Waikato
Hiking

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Our most recommended Waikato Hiking

Taupo: Mt Ruapehu Volcanic Vista Flight

1. Taupo: Mt Ruapehu Volcanic Vista Flight

Set off on a thrilling journey through the natural wonders of New Zealand with a 1-hour seaplane flight. Departing from a jetty in Taupo bay, you’ll take off and head south, beginning your volcanic sightseeing with Mount Pihanga, before soaring over the Blue and Emerald Lakes towards the massive summit of Mount Ruapehu, towering nearly 10,000 feet above sea level.  Circling the summit, you’ll view the Crater Lake, tapering down to the volcano’s broad ski slopes. Turning northward, you’ll fly towards Mount Ngauruhoe, with the opportunity to gaze down into its immense center. Continuing onward, soar over Mount Tongariro, viewing the Red Crater, the Blue Lake, and ancient lava flows, before beginning your descent over Lake Taupo to land along the lakefront.

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From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

2. From Auckland: Small Group Coromandel Peninsula Day Tour

First, enjoy the 90-minute drive to the charming town of Thames, where you will take a short break. Then, hit the road again and take in the spectacular views along New Zealand’s west coast. You will then stop in at the Coromandel Township where the renowned potter, Barry Brickell, had his studio. Ride on his personally designed mountain railway system, on a memorable journey through the rugged landscape. Next, stop for a quiet stroll in pristine rainforest and see some magnificent kauri trees, which once covered the Coromandel Peninsula. The journey continues across the mountain divide and descends towards the east coast beaches where you will stop for lunch. Visit the amazing Hot Water Beach, where hot water bubbles to the surface of the sand. Dig your own hot tub right next to the lapping waves.   Then, visit Cathedral Cove, where the water washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. Next, take the 30-minute downhill walk to the beautiful beach, which was featured in the Chronicles of Narnia.   End the day enjoy the landscape during the return journey to Auckland, as you head over the hills along a different route.

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From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

3. From Rotorua: Lake Taupo & Orakei Korako Geothermal Park

Get a fantastic geothermal experience without the thronging crowds with this day trip to Orakei Korako from Rotorua. Discover a geothermal park boasting the most active geysers in New Zealand. After exploring Orakei Korako, visit Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Depart Rotorua after pickup from your hotel between 9 AM-9:15 AM and travel to Orakei Korako. Somewhat off the beaten track, Orakei Korako, also known as the Hidden Valley, is nestled in the Taupo Volcanic Zone between Taupo and Rotorua. After a 45-minute drive to get there, take a short boat ride across the lake then enjoy 2 hours to explore the thermal area featuring up to 23 natural geysers in a constantly changing landscape. Marvel at the number of boiling hot springs and the vibrant colors all around you, or take a native bushwalk through this untouched geothermal paradise. Next, move on to Huka Falls and the Taupo area. Lunch is at your own expense but there are multiple places for you to choose to eat. In Taupo, be guided by your driver and visit the lake front and other interesting sights. Your driver will find out what interests you and, if possible, tailor the day to maximize the stops to suit your interests. Return to Rotorua after Taupo for drop-off at your accommodation between 3:30 PM-4:30 PM.

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Tongariro Self-Guided Audio Tour

4. Tongariro Self-Guided Audio Tour

Download a vibrant MP3 self-guided audio tour combined with a fully detailed map of the area of your tour. Explore the stunningly beautiful and popular area of Tongariro which is made up of 3 volcanic peaks. In this audio tour, learn about the volcanic activity and the craters that are found in the area like the Red, Central and North Crater. This 7-hour hike will tell you about Māori myths and legends as you walk along this legendary area that was also made famous by the filming of The Lord of the Rings. You will also see the Lower Mangatepopo Valley, Mount Ruapehu, Soda Springs, Upper Mangatepopo Valley, Ngauruhoe Summit, the Oturere Valley Lookout, the Emerald Lakes, Blue Lake, Lake Rotoaira with North Views, Ketetahi Springs, and the Totara Forest. Your tour. Your way.

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Rotorua: Full-Day Hiking Tour in Whirinaki Forest

5. Rotorua: Full-Day Hiking Tour in Whirinaki Forest

Explore the majestic Whirinaki Forest on a guided 4-hour hike amongst the awe-inspiring trees for which the lush rainforest is best known. This impressive forest is unlike any other and if you are lucky you might spot some of New Zealand's rarest birds which have made the dense woods their habitat.  On your hike around this unspoiled, old rainforest surrounded by towering five-hundred-year-old trees and rushing rivers you will discover what a biodiversity hotspot these woods are. Hear rare birds calling overhead as you make your way to a beautiful waterfall, by which you will eat your lunch. Learn about the conservation efforts being made in the park from your knowledgeable guide as well as the flora and fauna you see as you move around the forest. Expect to see trees such as rimu, kahikatea, miro, and matai. Additionally, if you are lucky you may spot some rare birds as well such as kaka (North Island parrot), yellow-crowned kakariki (parakeet), and toutouwai (North Island robin).

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Other Sightseeing Options in Waikato

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