Explore Central North Island New Zealand

Explore Central North Island New Zealand

Discover the enticing combination of unusual and captivating landscapes and experiences on a road trip that combines three iconic touring routes, the Thermal Explorer, the Pacific Coast Highway and the Volcanic Loop.

So what will you see? There are Hobbits, underground rivers, volcanoes, lakes, wineries, beaches and Maori culture. Sample the world’s best seafood and award-winning wines. Enjoy a diverse and unique heritage and discover an abundance of buildings from another era, ancient Maori pa sites, countless historical delights and the living heritage of the stories and faces of the local people.

The Thermal Explorer runs from Hawke’s Bay through the center of the North Island from Auckland through Hamilton Waikato to Rotoura, Taupo and Ruapehu. Experience an ancient underground labyrinth of limestone caves and grottos in Waitomo, go fishing on Lake Taupo, experience Rail-Carting or kayaking outside of Ruapehu, treat yourself to wine tasting in and around Hawke’s Bay or immerse yourself in Maori culture in Rotorua.

The Pacific Coast Highway traverses the east coast of the North Island spanning from Napier to the Coromandel, offering rolling surf beaches, beautiful harbors and white sand beaches. Sample freshly caught seafood paired with locally grown wine and marvel at the talents of the local artists along the highway.

The Volcanic Loop is an exciting ‘add on’ to the Thermal Explorer Highway that travels south through Lake Taupo and Turangi then around to Ruapehu, passing the three mountains of the dual world heritage Tongariro National Park.  Experience some of New Zealand’s best mountain biking, alpine trekking and excellent skiing.

Loop the three highways together, or just select one, for an unforgettable New Zealand journey as you truly explore the diverse regions of the North Island.


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