Geysers, bubbling mud, glowworm caves and natural wonders, here's a list of must do experiences on the Thermal Explorer Highway.

Adventure in the City

Leave Auckland with no regrets and having pushed all your limits. Try a Sky Jump(opens in new window) from the iconic Sky Tower(opens in new window), or walk it's edge(opens in new window) - 192 metres above ground level! And if that's not enough, head to the Auckland Harbour Bridge for New Zealand's only Bridge Climb or bungy(opens in new window) into the Waitemata Harbour. Epic!

Sink into natural hot pools

Known for its geothermal activity, Rotorua is the perfect place to soak away any aches and pains. Sink into a naturally-heated pool at the Polynesian Spa(opens in new window) or bathe in a mud spa at Hells Gate(opens in new window). Said to have healing powers, people have been soaking in the mineral waters since the 1800s.

Suspend belief in Hobbiton

Go on your own Middle‑Earth™ adventure at Hobbiton Movie Set(opens in new window) and experience a little bit of movie magic. Stroll along the lush pastures of the Shire and explore the Hobbit Holes before stopping for a specially-brewed beverage in the the world-famous Green Dragon Inn.

Have a whale of a time in Auckland

Embark on a whale and dolphin safari(opens in new window) in Auckland's spectacular Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, where you may encounter common and bottlenose dolphins, Brydes whales and orca. Learn from the experts on the eco-safari that conveniently departs from downtown Auckland.

Visit Maori rock carvings

One of New Zealand's most extraordinary artworks, the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings sculpted over four years and finished in 1980 by a team of four artists. Towering 14-metres above the water of Lake Taupo, you can take a boat cruise(opens in new window) or kayak for an upclose view of the carvings.

Venture into the underworld

For an experience like none other, abseil, weave, climb and float your way through the glowworm-studded Ruakuri Cave on a Black Water Rafting adventure(opens in new window). Let an experienced guide show you the way on one of the tours, aptly named Black Abyss and Black Labyrinth.

Explore Rotorua's Redwoods

Known locally as "The Redwoods", Whakarewarewa Forest is the ultimate outdoor playground, with mountain biking trails, hiking tracks, a spectacular treewalk(opens in new window) and horse riding. Or simply just stroll amongst towering Californian Redwoords and marvel at the majestic giants.

Find sanctuary in Hamilton Gardens

Leave Auckland and head along the rolling hills of the Waikato until you reach Hamilton Gardens(opens in new window), a place of pristine beauty and calm. The themed gardens tell stories from other civilisations, from a peaceful Sung Dynasty Chinese Scholar’s garden to an Italian Renaissance Garden.

Discover Art and Culture

Explore world-class exhibitions at one of the many art galleries or wander through a contemporary collection of New Zealand sculptures amid stunning landscapes as part of the Brick Bay Sculpture Trail. Take a guided walking tour of Rangitoto Island or explore the Maori history and traditions at Auckland Museum(opens in new window).

Explore explosive terrain

Rotorua boasts a diverse and fascinating landscape, a place where you'll find bubbling mudpools, steaming vents and erupting geysers. Experience the geothermal phenomena at Te Puia(opens in new window), home of the world famous Pohutu geyser.

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