Getting Around The Thermal Explorer Highway

At just 3 hours from Australia's east coast, you can arrive in Auckland, jump in a car and discover the Thermal Explorer Highway. Read our practical travel advice before you depart for your North Island holiday.

Some useful tools to help you get started

North Island offers many adventures...

Discover one of the four touring routes below and discover a huge range of experiences, from swimming with dolphins to hiking an active volcano.

Rotorua
The Redwoods – Whakarewarewa Forest, Rotorua

By Graeme Murray

Lake Taupo
Mine Bay, Lake Taupo

By Alistair Guthrie

Auckland
Matakana, Auckland

By Todd Eyre

Lake Taupo
Hukafalls Jet, Lake Taupo, Lake Taupo

By Destination Lake Taupo

Hamilton - Waikato
Hobbiton Movie Set, Hamilton - Waikato

By Alistair Guthrie

Rotorua
Relax in the Polynesian Spa, Rotorua

By Fraser Clements

Auckland
Encounter dolphins, Auckland

By Camilla Rutherford

Rotorua

Rotorua

ROTORUA Where nature's power meets Maori traditions.

Fill your trip with top experiences

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Highlights

  • Mountain Bike Rotorua Redwood Forest
  • Journey through the forest canopy
  • Soak in a thermal spa
Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

LAKE TAUPO A fresh lakeland resort with energy to burn.

Fill your trip with top experiences

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Highlights

  • Discover Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings
  • Visit the thundering Huka Falls
  • Walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Auckland

Auckland

AUCKLAND blending big city excitement & outdoor adventure.

Fill your trip with top experiences

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Highlights

  • Artisanal food
  • Award-winning wine
  • Browse stylish boutiques & galleries
Lake Taupo

Lake Taupo

LAKE TAUPO A fresh lakeland resort with energy to burn.

Fill your trip with top experiences

Find out more now

Highlights

  • Face off against the mighty Huka Falls
  • Soak in natural geothermal hot pools
  • Cruise to Mine Bay Maori rock carvings
Hamilton - Waikato

Hamilton - Waikato

HAMILTON - WAIKATO A rural heartland with unreal secrets.

Fill your trip with top experiences

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Highlights

  • Experience magical Hobbiton Movie Set
  • Explore Waitomo's underground wonders
  • Hit laidback Raglan for sun, sand & surf
Rotorua

Rotorua

ROTORUA Where nature's power meets Maori traditions.

Fill your trip with top experiences

Find out more now

Highlights

  • Encounter dramatic volcanic activity
  • See rousing Maori cultural performance
  • Mountain bike through towering forests
Auckland

Auckland

Fill your trip with top experiences

Find out more now

Highlights

  • Find the Hauraki Gulf's hidden pleasures
  • Hike up a volcano for epic views
  • Taste the terroir on Waiheke Island

Where to Next

Book with a NZ Specialist →

Top 10 Experiences on the Thermal Explorer Highway →

Accommodation →

New Zealand climate and weather →