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Auckland to Waitomo, Taupo and Bay of Plenty 5 Day Private Tour

Marvel 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
Duration: 5 Days
Location: New Zealand's North Island
Group Type: Private
Price From: NZ$1965 pp
Full Tour PDF: Download
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What our guests are saying:
"“Our family of 6 truly enjoyed the beautiful sights, learning about the Maori culture, and seeing the geologic activity of this wonderful country”"

Explore the experiences included in this tour:

Day 1.

Thermal Explorer Highway

It’s about the journey and the destination

Travel via New Zealand’s famous Thermal Explorer Highway touring route taking in the special region of Hamilton through the beautiful countryside of Waikato and King Country. Our very experienced and knowledgeable local Host-Guides will tell you about New Zealand and its extraordinary places you’ll see along the approximately 2.5-hour journey to and from Waitomo. 

Auckland to Waitomo, Taupo and Bay of Plenty 5 Day Private Tour - Thermal Explorer Highway

Auckland to Waitomo, Taupo and Bay of Plenty 5 Day Private Tour - Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Caves

A timeless twinkle

Waitomo Caves is an amazing natural wonderland which offers a vast range of unique sights and experiences. 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.


Have your own Lord of the Rings experience

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”.

Day 2. - Piopio

Day 2. - Taupo


Spend an evening in Taupo

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.

Day 3.


Choose your experience in Taupo

Browse in the town’s mix of local shops, or picnic along the lakefront. We can book from a range of additional tour options (own cost), 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
• Huka Prawn Park, where we can also stop for lunch if you like Prawns.
• An afternoon of golf at Wairakei Golf Course, voted one of the world's finest 100 golf courses


Day 3. - Taupo

Day 3. - Huka Falls

Huka Falls

Witness rapids en-route to Rotorua

On the way to Rotorua, 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”.


Bubbling mud and geysers

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.

Day 3. - Rotorua

Day 3. - Stay in Rotorua

Stay in Rotorua

An evening in Rotorua

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”.

Day 4.


Wander through vibrant Rotorua

As part of your Private Tour with us, we can show you (all part of our tour):

  • Rotorua City or Government Gardens
  • Rotorua Lake Front with view across the to magical Mokoia Island
  • Time-permitting, Redwood Forest (widely regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful forests)
  • Stunning lakes such as Blue Lake or Green Lake
  • Lake Tarawera with the peak of Mount Tarawera towering above the lake.
Day 4. - Rotorua

Day 4. - Rotorua


Choose your adventure

We can also arrange extra tour options (at your cost) including:

  • Helicopter or floatplane flights to see both Rotorua and Lake Rotorua, as well as a huge amount of amazing volcanic sights from above. This can include a landing and tour on a currently active volcano, or flight to the most isolated (and one of the most beautiful) thermal areas
  • The Skyline Gondola, which will swing you up to the top of Mount Ngongotaha for a spectacular view and the Luge, which will spin you back down.
  • 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. This is also a great option on the evening of day 2 if you prefer this to the Maori cultural evening.
  • White water rafting, on one six scenic and challenging local river courses.
  • Entry into Rotorua Museum;
  • Fly Fishing or Boat Fishing on some of the world's best Trout fishing waters;
  • 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 Ohope Beach.

Day 4. - Whakatane


Stay in the Whakatane/Ohope Beach area

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 Ohope Beach.

Day 5.

Bay of Plenty

Choose your Bay of Plenty Experience

In this area, we also offer you different options:

• A Mount Maunganui walking tour to hear the history of this extinct volcano while enjoying stunning views over the ocean and untamed wildlife on your way up to the summit.
• A fun tour through abundant landscape on which you will hear lots of information about the Kiwifruit Industry 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 to learn about our Manuka Honey and many other natural skin care products that New Zealand is famous for.
• Further 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.

Day 5. - Bay of Plenty