See stunning scenery and some of the best natural sights New Zealand has to offer. Experience an extraordinary adventure while marvelling at a cave full of glowworms and experience New Zealand’s living Maori culture. Climb an extinct volcano and enjoy spectacular views in Mount Maunganui, a popular New Zealand holiday destination in the beautiful Bay of Plenty region.
Day 1: Auckland to Waitomo Caves
Start your tour with us in Auckland where we pick you up in one of our beautiful Mercedes luxury vehicles at your hotel, Auckland airport, Auckland cruise terminal or from your preferred location at 8 am, or whatever time suits you, to start our journey to the Waitomo Caves.
On the 2 1/2 hour drive south we follow the mighty Waikato River through the rich, rolling farmland of the Waikato region and the King Country. We pass through a string of small, historic river towns, including Ngaruawahia, site of the famous Turangawaewae Marae (traditional Maori meeting place) and seat of Aotearoa’s (New Zealand's) Maori King. We also pass by the impressive volcano Mount Pirongia along the way during our Private Luxury Tour from Auckland.
Waitomo Caves is an amazing natural wonderland which offers a vast range of unique sights and experiences. As part of your Private Auckland to Waitomo, Taupo, Rotorua and Bay of Plenty 5 Day Tour, you can see the Kiwi, our national bird and emblem, as well as many of our native flora and fauna at the Otorohanga Kiwi House. When arriving at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, you have a choice of several amazing options to marvel at an extraordinary Glowworm cave in total darkness. Each tour option brings you close to the beautiful Glowworms in Waitomo.
Accommodation is at or near Waitomo Caves.
Day 2: Waitomo to Piopio & on to Taupo
After a short drive to Piopio just south of Waitomo Caves, you have the option to visit the “Hairy Feet” Scenic Film location where about 22 minutes (!) of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was filmed. You can simulate movie scenes, step in Gandalf’s footprints and even hold Bilbo’s sword! On the tour you will also see towering limestone cliffs, massive rock formations and a primeval forest on the farm that was chosen as the location for Staddle Farm and Trollshaw Forest from “The Hobbit - an Unexpected Journey”.
We then set off for the Central Volcanic Plateau of New Zealand’s North Island with the huge volcanic caldera Lake Taupo as its centerpiece and New Zealand’s largest lake. When we arrive in Taupo, you can just relax or have a range of activity options in the evening, including some very nice restaurants. You can also have a swim in Taupo’s thermal pools and/or enjoy a wonderful spa experience.
Accommodation in Taupo
Day 3: Taupo to Rotorua (1 hour)
In Taupo you can browse in the town’s mix of local craft and fashion shops, or picnic along its beautiful lakefront. For this morning, we can either book from a range of additional tour options (own cost) for you, or we can show you around this stunning area as part of our tour. Additional tour options are:
• A scenic cruise on beautiful lake Taupo to Maori rock carvings.
• Trout fishing - Fly Fishing or from a boat - in various locations in or around Lake Taupo, which is reputed to be one of the world’s best Trout fishing spots.
• Jet boating along the Waikato River and right up to Huka Falls, one of New Zealand’s most famous attractions.
• Huka Prawn Park, where we can also stop for lunch if you like Prawns.
• An afternoon of golf at the fabulous Wairakei Golf Course, voted one of the world's finest 100 golf courses
On the way to Rorotua, we stop at a viewpoint for a spectacular view of Huka Falls on the mighty Waikato River. We can also show you the impressive Aratiatia Rapids, an amazing spectacle when a lock in the Waikato River is lifted and the river is allowed to roar through at amazing force and speed a few times per day. The Aratiatia Rapids were used for an extensive scene in Peter Jackson’s famous movie trilogy “The Hobbit”.
We then head north towards Rotorua, the famous region which is home to several of New Zealand’s most impressive thermal areas. We suggest visiting at least one of Wai-o-Tapu, Orakei Korako or Waimangu Volcanic Valley, where you can experience the full might and majesty of this unique and spectacular volcanic landscape, for which Rotorua and Taupo are world-renowned.
