Thermal Plateau & Bay of Plenty
Explore volcanic landscapes & forests on the Central Plateau; the most dynamic geothermal area of Rotorua. Be amazed by the pristine rivers & waterfalls around Taupo, the largest lake or take to the beaches of the beautiful Coromandel & Bay of Plenty.
From crystal-clear streams and magical forests, to epic biking trails and thermal mud pools, Rotorua has it all. The city offers a raft of attractions and experiences for everyone from adventure-seekers to those just looking to unwind. It’s also home to a living Maori village and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, with traditional wood carving and weaving schools.
The beautiful Lake Taupō is about the size of Singapore – more of an inland sea really. Taupō was created nearly two thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big it darkened the skies in Europe and China. Just north of Taupō you'll find New Zealand's most visited attraction, the magnificent Huka Falls, where more than 220,000 litres of water thunder over the cliff face every second. Just to the South the town of Turangi has the largest natural trout fishery in the world; it also provides a convenient base for exploring Tongariro National Park.
At the centre of the North Island, Tongariro National Park presents an eye-popping landscape of alpine desert punctuated by three smoldering volcanoes. Often rated as one of the world's best single-day wilderness walks, the challenging Tongariro Alpine Crossing skirts the base of two of the mountains and provides views of craters, brightly coloured lakes and the vast Central Plateau.
For a magical underground experience, head south to the Waitomo Caves, where the natural beauty of stalactites and stalagmites lit by the light of glowworms will take your breath away; or for those seeking more of an adrenalin rush, black water rafting, and abseiling are not to be missed.
If you’re a Tolkien fan, drive east to Matamata and visit Hobbiton Movie Set, the amazing Hobbit-sized village created for the movies.
Maybe surfing is more your style, then Raglan is the perfect spot for you, with one of the longest left-hand breaks in the world.