Adventure Loop – Action and Adventure
Waitomo / Ongarue / Taumarunui / National Park / Tūrangi / Taupō / Matamata / Hamilton
‘Get Out More’ is the cry!
Head to the central North Island – perhaps with the one you love – and ski, skydive, jet boat, float, mountain bike, kayak, soak, fish, glowworm gaze, navigate and discover all the adventure there is to be had!
So take the time for this fabulous roadie – there’s more to do here than you think – you’ve just got to get out more and explore.
Millions of years in the making, Waikato’s caves, including the world-famous ones at Waitomo, provides a playground unlike any other. Glide under a galaxy of glowworms and marvel at natures limestone architecture. Pick your level of cave excitement: walk, black water raft, wade, zipline or abseil this natural adventure park with underground wonders at Waitomo.
Waitomo to Ongarue (1 hour)
Hit the Timber Trail on your bike (or hire one!) for a day or two. Get the legs and the lungs pumping with premium mountain biking through the stunning Pureora Forest. Take a backcountry cycle adventure through an area abundant in birdlife, excellent trails and the fantastic Ongarue Spiral.
Ongarue to Taumarunui (20 minutes)
Get your ‘cute fix’ at an alpaca farm, or come spring, grab a paddle and explore the Whanganui River. Experience the sights either by rail cart down the Forgotten World railway or by kayak or jet boat and discover the Bridge to Nowhere. Hear the stories of hardy pioneers and off-the-beaten-path communities in one of New Zealand’s most stunning North Island destinations.
Taumarunui to National Park (35 minutes)
Fill those lungs with fresh mountain air as you hike or walk in National Park. Hit the slopes (ski or snow board until October) or apre ski via New Zealand’s newest gondola, Sky Waka on Mount Ruapehu. If you want keep the rubber on the road, navigate some 4WD or cycling adventures. If it all sounds too energetic or to cap off a busy day – relax and enjoy a charming high tea at famous Chateau Tongariro!
National Park to Tūrangi (35 minutes)
Head north to splash and float and dash on the Tongariro River as you raft the whitewater of the crystal clear mountain waters.
Tūrangi to Taupō (45 minutes)
Explore New Zealand’s largest crater lake, Lake Taupō. Kayak or take a cruise to visit the iconic Mine Bay Māori rock carvings or try your luck at catching a trout on board one of the many fishing charter boats available. Challenge yourself to a bungy swing, or head to the track to race off for the fastest time with Taupo Karts. Unwind at the end of the day with a soak in geothermal hot pools or dine lakeside as you watch the sun drop below the horizon lighting up the #lovetaupoletters on the lakefront.
Taupō to Matamata (1 hour 30 minutes)
Continuing north, immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Hobbits as you step directly into Middle Earth. Experience another world at Hobbiton Movie Set, learn its secrets and reflect over a locally brewed pint at the Green Dragon.
Matamata to Hamilton (50 minutes)
Head to Hamilton for some gastro recharging – this city is full of local producers, local flavours and fantastic eateries. Take a brewery tour or sample gourmet ice cream; treat yourself with local gourmet delights to celebrate the end of a fabulous road adventure.