Spectacular alpine walks, caves lit by glowworms and geothermal delights, check out these top experiences on the Volcanic Loop Highway.
Stretching between Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hauraki Gulf is a treasured marine reserve. Head over to wine-soaked Waiheke, kayak to volcanic Rangitoto or hop on an Auckland Whale & Dolphin Safari to meet the giants of the sea. Get a lesson in history on Kawau and Rotoroa islands or play your part in conservation on Tiritiri Matangi and Great Barrier islands.
Discover a spectacular maze of limestone caverns with a leisurely walking cruise or a boat cruise at Waitomo Caves. You’ll be mesmerised by the twinkling titiwai (glowworms). In typical New Zealand style, a more adventurous way to see this subterranean wonderland would be from a rubber tube – black water rafting.
There’s something for everyone’s palate in Auckland. Head to one of the boutique wineries on Waiheke Island or in Matakana, where every glass is matched with beautiful scenery. Foodies will love artisan finds in the city and country farmers markets that thrive in the region, or head to one of Auckland’s buzzing dining precincts that represent the melting pot that New Zealand culture is. Hop on a food tour and get to know Auckland’s gastronomy.
Sink into waters warmed by the earth in Lake Taupo in Wairakei Terraces or Taupo DeBrett. That’s after you’ve experienced the raw power of the earth in this part of the world at Orakei Korako Thermal Valley or Craters of the Moon, both featuring bubbling mud, steaming vents and other geothermal delights.
Travel in comfort in a motorised railcart along a decommissioned railway line, through tunnels, over bridges and rivers and to townships that time forgot. Located in the heart of rural New Zealand, Forgotten World Adventures is an experience unlike another.
Located in a dual World Heritage Area and celebrated as one of the world’s best day hikes, Tongariro Alpine Crossing is a bucket list item that takes you to an other-worldly volcanic terrain. Embark on a guided tour and soak up stories of the history, flora and fauna of this world-famous track en-route.