Discover another world as you journey deep into the heart of the North Island along the Thermal Explorer Highway.
Explore majestic caves filled with glittering glowworms, feel the thrill of a spine tingling jet boat ride or watch in awe as a mighty geyser erupts before your eyes.
Starting from Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland, travel south through suburban scenery towards the laid-back beach town of Whāingaroa/Raglan - home to one of the longest left-hand surf breaks in the world. Spend the day learning to surf or explore the town with its many cafes, surf shops and galleries. Raglan is also home to Wairēinga/Bridal Veil Falls - a 55-metre-high waterfall which looks like a brides vail.
Continue onto Hamilton, where a myriad of attractions await. Visit the beautiful Hamilton gardens or cruise down the river onboard the Waikato River Explorer - experiencing a relaxing cruise on New Zealand's longest waterway flowing through Hamilton.
For those interested in Māori culture and heritage, Te Whare Taonga o Waikato/Waikato Museum is home to Te Winika exhibition, a 200 year-old carved waka taua (Māori war canoe). Discover the story of Te Winika and view beautiful traditional carvings in Te Whare Waka o Te Winika - Te Winika Gallery, overlooking the mighty Waikato River.
End the day with native and exotic animals at Hamilton Zoo - get up close to some of New Zealand's native birdlife in the giant free flight aviary.
Rotorua sits squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire and geothermal activity breathes through every part of the region.
The Rotorua region is home to eighteen lakes, all with historical Māori culture signifigence and frequented by local swimmers, anglers and boats.
Explore the Whakarewarewa Forest via a network of bike trails, then climb into the forest canopy and discover a whole new world with a Redwood Treewalk. At night, specially designed lanterns light your way.
Teeming with outdoor activities and water sports.
The largest freshwater lake in Australasia, Lake Taupō is a great place for a guided boat cruise to giant Ngatoroirangi Mine Bay Māori rock carvings or hire a kayak and discover the lake at your own pace.
At Huka Prawn Park, you can treat yourself to delicious prawns at the restaurants and fun walk around the prawn park.
End the day with a thrilling jet boat ride through the raging waters of the Huka Falls, where the 200 metre wide Waikato River forces itself through a 20 metre gap creating a torrent of stunning blue foam.
Wineries, fresh produce and art deco design
The road from Taupō to Napier takes you through fantastic scenery with rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and huge vistas.
Once in the Hawke’s Bay you will discover a fertile wine-growing region that boasts one of the world’s best collections of Art Deco architecture.