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Northbound Thermal Explorer

5 Days / 4 Nights – Hawke’s Bay > Ruapehu > Taupo

For stylish Art Deco architecture in Hawke’s Bay to the volcanic mountains of Ruapehu and pristine Great Lake Taupo, head North through the region from Wellington.

DAY 1:

Begin your tour in the Hawke’s Bay city of Napier, the stunning Art Deco capital of New Zealand.  Enjoy some of the ‎great local produce that this region is well known for, visit a winery or take a tour to the Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony.

DAYs 2 and 3:

An easy half-day drive along the Thermal Explorer Highway to the Ruapehu Region today.
Drive time, Napier to National Park: 3 hours
Home to the Tongariro National Park, this dual World Heritage Park has superb ski-fields in winter and great hiking and walking adventures. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is an outstanding 19km hike (a full day on the trail), or voyage down the mystical Whanganui River by kayak or canoe. Two nights’ stay in Ruapehu, though you could stay much longer.

DAY 4:

Make your way this morning to Lake Taupo.
Drive time: 1 hour 30 mins
Marvel at the spectacular Huka Falls, relax on a scenic cruise to behold Maori rock carvings or experience the thrill of of bungy jumping. The waterfront is a beautiful pace to walk with expansive views over New Zealand’s largest lake, the caldera of a supervolcano.  Downtown Taupo has great cafes and retail therapy.

DAY 5:

Overnight in Taupo and discover the thermal delights of the Otumukeke Stream before you follow the mighty Waikato River northwards, or fly to your next destination.