Top 10 Experiences on the Volcanic Loop Highway

Spectacular alpine walks, caves lit by glowworms and geothermal delights, check out these top experiences on the Volcanic Loop Highway.

Discover a marine playground

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.

Experience the wonders of Waitomo

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.

Visit the Bridge to Nowhere

Ride or walk through lush rainforest to arrive at the super scenic Bridge to Nowhere. For something more adrenaline pumping, a jet boat ride is another way to reach this mysterious bridge in the Whanganui National Park.

See the thunderous Huka Falls

New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, Huka Falls, is a site to behold, gushing out 220,000 litres of water per second. Enjoy easy walks to one of the vantage points alongside the river or in true Taupo style, take an adventurous jet boat ride, getting close enough to taste the spray.

Enjoy Auckland’s vibrant food & wine scene

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.

Soak in thermally heated pools

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.

Journey to New Zealand's forgotten world

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.

Ride The Timber Trail

Discover the timber heritage of Pureora Forest Park in the Waikato, home to The Timber Trail. One of New Zealand’s Great Rides, it traces old logging routes and features eight spectacular suspension bridges.

View magnificent Maori rock carvings

Hailed as one of New Zealand’s most extraordinary artworks, the Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings were carved over four years above the deep water of Lake Taupo by Matahi Brightwell and his team of artists. Take a scenic cruise or kayak to get up close to this work of art.

Hike the Tongariro Alpine Crossing

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.

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