We continue on to Rotorua itself, where we catch our first glimpses of the shimmering blue lake with bush-clad Mokoia Island at its centre.
After settling into your accommodation at our specially chosen hotel (we have a range of hotel and accommodation options for you, depending on your preferences and budget), in the evening we highly recommend a unique Maori cultural experience in Rotorua. Here you can enjoy a traditional Kai Maori (Maori food) cooked in a Hangi (earth oven) and enjoy a performance of song and dance in a traditional Maori village setting, including the Haka, the Maori war dance made famous by our national Rugby Team, the “All Blacks”. Alternatively, you can just relax, or have the opportunity to explore more of Rotorua on foot at your leisure.
Accommodation in Rotorua
Day 4: Rotorua to Whakatane
The next morning on day 4 and as part of your Private Auckland to Waitomo, Taupo, Rotorua & Bay of Plenty 5 Day Tour with us, we can show you (all part of our tour):
• Rotorua City with the Government Gardens and seeing the outside of Rotorua Museum, which not only holds some of New Zealand’s most fascinating collections but is also housed in the stunning old Victorian bath house in the centre of the beautiful Government Gardens.
• Rotorua Lake Front with view across to the magical Mokoia Island
• Redwood Forest (widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful forests)
• Blue & Green Lake
• Lake Tarawera with the peak of Mount Tarawera towering above the far side of the lake.
We can also arrange extra tour options (at your cost) to cater for your particular preferences and abilities. They include:
• Helicopter or floatplane flights to see both Rotorua and Lake Rotorua, as well as many amazing volcanic sights from above. This can include a helicopter tour and landing on White Island, New Zealand’s most active volcano.
• Te Puia, Maori Arts & Crafts Institute, to see iconic geysers, mud pools, Maori carving and weaving plus our national bird, the Kiwi.
• Skyline Gondola, which will swing you up to the top of Mount Ngongotaha for a spectacular view and the Luge, on which you can race downhill having lots of fun!
• The Polynesian Spa, on the site of one of Rotorua’s historic bath houses in the lovely Government Gardens, is also home to one of the world’s best spas. Here you can steep yourself in luxury and well-being as well as history. This is also a great option on the evening of day 2 if you prefer this to the Maori cultural evening.
• Rotorua Museum with great displays about this beautiful region.
• The Agrodome, where you can experience all the magic of New Zealand farming, with a fascinating range of agricultural shows and displays.
After an exciting morning in Rotorua we drive to the Eastern Bay of Plenty region in the afternoon and give you enough time to relax in or around the Whakatane/Ohope Beach area.
Accommodation in Whakatane or nearby Ohope Beach
Day 5: Whakatane to Auckland
Before starting our journey back to Auckland, we offer you the option to stop at Mount Maunganui in the Bay of Plenty region for a guided walk to the summit or around its base. With its white sandy surf beaches on the ocean and a great inner harbour beach, Mount Maunganui is one of New Zealand’s favourite summer holiday destinations. Mount Maunganui is also the name of the extinct volcano which rises above the town. In this area, we also offer you different options:
• A Mount Maunganui walking tour on which you hear the history and legends of this extinct volcano while enjoying stunning views over the ocean and untamed wildlife on your way up to the summit.
• A fun and fascinating tour through abundant landscape on which you will hear lots of information about the Kiwifruit Industry, Kiwifruit growing and of course a tasting at the end.
• A dolphin safari where you will see the amazing wildlife in the Bay of Plenty region and have the unique chance to swim with wild dolphins.
• A stop at Comvita where you have the chance to learn about our Manuka Honey and many other natural skin care products that New Zealand is famous for.
• Furtehr on towards Auckland, a Karangahake Gorge Walking Tour that will lead through dark miner’s tunnels and over swing bridges crossing the Ohinemuri River and on the way back you view a working mine, sculptures and mural art.
After a day full of adventures in the Bay of Plenty region we drive back to Auckland in the afternoon. You can just relax in our luxury vehicle and enjoy New Zealand’s stunning scenery on the way back to your accommodation, Auckland airport, cruise ship or other location.
This Tour is available for a minimum of 2 people. If you would like to make a booking for one person click here to enquire.
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