A Short Glance at the most vibrant region in New Zealand’s North Island
You might have heard that Lonely Planet has named New Zealand among the top 10 countries to visit in 2018. New Zealand is ranked fifth on the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel list for 2018. It is a world-class tourism destination that you might have heard of long ago, i.e., New Zealand: “A wildly exciting place, where you can experience all the best adventures on your own.” This is your chance to personally experience the thrill of it all!
Experience New Zealand’s most famous natural attractions on a spectacular tour from Auckland:
- Venturing into the Real Middle-earth world in Rotorua Township and Lake Rotorua
- Discovering spectacular geothermal activity
- Māori culture in Rotorua
- Explore the vibrant Hamilton Gardens and the story of the individual civilization behind
- Majestic Redwood Forest is the perfect playgroundfor nature lovers
- Thundering Huka Falls & its amazing crystal clear blue water
- Lake Taupo –the greatest fresh water lake in Australasia, with a fiery volcanic history behind it
- Experience the excitement of the fast-paced thrill of the world famous Rotorua Skyline Luge
Day One Auckland – Hamilton Garden – Rotorua Township
Departing from the bustling city of sails, journeying south to the famous Hamilton Botanic Gardens, located approximately 125 km south of Auckland, the city of Hamilton is New Zealand’s fourth largest urban city. This vibrant garden is the perfect place to take a stroll, relax and unwind. With many scenic walking, biking tracks surrounding the gardens, nature lovers will enjoy the stunning landscapes along the scenic tracks. This can be a great spot to kick-back and relax.
Hamilton Gardens is the Waikato’s most visited attraction with a journey of discovery along paths delivering mysterious surprises: step from a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s garden into an Italian Renaissance Garden, before being enthralled by the grandeur of the Indian Char Bagh (‘four quartered’) Garden. Telling the story of gardens through themed garden collections, Hamilton Gardens explores different civilisations, and recreates historically important garden styles from the farthest reaches of the world.
Then you will journey to Rotorua, the winner of New Zealand’s most beautiful city award and home to 18 lakes, three major rivers, over 100,000 hectares of forest and world-class mountain biking trails. Rotorua is the ideal place to discover the best of New Zealand.
At Rotorua Township, the Government Gardens is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Rotorua and is only minutes’ walk from the central inner city. Plentiful seating gives you the opportunity to take in the views of this historic site.
Accommodation: Backpackers Lodge or equivalent
Day Two Rotorua – Redwood Forest – Huka Fall – Taupo – Lake Rotorua
The history and culture surrounding the Whakarewarewa Forest, the variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, diverse range of exotic tree species, mix of native undergrowth, panoramic views, and proximity to lakes, thermal areas and the city centre have made The Redwoods & Whakarewarewa Forest one of Rotorua’s most spectacular natural assets and one of the city’s greatest treasures.
Over 5600 hectares of forest awaits you to enjoy and explore at your leisure. Known to locals as ‘The Redwoods’, the 5600ha Whakarewarewa Forest is a perfect playground for nature lovers! The forest is most well-known for the network of superb mountain biking and walking tracks and for the magnificent stand of Californian Coast Redwoods. These towering trees, along with numerous other species and the fresh forest air, combine to create an invigorating atmosphere and a truly unique and special environment. For those on foot, there are an array of hiking and running trails from short easy circuits to full day hikes which start off in the majestic Redwood Grove. Going further afield will take hikers through a diverse range of native plants and exotic trees, leading to spectacular views of Rotorua.
A thundering 11-metre high waterfall and the most visited and photographed natural attraction in New Zealand. The Huka Falls are the largest falls on the Waikato River, near Taupo on New Zealand’s North Island. The Waikato River is one of New Zealand’s longest rivers and it drains Lake Taupo – the largest freshwater lake in all of Australasia. At the Huka Falls, the Waikato River which is normally 100m wide is forced through a 20 metre wide gorge and over a dramatic 20m drop. Every second up to 220,000 litres of water gushes through the gorge and shoots out over 8 metres beyond to create a beautiful blue/green pool. The name Huka is the Maori word for ‘foam’, which is appropriate as the falling water and rapids certainly resembles foam, especially under flooding conditions. Enjoy the walking tracks alongside the river and wander around the different viewing platforms, taking in the falls from all angles.
Great Lake Taupo in New Zealand’s Central North Island is defined by beautiful lakes, stunning mountain views and breathtaking natural landscapes. This nature lovers paradise has world-class mountain bike trails and one of the most famous one-day walks in the world – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The region is home to two of New Zealand’s best golf courses – The Kinloch Club and Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary. At the southern end of the lake, you will find Turangi, a world renowned trout fishing hub. Further south, you will find Mt Ruapheu, New Zealand’s largest ski area.
The town of Taupo sits at the edge of Australasia’s largest lake. Beautiful Lake Taupo is actually a huge volcano with a fiery history. Its most recent eruption, in 181 AD, was large enough to change the sky as far away as Europe and China. According to Maori legend, the lake is the pulsating heart of Maui’s fish (New Zealand’s North Island). The lakeside town of Taupo provides a base for visitors who love to fish for trout, ski Mount Ruapehu and explore the local geothermal phenomena. Lake Taupo is a fantastic region for year-round mountain biking, with the recent completion of the Great Lake Trail. Along with cycling, there’s excellent hiking and golf opportunities. In the evening, you will travel back to Rotorua and lodge there.
Lake Rotorua is the largest lake in the district and the most productive trout fishery in New Zealand. With the city of Rotorua on its shores, it is much valued and used by locals and tourists alike. It is closely associated with one of the best-known Māori legends, that of Hinemoa and Tutanekai. In the evening, you will lodge in Rotorua.
Accommodation: Backpackers Lodge or equivalent
Day Three Rotorua – Skyline Gondola – Auckland
Fast Paced Thrill
Skyline Rotorua Gondola is the most spectacular way to take in the 180 degree views of Lake Rotorua, the city and surrounding district. No visit would be complete without a ride down one of Skyline’s luge tracks.
The luge is a world first! With three different track options and over 5kms of track to ride, once is certainly never enough! Riders have full control, over the 3 wheel, gravity-based luge cart.
Embed into a Luge cart and zip off with friends or family to discover who has the skills to master the Luge. This part go-cart, part toboggan is gravity fuelled with full rider control over speed and direction using a unique braking and steering system.
Pull back on the handlebars to slow down or stop, release slightly to accelerate and enjoy the ride. The Luge is great for any age and small children can ride with adults.
This is an absolute opportunity for you to experience the excitement! The world famous Luge opened in 1986 and Skyline Rotorua continues to lead the Luge technology – all components are designed and manufactured in Rotorua and then shipped around the world to other Luge locations.
Depart after lunch for Auckland by road arriving mid-afternoon, at which time your tour concludes.
Wishing you a fantastic Trip!