Following an increasing number of potential safety incidents on KiwiRail’s Great Journeys of New Zealand scenic rail services, the outdoor viewing carriage on the Northern Explorer only will be closed until further notice while a safety solution is found.
Experience New Zealand's rich cultural heritage and the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, plus a trip through the famous glowworm caves at Waitomo, on this full day sightseeing tour.
Leaving Auckland in the morning, journey through the lush farmland of the Waikato and King Country regions while listening to entertaining commentary from your driver guide. Hear about the history of the region as you pass sites of interest including Rangiriri, the location of a major battle in the Maori Land Wars in 1863.
Your first stop is in the small town of Waitomo, where you'll enjoy a 45-minute guided tour through the world famous Waitomo Caves. Travel through these underground limestone caverns, discovered in 1887, and hear how the amazing stalactites, stalagmites, and other weird and wonderful rock formations were formed over a period of 30 million years. Your tour finishes with a short but magical boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto – a subterranean cavern illuminated by thousands of tiny glowworms.
Enjoy a delicious picnic-style lunch (vegetarian and other dietary options available on request) as we make our way to Rotorua, in the heart of the Central North Island. On the outskirts of the city, we stop at the Agrodome, an organic working farm where you can learn all about farming in New Zealand. Take a tour of the Agrodome farm in an all-terrain vehicle, see how sheep are shorn and watch a live sheep dog trial.
Leaving the Agrodome, we make our way to Te Puia, one of New Zealand's foremost cultural venues. At Te Puia's marae (meeting house) you will receive a traditional welcome and be invited to experience a Maori cultural performance, in which ancient and modern stories are told through song, dance, poi and stick games. You'll gain an understanding of this unique culture and its history and be thoroughly entertained by the talented and charismatic performers.
Next to Te Puia is the famous Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley. Take a guided tour of its active geysers and boiling mudpools. See the world-famous Pohutu geyser unleash vapour jets up to 30 metres high. Your tour also includes entry to Te Puia's woodcarving and weaving schools, where you can see apprentices being trained in these traditional skills.The tour concludes in Rotorua, where you can also experience everything from adrenaline rushes like luging and jet boating to nature encounters and relaxing spa treatments. Hotel drop-offs are available.
Useful info: We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes and taking a warm jacket for the Waitomo Glowworm Caves guided tour.
Full day tour
Departs Auckland, arrives Rotorua
Luxury coach travel Auckland - Waitomo - Rotorua
Guided tour of Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Agrodome organic farm tour and show
Te Puia Maori cultural performance
Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley tour
Free WiFi available on board