Updated: May 6
Self-drive tour “One Ring of New Zealand”
Route: Auckland – Hobbiton – Rotorua – Taupo - Waitomo Caves – Auckland
Description: Try all MUST-DO New Zealand activities on this short circle trip around the North Island. You’ll visit the legendary Hobbiton, authentic Rotorua, Great Lake Taupo, and the incredible Waitomo Caves.
09:00 – 12:00 Drive from Auckland to Hobbiton (176 km, 3 hours including a couple of short breaks).
12:30 – 14:30 Take a tour of Hobbiton from the Shire's Rest Café, with lunch at the Green Dragon Inn
14:30 – 15:30 Drive from Hobbiton to Rotorua (70 km, 1 hour)
15:30 – 18:15 Choose from the Skyline Half Day Adventure Pass: Gondola ride + 5 luge rides + Skyswing + Zipline OR the more relaxed Gondola ride and Volcanic Hills Wine Tasting
18:15 – 18:30 Drive or walk from the Skyline Gondola to Mitai Maori Village (400 m)
18:30 – 21:30 Enjoy the Mitai Maori Village Experience, with its bright cultural show and yummy traditional 'hangi' meal.
As this tour finishes late in the evening, please ensure your hotels front desk stays open late for you to be able to check-in.
09:00 – 10:30 Begin your day with a Day Pass to Te Puia. You’ll see the famous Pohutu geyser, find out more about Maori culture, and delve into the history of the Rotorua region.
10:30 – 10:50 Drive from Te Puia to the Agrodome
11:00 – 15:00 Farm Show, Farm Tour & Rainbow Springs Combo. The Farm Show kicks off at the Agrodome at 11:00, and is an entertaining hour where you'll watch a live shearing demonstration and sheep auction. Then you’ll enjoy the Eco Farm & Orchard Tour from 12:10 until 13:10, followed by making your own way to Rainbow Springs Park (5 minutes by car). Here you’ll encounter endemic plants, reptiles, and birds, including the symbol of New Zealand – the kiwi! Big Splash Adventure is a pleasant bonus for this informative trip.
15:00 – 16:00 Lunch. We recommend you to try the delicious stone grill at the Craft Bar & Kitchen (1115 Tutanekai St).
16:00 till late - soak away the day at the Polynesian Spa: Lake Spa. It tends to get busy after 6 pm, so make sure you're there early to avoid the crowds.
08:00 – 08:30 Drive from Rotorua to Wai-O-Tapu (31 km, 30 minutes)
08:30 – 10:00 Admission to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Get ready to walk through “one of the 20 most surreal places in the world”.
10:00 – 10:35 Drive from Wai-O-Tapu to the Huka Falls Jet Ride (47 km).
11:00 – 11:30 Experience the awesome Huka Falls Jet Ride, with 360-degree spins and a photo session in front of the powerful Huka Falls.
11:30 – 12:30 Taste delicious king prawns at the Huka Prawn Park, which is at the doorstep of the Huka Falls Jet Ride.
12:30 – 12:40 Drive from the Huka Prawn Park to Taupo (9 km)
13:30 – 13:40 Drive to Taupo Marina, located at 65 Redoubt Street
14:00 – 16:00 Enjoy the scenic Maori Rock Carvings Cruise with unique lake views and photo opportunities.
16:00 – 16:20 Drive from Taupo Marina to the Wairakei Terraces.
16:30 – 17:00 Take a stroll along the Silica Terraces Walkway and be surprised by the powerful geothermal activity of this place.
17:00 till late - Relax in the mineral and silica-enriched thermal pools at Wairakei Terraces.
08:00 – 10:30 Drive from Taupo to Waitomo Caves (150 km, 2.5 hours including a short break)
There are plenty of options in this world of caves. You can take a smooth 1-hour Waitomo Glowworm Caves tour OR a 3.5-hour combo with the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave. For adventure lovers, we advise not to miss the Lost World 4 Hour tour OR the legendary Waitomo Black Water Rafting - Black Labyrinth. There are plenty of other activities too, such as abseiling, caving, and rafting. Please, check the All Activities section of the website.
Make sure you save some energy for the 4-hour drive from Waitomo to Auckland in the evening (196 km).
We'll be happy to see you in New Zealand!
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