 fishable lakes - gear and licence can be arranged.
- Treat yourself
to a massage or a hot soak at the Polynesian Spa.
down to Taupo:
- En route stop
off at thundering Huka Falls (the view from above is free or you can
jetboat to their base for NZ$45 adults, NZ$25 children).
- Sail, ski or
fish the lake for brown and rainbow trout. (If you catch a trout,
ask your hotel or a local restaurant to cook it for you - restaurants
aren't permitted by law to sell trout but they are allowed to cook
- Go whitewater
rafting or bungey jumping over the Waikato River.
- Suspend your
fears at Rock'n'Ropes on the Giant Swing, Flying Fox and High Trapeze.
- Both Rotorua
and Taupo have some of the best mountain bike terrain and bikes can
be hired from a number of places.
the barbequed prawns at Taupo Prawn Park.
- Treat the children
with a visit to Deerworld farm.
- Hop on horseback
for an hour or a day.
- Tee off at the
glorious Wairakei International Golf Course.
- Visit Tongariro
National Park for a dynamic landscape that includes hot springs, a
lush rainforest, a desert-like terrain and the snowy volcanic peaks
of Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu.
- Ski Mount Ruapehu
from Whakapapa. There are slopes for beginners (with excellent instructors)
and long treeless slopes for the experienced skier.
- Raft the Tongariro
River, have fun on a 4WD-farm bike or relax with a fishing rod.
- Want a big walk?
The 49km Tongariro Northern Circuit is one of New Zealand's Great
Walks. For a small walk, the Tongariro Crossing is generally regarded
as the country's best one day walks.
- To fully appreciate
the beauty of the region, take a scenic flight.
In the Waikato area:
- Take a paddleboat
cruise on the Waipa Delta from the city of Hamilton.
- Check out the
Hamilton Zoo which has the largest free-flight aviary in the Southern
- Spot birds of
the flightless kind at Otorohanga Kiwi House near Waitomo.
- In Waitomo,
take the Glow-worm Cave tour and boat ride through the glow-worm grotto
(tours leave every half hour).
- Squeeze into
a wetsuit, pick up an inner tube and take the original 'black water
rafting' tour. A glow-worm and soft adventure combination.
- Abseil 100m
into wondrous The Lost World chasm (not as macho as it sounds!).
- For Indiana
Jones-style caving and abseiling through waterfalls and tunnels, try
Haggas Honking Holes (just as macho as it sounds!).
Itinerary 5/6 days
(Note: this is
only a sample - once you tell us your areas of interest, we will construct
a personal, suggested itinerary for you.)
- Cruise the mighty
Waikato River on the paddleboat MV Waipa Delta.
- Visit the Hamilton
- On route to
Waitomo, stop at the Cambridge Country Store for a huge range of craft
(20 minutes drive) and the Te Awamatu Rose Gardens.
- Check in for
the first of two nights in the historic Waitomo Caves Hotel (1 hours
drive from Cambridge).
- Take a guided
tour of the Glow-worm Cave and Aranui Cave
- Take the adventure
option of a tandem Lost World abseil.
- Visit the Angora
- After lunch,
go 'black water rafting' - it's not difficult and is fun for all ages.
- On the way to
Rotorua (2 hours drive) stop at the Otorohanga Kiwi House.
- Spend the afternoon
at Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve and visit the Maori Arts and Crafts
- Top the day
off with a Maori hangi (feast) and concert.
- Visit the Agrodome
and Rainbow Springs.
Ride the Skyline Gondola for lunch overlooking Rotorua and ride the
luge back down.
- Relax with a
massage and a hot mineral bath in the Polynesian Spa
- Try your hand
at trout fishing.
- If you have
some luck - ask a restaurant to cook your trout for you. If not, take
a dinner cruise on Lake Rotorua.
- To Mount Ruapehu
and Tongariro National Park via Lake Taupo, stopping at the Huka Falls
for a jetboat ride to the base.
- Lunch and a
tour at the Taupo Prawn Park. A visit to Deerworld perhaps, then on
to the Grand Chateau at Mount Ruapehu.
- A day of leisure
or pleasure - go walking, rafting or skiing.
Note: From here
(right in the centre of the North Island) it's an easy few hours drive
north to Auckland, south to Wellington, east to Napier, Gisborne and
Hawke's Bay or west to Taranaki and New Plymouth.
below for a choice of accommodation options in these regions:
7 3876 4644
7 3876 4645