Explore More…Volcanic Heart

Explore the volcanic heart of New Zealand on this five-day journey through the Central North Island. Discover a magical underground world in Waitomo. Relax in the thermal waters of Lake Taupō and experience a sunset hike in the Tongariro National Park. Visit Rotorua’s gushing geysers and bubbling mud pools.

Day One

Depart Auckland on the Thermal Explorer Highway through the rolling green hills and pastures that are synonymous with Waikato region, to the famous Waitomo Caves. Here you can explore the magic underground world of glowworms, stunning cave formations and underground rivers.

Continue your journey to the central heart of the North Island, Lake Taupō. Spend the evening relaxing in the warm thermal stream rising to the surface from miles underground, where the mineral waters are sure to leave you warm long after you leave their healing presence.

Stay:  Taupō

Day Two

Explore New Zealand’s largest crater lake, Lake Taupō, formed by one of the world’s largest volcanic eruptions. Cruise the bush-clad bays, and marvel at the creations on shore as you visit the iconic Mine Bay Māori Rock Carvings and try your luck catching a Rainbow Trout.

Then pick up the pace as you experience the thrill and excitement of jetboating up the mighty Waikato River. Enjoy 360-degree spins and incredible speeds before getting an up-close view of the impressive Huka Falls.

This afternoon take the scenic drive around the shores of Lake Taupō to the spectacular Dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park, dominated by the volcanic cones that mark the start of the Taupō Volcanic Zone. Head up the Bruce Road to Whakapapa base area and ride the brand-new Sky Waka gondola to the highest eatery in NZ for lunch at high altitude with views for days. Spend this evening learning the stories and history of this stunning national park on a Sunset Guided Hike before resting your head at your accommodation at the base of these awesome peaks.

Stay:  Ruapehu

Day Three

Begin your morning with a scenic flight over the vast volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro National Park.  View the peaks of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu as well as iconic volcanic landscapes of the Ketetahi Hot Springs, Red Crater, Emerald Lakes and site of the most recent eruptions – the Te Maari Crater. 

Your journey continues this afternoon as you head to New Zealand’s most famous geothermal wonderland, Rotorua. Experience hidden geothermal valleys, gushing geysers and bubbling mud pools as you see first-hand the true power of mother earth.

This evening experience the beauty of the Redwoods Forest by night as you wander amongst these giants of the world on the Redwoods Nightlights tour.

Stay:  Rotorua

Day Four

This morning visit the star of the Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley – Pōhutu Geyser at Te Puia. Take the time to wander around and try the Ingo Lunch at Te Puia, offering a taste of food that has been cooked in woven flax baskets.

This afternoon take your geothermal experience to a new level, with a mineral-rich mud bath and Sulphur Spa overlooking a spectacular thermal landscape.

Once you have refreshed and rejuvenated, take the short drive through beautiful New Zealand bush to coastal township of Whakatāne, in preparation for in preparation for a trip to discover the rare beauty of one of New Zealand’s little-known treasures.

Stay:  Bay of Plenty

Day Five

Moutohorā/Whale Island is the beauty but from this Island you can see the beast which sits 49km from the mainland Whakaari/White Island the most active marine volcano in New Zealand.

Moutohorā/Whale Island is a pest-free oasis that is home to a number of New Zealand’s rare and endangered plants, birds and reptiles. Keep an eye out for a threatened tūturiwhatu/New Zealand dotterel, boisterous tīeke/North Island saddleback, Tuatara, or kākāriki/red-crowned parakeet as you journey through the regenerated native bush before you dig yourself a soothing geothermal spring pool at Onepū Bay, Moutohorā’s secluded hot water beach.

Add an Extra Day:

•          Spend an additional day in Taupō or the Tongariro National Park and take on one of the world’s best 1-day hikes – the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

•          Travel north along the coast to The Coromandel and the iconic Hot Water Beach where you will find hot water bubbling through the golden sands.