Follow the mighty Waikato River through the rich, rolling farmland of the Waikato Region and the King Country on this 2 ½ hour drive. 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 New Zealand’s Maori King.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves offer a truly magic experience, unrivaled in the world. Waitomo Caves offer various caving options depending on how adventurous you are feeling. For a gentle option, choose a 45 minute tour, which includes a boat ride on an underground stream and a walk. The more adventurous may want to consider a 3 or 5 hour black water rafting option, which may include tubing, abseiling, waterfalls and climbing.
En-route to Taupo you can choose to explore the Otorohanga Kiwi House where you’ll see the Kiwi, our national bird and emblem, as well as a host of other native birds and wildlife.
When we arrive in Taupo you can just relax in your accommodation or have a range of options for relaxation and activities in the evening, including some great restaurant options. You can also have a luxurious swim in Taupo’s thermal pools and/or enjoy a relaxing spa experience.
Stroll along the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake or take a dip, if you dare, in its snow-fed waters. Browse in the town’s brilliant mix of local craft and fashion shops, or picnic in its sunny, sheltered lakefront gardens.
Choose a range of additional tour options (own cost) in this special area:
Continuing north past the Craters of the Moon, we stop at spectacular Huka Falls on the mighty Waikato River. Here, safe bush-fringed paths and viewing platforms offer stunning vistas of the 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.
We then head north towards Rotorua across the volcanic plateau. The region is home to several of New Zealand’s most impressive Thermal Parks and we suggest visiting 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, which Rotorua and Taupo are so famous for.
After settling into our accommodation at our specially chosen hotel (we have a range of hotel and accommodation options for you, depending on your preferences), in the evening we highly recommend a unique Maori cultural experience in Rotorua. Here you’ll 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.
Alternatively, our hotel is perfectly placed close to a range of Rotorua’s finest attractions, offering you the opportunity to explore more of Rotorua on foot at your leisure.
As part of your Private Tour with us, we can show you (all part of our tour):
We can also arrange extra tour options (at your cost) to cater for your particular preferences and abilities. They include:
We leave Rotorua at about 3pm. On our way back to Auckland we stop at Matamata, the quiet dairy town which shot to stardom as Hobbiton in Peter Jackson’s famous film “The Lord of the Rings”. The Hobbiton sign in the town centre offers a wonderful photo opportunity
“Hobbiton Movie Set Tours”, of the village and countryside which featured in the film "The Lord of the Rings" are also available. We can easily do this by amending day 2 of your Private Tour itinerary to incorporate this attraction about an hour from Rotorua. Please also see our Auckland to Hobbiton Movie Set Private Luxury Tours.