North Island’s Central Plateau is bubbling with excitement year-round. Hit the road in this stunning region this winter and enjoy these top experiences.
Starting near the Whakapapa Information Centre, the Taranaki Falls loop track in Ruapehu region follows the crystal clear river to the impressive Taranaki Falls. Enjoy fabulous volcanic views along the way before reaching the remarkable falls.
The waters of the Tongariro River in the Lake Taupo region provide one of nature's finest, fun-filled rollercoaster rides. The lower part of the river features grade 3 rapids with stunning gorges while fun rafting guides make the ride even more enjoyable. If you're feeling adventurous, you can take on more extreme rapids in the upper gorge.
Take the chairlift up New Zealand’s largest volcano, Mount Ruapehu. Hit the Turoa(opens in new window) area on the southwest side for Australasia’s biggest vertical drop and expansive, open runs or head to Whakapapa(opens in new window) on the northern side for a dramatic volcanic feel. If ski is not your gig, just enjoy coffee and fabulous views from what feels like the top of the world.
Experience the meeting of two mighty oceans- Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean at Cape Reinga, the northernmost tip of New Zealand. Immersed in the Māori legend and history with stunning views all around, Cape-Reinga is a definite must visit when in New Zealand.
If you visit in winter, you simply can’t stay away from the slopes. For those who stay off the skies more than on them, Happy Valley Snow Park(opens in new window) is ideal. Located in Whakapapa (Mount Ruapehu), it is a premiere beginners' area providing hours of snow fun.
Beneath the rolling hills of Waitomo, around two hours from Auckland, lies a network of limestone caverns with stunning formations and glowworm-lit caves enjoyed on a guided boat tour(opens in new window). If you’re into adventure try the unique black water rafting experience on the underground rivers.
Taking the grand stand in the stunning Lake Taupo region is a beautiful lake the size of Singapore. There is a seemingly endless list of things to do on and around the lake. Enjoy a relaxing cruise to the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings, take a scenic flight to get the best views or head out for a stroll on one of the many lakeside walks.
Visit Te Puia(opens in new window) in Rotorua to see the might of the iconic Pohutu Geyser(opens in new window) that spurts hot water up to 30 metres skyward – a true show of the Earth’s raw power. The park is bursting with geothermal wonders of Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Valley and is a great spot to soak in the rich Maori culture, including live performances.