Info Tour Details:
 Departs Auckland
 Pick Up / Drop Off Yes
 Best taken All Year
Base     2 days, 1 night
Extended     3 days, 2 nights
 Fitness Level Normal, some walking required.
 Transport Included
 Meals Not included
 Accommodation TBC
 Group size Min. 1 - Max. 7
 You will need: Comfortable footware, sun screen. sun glasses
 Winter: Warm clothing,
 Additional Activities Please enquire
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   Optional Services

  • Airport pick up and drop off
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  • Memory card backup
  • Post production assistance

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This tour is wonderful dissection cutting through the heartland of the North Island. Our destination is Rotorua.

Info This tour can be taken as a Base Tour or as an Extended Tour. The Extended option adds a relaxing afternoon at the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua and a thrilling Helicopter ride the following day to the White Island Volcano with a landing in the crater followed by a flight over the Mt Tarawera volcanoes and the Rotorua Lakes.
Tour Highlights Tour Highlights:
  • A drive through New Zealand's heartland
  • The Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
  • Helicopter ride with active volcano crater landing *(extended)
  • Flight over Mt Tarawera and the lakes *(extended)

Our itinerary will take us through Mercer, Huntly, Taupiri, Ngaruawahia, Cambridge and Tirau before we arrive at Rotorua

We'll be stopping along the way so you can experience New Zealand first hand and of course enjoy the sights and take photographs.

In Mercer we'll meet the Great Waikato River for the first time and enjoy and photograph views of the beautiful countryside beyond the Waikato bridge. We can get a taste of the famous Mercer Cheese too...

In Huntly we'll meet the Waikato river again and admire the chimneys of the famous Power Station.

Driving past Taupiri and Ngaruawahia we'll learn about Maori History and traditions.

In Cambridge, we rest over a coffee and check out the curios and crafts at the Country Store.

Tirau will be a most enjoyable last stop before we reach our destination. The corrugated iron is a wonderful subject under the changing light and we have a good browse through the galleries, curio shops and bookstores.

Photo Opportunities Photo Opportunities:
  • Local attractions at Mercer, Huntly & Cambridge
  • The corrugated iron buildings at Tirau
  • The bubbling mud pools
  • The Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderlands
  • Aerial shots of White Island, Mt Tarawera and the lakes from the helicopter ride
  • White island Live volcanoes
From the moment we arrive in Rotorua, we sense that this is a unique, special place... Steam rises from cracks, gardens and pathways and, the distinctive scent of sulphur permeates the air.

We spend the night in Rotorua and in the morning head to one of the highlights of our Tour: The Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland..

This is a lifetime experience, akin to landing on another planet. At our own pace, we walk, learn, absorb and photograph this unique land: geysers, bubbling mud, steaming ground, huge volcanic craters and sinter terrace formations including the world famous Champagne Pool.

Parting with Wai-O-Tapu is difficult, but at some point we must embark on our way back to Auckland... This is where the Base Tour ends.

Read on about the Extended Tour Option:


If you have booked the Extended Tour Option, you are in for a real treat. We continue with a visit to the Polynesian Spa for a relaxing afternoon at hot mineral pools and a Rotorua Thermal Mud body polish - the perfect finish of a perfect day


This is a big one! This day, you go on a helicopter ride that will land you on the White Island active volcano where you will enjoy a guided tour of the volcano rim followed by a scenic flight over the Mt Tarawera volcano and the lakes before returning to Rotorua and take the trip back to Auckland....


This Tour can be further extended to include Napier. Please check the Napier Tour for details.

We stay in accommodation that is selected for its quality, location and value, without being excessive. These can be 3 - 4 star Bed & Breakfast or Motel accomodation. You will have the opportunity to advise on your requirements during the booking process and form.

Depending on the season and weather and your personal preferences our itinerary may change.
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Additional Information


You hardly ever stop at Mercer unless for petrol. But Mercer is famous for its cheese. The cute little Mercer Cheese shop is stocked with huge round cheeses made by local farmer Albert Alferink, and they are worth your time for a little tasting....


Huntly its famous for its power station. New Zealand has considerable reserves of coal, some of which is mined near Huntly in the Waikato. The Power station uses primarily on coal to generate power. Sited on the banks of the Waikato River, It was commissioned in 1983, and has a turbine hall 403 m long and chimneys 150 m high..


Taupiri is the sacred mountain of the Waikato people. It is remembered in the tribal saying:

Waikato is the river
Taupiri is the mountain
Te Wherowhero is the man.

Many Waikato ancestors and chiefs are buried on Taupiri, including all the Maori kings, and the late queen, Dame Te Ātairangikahu.


Ngaruawahia is situated at the junction of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers in the central Waikato basin.
Because of its situation at the junction of two important canoe waterways, Ngaruawahia was an important Maori settlement in early times.

Te Wherowhero, a Māori warrior, leader of the Waikato tribes was invested at Ngaruawahia as Maori King with the title Potatau I.

During the Waikato War the village was fortified with extensive earthworks to repel the advance of the force commanded by General Sir Duncan Cameron.

The name Ngaruawahia means “Break open the food pits”


Cambridge, New Zealand, is a tree lined town that add to the English-style town atmosphere.
You can Walk the heritage and boutique trails and discover the beautiful range of shops many set within heritage buildings.
The Tree Trail takes in the Town Square and the hidden treasure of Lake Te Ko Utu. Maungatautari is a mountain sanctuary for native wildlife only 15 minutes drive from Cambridge and now a beautiful home for reintroduced kiwi and their newborn plus other native birds. Population of apr. 16,000.


Tirau is a bustling little town where the creative use of corrugated iron has created a new reality. A myriad of little shops, galleries, bookstores and cafes makes it a must stop for the traveler.

Small attractive township in a rural setting, with the Kaimai ranges as a backdrop. It has a population of apr. 800 people.


From the moment visitors enter Rotorua, they know they are somewhere unique. Steam rises from cracks, gardens, pathways and even residential streets. This, together with the distinctive scent of sulphur, signals to visitors that they are in the centre of an active thermal area.

Just minutes from city centre there are geysers, boiling pools of mud, silica terraces, mud fumeroles and volcanoes.
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