ROTORUA – OHAKUNE 220 KM – 3 HOURS
- Breakfast at your hotel.
- Guided tour of the Maori village of Te Whakarewarewa, where several families live between the fumaroles and the boiling mud in the thermal valley. The village has a school, a marae, a small church, and ancestral customs is still practiced such as ritual tattooing and flax weaving. Here you can see the cooking system that uses natural geothermal energy.
- Head towards Taupo, a charming little town on the banks of the largest lake in the country.
- En route, stop by to visit the Wai-O-Tapu thermal valley with colored geysers and acid pools, or Waimangu, one of the world’s youngest ecosystems, created by the explosion of Volcano Tarawera in 1883 (not included), as well as to the falls of Huka on the river Waikato, before continuing towards the Tongariro National Park with its sumptuous volcanic landscapes.
- Possibility of several small walks en route or after the arrival in Ohakune.
The volcanoes of the Tongariro Plateau were made known worldwide by the Lord of the Rings movies filmed there (Mt Ngauruhoe was the “Mount of Destiny”. It is the oldest national park in the country, with three active volcanoes. The last eruption (hydrothermal, followed by a lahar) of Mt Ruapehu took place in 2007, that of Mt Tongariro in August 2012, projected an immense cloud of ash in the atmosphere. The plateau presents a lunar landscape of lava flows, rocky desert, peaceful lakes and beech forests.