Hot Rocks Tour - Overview
This full North Island loop gives you an awesome taste of why the North is so special. Dramatic thermal wonders, Maori culture, golden coastlines, ancient Kauri forests and inviting, turquoise water. You will be spoilt for choice with so much to see and do. What will be a major highlight will be the chance to enjoy one of the best one day walks in the World - The Tongariro Alpine Crossing.
There are plenty of other Hot Rocks highlights including kayaking or hiking to the iconic Cathedral Cove and digging your own hot pool in the sand under the stars at Hot Water Beach.
Your visit to Wai-O-Tapu thermal park (featuring a number of exhilarating mud pools, geysers and sulphur pools) won’t fail to delight. If you’re interested in our culture, Central North Island is a focal point, a visit to Tamaki village is a must! You’ll also have the chance to jump outside your comfort zone with adventurous activities such as zorbing, zip lining, skydiving and bungy jumping.. You can even bungy into a river. New Zealand is the best place to do it so go for it!
You’ll see plenty of diverse scenery ranging from stunning bush and coastal vistas to the impressive Lake Taupo (the Southern Hemisphere’s largest lake). Be blown away with volcanic mountains in the distance including the symmetrical and spiritual Mount Taranaki as well as our celebrity figure, Mt Doom! You can check out thousands of glow worms at Waitomo and black water raft there or enjoy the rural walks or bike rides on offer. You won’t be able to avoid sheep, we have over 30 million woolly friends with a lot of them residing in the North Island!
The Hot Rocks Tour is the perfect trip to experience these incredible features and culture which is the essence of the North Island!
As the Hot Rocks trip is a complete loop of the North Island it means you can start and finish your trip anywhere along the way. Your trip will then finish where you started. The 3 most popular trip options are:
- Start and finish in Auckland - (South bound, 9 days): Heading south first, this leg takes you directly to the Coromandel and the golden beaches of the East Coast.
- Start and finish in Auckland - (North bound, 10 days): Heading north first towards the Bay of Islands, you’ll have the option of a quick dip in the water at stunning Uretiti Beach before arriving at Paihia.
- Start and finish in Wellington - (10 days): Leaving from Wellington we travel the scenic Kapiti Coast towards New Plymouth.
Customise Your Trip: It is possible to customise your trip by only travelling on certain sections of our routes - maybe you want to start in Auckland and finish in Wellington? Talk to our crew in the office about how we can create the perfect trip for you.
If you have extra time why not extend it with one of these great trips:
- Summer Blast Tour - Explore the four corners of the Mainland on this complete South Island round trip. From the golden beaches of Abel Tasman to the blue ice of Fox Glacier you will get to immerse yourself and experience some of the finest natural wonders in the World. Most popular departure spots are Picton and Christchurch..
- Southern Light Tour - If you don't have time for a full South Island tour but are keen to revel in a brilliant action packed adventure then check this one out. Starting in either Picton or Christchurch we enjoy the highlights of the South and wrap things up in the adrenalin capital - Queenstown!
HOT ROCKS TRAVEL DAYS
You can have a look at the detailed day-to-day itinerary on our Flying Kiwi Detailed Itinerary page. The Hot Rocks Tour does everything and takes in the best of the North Island.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE HOT ROCKS TOUR
We know New Zealand, and we want you to have the best possible experience. So, we have included the following in the Hot Rocks tour which we think shows off the very best:
- Accommodation: A spacious, shared tent is included in the tour price, two people per tent. There is the option to upgrade to a single tent if you prefer for a small cost.
- Food: Most meals are included and we can cater for a broad range of dietary requirements.
- Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland:A visit to Wai-o-tapu which is New Zealand’s most colourful geo-thermal area featuring unique volcanic activity, bubbling mud pools, and steaming geysers.
- Sports equipment: Bodyboards, frisbee and more depending upon the bus.
- Hikes: Your chance to do the best one day alpine hike in NZ, the Tongariro Crossing (bus transfer not included) along with numerous short walk options. Let us show you secret spots off the main tourist trails including glow worm caves, 1,000 year old Kauri trees and the roaring Huka Falls.
- Bike rides: If you have hired one of our bikes then our guides will point you in the direction of incredible daily rides including the chance to explore the many trails of the Rotorua Mountain Bike Park.
We take in many freebees such as access to the Tongariro National Park, dig your own thermal pool at Hot Water beach, Te Papa museum to name a few.
Our bike rides page and the hiking pages give you lots more detail into the rides and hikes our guides will show you along the way.
Our activities page above gives more detail on many of the free and optional activities that you might choose to do on your Hot Rocks tour and how it all works.
IMPORTANT THINGS WE WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT THE HOT ROCKS TOUR
If you start your trip from Auckland (south first) or Wellington there will be one night in Auckland where camping isn’t feasible and we stay in a hostel (at your own cost). Your guide takes care of booking this for you and we have dorm beds reserved for everyone. If you would like a private room (subject to availability) please contact us to book this in advance. Payment is made direct to the hostel on check-in.
Please visit our How It Works page for everything you need to know.