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Volcanic loop highway

This tour takes you to some of New Zealand's most breathtaking sights, including beautiful vineyards and thrilling adventures, as well as shimmering glowworm caverns and lost landscapes. When you go through the North Island via the Volcanic Loop, you may walk the iconic Tongariro Alpine Crossing, jump from 15,000 feet, and cycle along historic pathways.

Go New Zealand Go New Zealand 4 months ago
Volcanic loop highway

Day 1

Day 1: Auckland and Hamilton

Arrive in Auckland and pick up your rental car to begin your Volcanic Loop adventure. Drive across the Waikato's undulating hills to Hamilton, a lush country famed for its diverse range of activities. Enjoy high tea at Zealong Tea Estate, New Zealand's only commercial tea plantation, or take a stroll through Hamilton Gardens to see the beautiful botanic displays. If you're a fan of the Hobbit, the world-famous Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata is approximately an hour's drive from Hamilton.

Hamilton Gardens
Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton East, Hamilton, New Zealand

Day 2

Day 2: Waitomo Caves & The Timber Trail

Today, travel to Waitomo, a cave filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and glistening glowworms. From a tranquil boat trip through the glowworm grotto to a more daring 4-hour abseil down into a lost realm, there are a range of ways to explore this huge network of caves. Continue on to Pureora Forest Park, stopping to explore some of the little towns along the way. Hire a bike in Pureora and follow old logging roads to Piropiro, passing through ancient forests and through exquisite suspension bridges. The entire Lumber Trail path, which runs from Pureora to Ongarue, comprises 35 bridges and a remarkable collection of timber industry antiques.

Waitomo Caves
Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

Day 3

Day 3: Timber Trail - Ohakune

Continue on The Timber Trail before taking a Forgotten World Adventures tour, which is one of the greatest ways to experience this region of the nation. The combo trip combines railcars and jet boats to give you the best of both worlds. Depart Taumarunui and travel through scenic valleys, secret communities, and deep into the Whanganui National Park on a defunct railway line. Along the trip, you'll come across an intriguing blend of nostalgia and adrenaline. You can go back to Taumarunui by taking a jet boat up the Whanganui River. Try a trip of the famed 'Bridge to Nowhere,' a magnificent stone bridge with a weird history, for something a little different. Spend the night at Ohakune, the town that serves as the entrance to Tongariro National Park.

Ohakune
Ohakune, New Zealand

Day 4

Day 4: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing, often regarded as New Zealand's best day trek, is only a short drive from Ohakune. Between Mount Tongariro and Mount Ngauruhoe, two of the North Island's most active volcanoes, the hike traverses the stark volcanic environment. This trek is a spectacular experience, with lava flows, steam vents, emerald-colored lakes, and an active crater. Alternatively, try jetboating or canoeing on the Whanganui River, take a leisurely stroll to the spectacular Taranaki Falls, or ride a mountain bike back in time along the Ohakune Old Coach Road, before relaxing at DeBretts Hot Springs in Taupo.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Manawatu-Wanganui, New Zealand

Day 5

Day 5: Lake Taupo

The volcanic eruption that formed Lake Taupo over two thousand years ago was claimed to have had such a large impact that its effects could be observed as far away as Europe and China. It is now New Zealand's largest lake and a popular destination for water sports. Spend the morning kayaking around the lake. Paddle to Mine Bay, where you'll see exquisite maori motifs etched onto the cliff face, after floating through hidden inlets. Take a thrilling jet boat ride in the turbulent waters of Huka Falls in the afternoon, or jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet and experience the adrenaline-pumping sensation of freefall.

Mine Bay
Mine Bay, Waikato, New Zealand
Lake Taupo
Lake Taupo, Waikato, New Zealand

Day 6

Day 6: Lake Taupo - Auckland

You'll pass through rolling terrain and geological features on your way back to Auckland. As you go, take time to visit the diversity of iconic Kiwi towns you uncover on the road and get to know a piece of rural New Zealand. When you're back in town, take a trek up Maungawhau (Mount Eden), one of Auckland's 48 volcanic cones. The panoramic views that span the bay are among the best in the city! Dinner can be had along the harbour at Wynard Quarter or farther afield in the bustling inner-city neighbourhood of Ponsonby, where you'll be spoiled for choice.

Waiheke Island
Waiheke Island, Auckland, New Zealand

Day 7

Day 7: Auckland

Treat yourself to luxury and relaxation on Waiheke Island on your final day in New Zealand. Discover the various hidden beaches, wineries, and walking paths that the island has to offer. Delamore Lodge on Waiheke Island is a fantastic choice for ultimate luxury lodging. While remembering on your fantastic memories, take in the views from the heated infinity pool.

Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand
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