Geothermal wonderland tour, Rotorua
Mt Tarawera Volcanic Crater Experience
Tongariro National Park guided tour
Hobbiton Movie Set tour
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Te Po Indigenous Evening Experience
No. of days: 5 Days
Get ready to explore Rotorua, well known for its geothermal activity, Maori culture, hot springs and mud pools. Start your exploration on a geothermal wonderland tour amongst geysers, hot pools, lakes, craters and beautiful silica terraces. Visit Mt Tarawera and experience the unique landscape and history of the area. Along with great views you have the chance to run into a volcanic crater. Hang out at the Hobbiton Movie Set on a guided tour before heading underground into the limestone caves and glow worm grotto at the famous Waitomo Caves. Learn more about the local Maori people and their connection to the geothermal activity in the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley including joining a traditional dinner. Finish your trip with a visit Tongariro National Park for a scenic discovery tour visiting waterfalls and volcanic features in stunning environment. You’ll see and experience the best of Rotorua on this 5 day adventure.
DAY BY DAY:
Day 1: This morning you’ll be picked up from your accommodation for a geothermal wonderland tour around the Rotorua region. Experience the amazing geothermal activity, gushing geysers, boiling mud pools and the many colors of every tint and hue displayed in the pools, lakes, craters, steaming vents and mineral terraces of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Then enjoy the Waimangu Volcanic Valley nature walk amidst a stunning volcanic landscape with spectacular views of hot crater lakes, steaming cliffs, hissing fumeroles, colourful silica terraces, rare thermally adapted plants and the opportunity to see some of NZ's native birdlife. You have this afternoon at leisure. We recommend visiting Skyline Rotorua for great views and fun luge rides, also the Redwoods Treewalk during the day and in the evening.
Day 2: Today you get to enjoy a fully guided hiking experience that encompasses the unique landscape and history of iconic Mt Tarawera, infamous for its eruption on June 10th, 1886. Mt Tarawera created the world's youngest geothermal valley of Waimangu; at the same time destroying the legendary Pink and White Terraces. Each journey begins with an off road 4x4 experience through native New Zealand bush, transporting you to the craters edge. With spectacular scenic vistas and 360 panoramic views this experience is ideal for all ages and includes an optional run into the heart of the volcanic crater.
Day 3: This morning you’re off exploring on a private tour out of Rotorua. First up is a visit to the Hobbiton Movie Set Tour in Matamata. This half day tour to the actual Hobbiton village from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogies is must for movie fans. Your tour starts with a drive through a 1,250 acre working sheep farm. The Hobbit Holes, Green Dragon Inn, Mill and other structures created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films can then be viewed and you will see how this beautiful piece of Waikato farmland was transformed into The Shire from Middle Earth. The tour guide escorts you through the 10 acre site while recounting fascinating details on how the Hobbiton movie set was created. At the end of the tour enjoy a sample bespoke beverage at the Green Dragon Inn. Relax in hand-crafted leather chairs in front of a crackling open fire and take in the view across the lake to the mill and Bag End. Next up you’re off to Waitomo Caves. Walk through these underground limestone caverns on a 45 minute guided tour and hear how the amazing stalactites, stalagmites, and other rock formations were formed over 30 million years. The magical Glowworm Grotto is a highlight - travel by boat along an underground stream, while above thousands of tiny glowworms illuminate the cavern. Return back to Rotorua to relax this afternoon before your indigenous evening experience at Te Po. Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley has inspired the local Maori people for centuries - Te Po is a combination of cultural storytelling, entertainment and a traditional dinner.
Day 4: Today you get to explore Tongariro, New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage area. Known for important Maori cultural and spiritual associations as well as spectacular volcanic features this is a great day out with Foris Eco Tours. Enjoy walks that include the best scenery, stunning waterfalls and spectacular geology. The tour focus on natural history and not strenuous walks and goes to places off the beaten track to enjoy New Zealand's first National Park.
Day 5: Transfer to the airport and catch your flight home.
All aspects of this itinerary can be changed to suit your requirements.
The itineraries provided are great introductions to your chosen destination. You can create a travel plan using the itinerary provided or make modifications to destinations, activities and accommodation and create the dream trip you want.
Not every traveler is the same, we get that and so that’s why we recommend making changes to suit your needs. In fact, we insist - we want you to have the best trip.
If you would like any recommendations for dinner or shopping areas please let us know we are happy to help and make bookings for you where necessary.
To travel to Australia you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and we can process an ETA Visa for free for US Citizens. We will need a copy of your Photo Page of your Passport. Nationalities of any other countries please enquire with your agent to see if you are eligible for a free ETA Visa or if you need to apply for a Visitor Visa.
To travel to New Zealand you will need a US passport valid for at least 6 months and an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority. More information on the NZeTA application requirements and process can be found on our FAQ page here.
We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment. We will provide a travel insurance quote at the time of booking, and you are free to use our recommended insurance with Travelguard, find your own, or book without insurance.
A product that we can offer is a Cancel For Any Reason policy that will provide you with 80% back in refunds. If the cancellation is for medical reasons there is a 100% refund..
Downunder Journeys services travel requests from the United States and Canada for travel to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Cook Islands and Tahiti. All pricing on this website is in US Dollars.
All of the sample itineraries on this website do not include airfares as the airfare price changes daily and to ensure you get the best possible price we will work with the best airfares at the time. If you happen to buy your airfare first and then need a package to fit it, we can certainly help with that as well, just let us know.
As an idea for a 2-week vacation to Australia or New Zealand we recommend a budget of around $8,000-10,000 (including economy airfare), this would be for a 4 star and above itinerary, a little cheaper if we did more moderate accommodations.