This fully guided 3-day tour from Auckland covers many of the North Island’s top attractions — from the Glowworm Grotto at Waitomo Caves to the bubbling mud pools of Rotorua and the volcanic wonders of Lake Taupo. Ideal for travelers short on time, the narrated coach tour offers plenty of sightseeing and includes two nights’ accommodation in Rotorua and Taupo.
Day 1: Auckland – Waitomo – Rotorua
Travel by coach to Rotorua via Waitomo where you will stop for a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers of the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Your tour continues with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto, illuminated by thousands of tiny lights from the glowworms suspended from the cave ceiling. Lunch will be served on the coach while you travel on to Rotorua by road via the Fitzgerald Glade.
Next stop is the Agrodome for an introduction to New Zealand farming. Take a 60-minute tour of an authentic working farm in all-weather, all-terrain vehicles, then watch a sheep being shorn and hand-feed the animals. Next, enjoy a sheep dog demonstration and a visit to a 100-year-old working woollen mill.
Arrive at Te Puia, New Zealand’s Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. Here you will see a 45-minute traditional song and dance inside the sacred meeting house. Visitors are treated to perfect harmonies, the rhythms of the Poi dance, the ferocity of the Haka and the complexity of the Tititorea (stick games).
As you exit the concert venue, your Te Puia host will meet you for the guided tour through the Institute grounds, viewing Maori carving, flax garment making and a life-size replica of a traditional Maori village. Your walk continues through the geothermal area, past boiling mud pools and the famous Pohutu Geyser. There is also the opportunity to wander through the nocturnal Kiwi House (time allowing).
This afternoon you will be transferred to your selected accommodation.
Overnight: Sudima Hotel in Rotorua
Day 2: Rotorua – Taupo
This morning is at leisure. You have the opportunity to explore the Rotorua township on foot before pickup at your hotel.
Leaving Rotorua, the drive to Lake Taupo takes you south through extensive forests to the geothermal areas of Waimangu and Wairakei, where steam is harnessed to generate electricity. You arrive at Lake Taupo — a huge volcanic crater — where you'll be transferred to your accommodation.
The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to explore this most picturesque township.
Overnight: Millenium Hotel in TaupoDay 3: Taupo – Auckland
This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of local scenic attractions. Before departing on this tour please ensure you have checked out of your room and take your luggage with you. The tour will include the Taupo Marina, Huka Falls, Wairakei Geothermal Power Station, the Craters of the Moon and the famous Aratiatia Rapids before returning to Taupo.
Leaving Taupo and returning to Auckland by coach, you drive north past the big timber mill at Tokoroa, through Putaruru and then alongside Lake Karapiro to Cambridge and Hamilton. The road leads through Nagaruawahia (home of the late Maori queen) and alongside the Waikato River until you cross the Bombay Hills to reach Auckland, where your tour concludes.
Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua is the largest hotel in Rotorua, set on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Rooms feature a mini fridge, tea and coffee-making facilities, Sky TV, hairdryer and wireless broadband internet access. Hotel facilities include 24-hour reception, currency exchange, restaurant and bar, pool and separate private spa pools and massage services.
Millenium Hotel, Taupo Boasting a spellbinding lake edge location, this welcoming Taupo hotel and resort presents you with uninterrupted views of the magnificent lake and mountains from guest rooms, restaurants and bar areas. The hotel is luxuriously furnished with an ambience and art collection to delight all visitors.