4 Days

596 km

Highlights

  • Adventurous Rotorua
  • Blackwater Rafting
  • Huka Falls

Proximity

CAR-FREE TRAVEL OPTION

Use Rotorua as a base and take day trips to Waitomo, Taupo and Hobbiton.

Following a North Island loop, discover crazy thrills, soaring geysers and huge limestone caverns filled with glowworms with this breathtaking itinerary.

Following a central North Island loop, discover crazy thrills, soaring geysers and huge limestone caverns filled with glowworms with this breathtaking 4-day Rotorua and Waitomo itinerary. 

Day 1: Auckland to Rotorua

Rotorua
Hells Gate, Rotorua

Highlights

  • Geothermal attractions
  • Adventure
  • Maori culture

Proximity

  • by car:

    2 h 55 min | 228 km via SH1 & SH27

  • by bus:

    3 h 45 min | by GreatSights

Discover experiences in Rotorua

From explosive geysers to fascinating Maori culture, Rotorua has it all.

Read more

Make your way south through the rolling hills of the Waikato. Along the way you might want to visit Matamata for a tour through the Hobbiton Movie Set.

In Rotorua everywhere you look is alive with evidence of volcanic activity. Explore the geothermal areas and discover New Zealand's unique Maori culture.

Also famous for its weird and wonderful adventure activities, Rotorua is a great place to try zorbing, shweebing or swooping! For a different kind of rush, head to Whakarewarewa Forest for some seriously fun mountain biking.

Day 2: Rotorua - Waitomo Caves

Waikato
Waitomo Caves, Waikato
hamilton-waikato

HAMILTON - WAIKATO

Rolling green hills and surf beaches.

Highlights

  • Glow-worms
  • Blackwater Rafting
  • Caving

Proximity

  • by car:

    1 h 55 min | 140 km via SH5, SH28 & SH3

  • by car:

    2 h 35 min | by Greatsights

  • Visit the Rotorua iSITE for day tour options

Journey through an array of farmland, lakeland and forest on your way to Waitomo Caves. Stop at Lake Whakamaru for a spot of trout fishing or explore the beautiful Pureora Forest Park, home to many rare native birds.

At the town of Te Kuiti turn north and enter the ancient limestone region of Waitomo where you will discover vast cave systems decorated with glow-worms. For a real thrill try blackwater rafting, or abseil into the abyss.

Day 3: Waitomo Caves - Taupo

Taupō
Mine Bay, Taupō
lake-taupo

TAUPO

Adventure activities and water sports.

Highlights

  • Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings
  • Hot Springs
  • Skydiving

Proximity

  • by car:

    1 h 55 min | 150 km via SH30 & SH32

  • by bus:

    1 h 5 min | from Rotorua by Intercity

As you journey on towards Taupo you’ll encounter the mighty Huka Falls, one of New Zealand's most visited attractions. Stand and watch the raging water or get up close with a thrilling jet boat ride.

Lake Taupo is the perfect place to get out on the water. Join a boat cruise or kayaking trip to see the Maori rock carvings at Mine Bay. For more adventure, Taupo has skydiving and bungy jumping on offer.

Day 4: Taupo - Rotorua

Rotorua
Kiwi in Rotorua, Rotorua
rotorua

ROTORUA

Geothermal activities and hot pools

Highlights

  • Geothermal
  • Rafting
  • Animal parks

Proximity

  • by car:

    1 h | 81 km via SH5

  • by bus:

The road to Rotorua will keep you entertained with its unusual, volcanic geography and refreshing tracts of plantation pine forest. If you have an hour or two to spare, take the side road to Orakei Korako geothermal park, where you’ll discover geysers, silica terraces and craters of boiling mud.

Once back in Rotorua you can explore the animal parks, enjoy some more adventure activities or treat yourself to an indulgent spa therapy

View the journey below

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