A visit to the world-famous Waitomo limestone formations and cave systems to see the shimmering lights of thousands of tiny glow-worms is a magical subterranean experience. The Arachnocampa luminosa glow-worm is unique to New Zealand. Hundreds of limestone caves lie beneath the craggy King Country hillside. Created by geological and volcanic activity, the caves have evolved over 30 million years. The area originally lay on the seabed and over millions of years became caked with shells and marine skeletons. The movement of water reduced this matter to dust which set hard, in the process creating limestone.
Visitors can view prehistoric limestone formations and crystal lacework and marvel at the exquisite colour variations in the stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones.
Geysers? Bubbling mudpools? Crashing waterfalls? Spa pools? Rotorua has them all in abundance.
Located 233 km south-east of Auckland, Rotoruaís spectacular geothermal wonders have long provided a mecca for visitors and the cityís reputation as a spa town is legendary. The city is sited inside the rim of a volcanic crater on the southern edge of Lake Rotorua, one of the regionís largest lakes. Rainbow and brown trout swim in the regionís 12 beautiful lakes. The local indigenous Maori are from the Te Arawa tribal confederation and they offer visitors a number of authentic Maori cultural experiences.
1. DEPART AUCKLAND
Travel the main Southern Highway through small rural townships steeped in early pioneer history. Morning tea is served by your Tour Director during this sector.
New Zealand's highest city, 305 meters (1000 feet) above sea level, located inside the rim of a volcanic crater. An area of great geothermal activity.
3. AGRODOME FARM TOUR
An introduction to New Zealand farming, with a 45-minute tour of an authentic working farm in all-weather, all-terrain vehicles. Watch a sheep being shorn, hand-feed the animals and finish with a sheep dog trial.
4. LAKE ROTORUA AND GOVERNMENT GARDENS
Drive through the foreshore park past the hundreds of ducks and swans. Then through the beautiful and historic Government Gardens.
5. TE PUIA MAORI CULTURAL PERFORMANCE
Enjoy a 45-minute Maori Cultural Performance inside Te Puia's sacred Marae (meeting house). Surrounded by the carvings of ancestors, visitors are treated to perfect harmonies, the Poi, Haka and Tititorea (stick dance).
6. WHAKAREWAREWA THERMAL RESERVE AND MAORI ARTS AND CRAFTS INTITUTE
One of Rotorua's most famous attractions. See woodcarving, weaving displays, Maori village and the thermal valley with the famous Pohutu Geyser, fumaroles, colourful silica deposits and boiling mud pools.
7. DELUXE ACCOMMODATION ROTORUA
8. BUFFET DINNER / HANGI AND CONCERT
Tonight you have the choice of a buffet dinner at the Heritage Hotel (or similar) or you may wish to relive today's Maori cultural performance by being entertained with a traditional Maori Concert while dining on a sumptuous selection of food perpared by local Maori and cooked in geothermal steam underground Hangi. Please specify which option you would prefer at the time of booking.
9. WAITOMO GLOW WORM CAVES
Join a guided tour through this world-famous cave formation, climaxed by drifting silently in a boat through a glow worm cavern lit up with thousands of tiny glow worm lights.
10. WAI-O-TAPU THERMAL WONDERLAND
Watch the Lady Knox Geyser erupt then follow the marked trails around this awesome spectacle of boiling mud, the Champagne Pool, Devil's Cauldron and the colourful Artist's Palette.
11. RETURN TO AUCKLAND
Depart for Auckland via our deluxe coach departing the Holiday Inn Rotorua at 5:00 pm (approximate). An evening snack is served enroute.
Per person (Prices valid until 30/9/2013)
Contact operator in case of bad weather.
All tours depart 172 Quay St (Gray Line Office). Alternatively, a courtesy hotel pick up may be arranged if you contact us with your hotels names and address. Please wait outside hotel 5 minutes prior to pick up time. Pick up times may vary 10 minutes depending on traffic.
Hotel/motel pick up service commences at 6:35-7:10am
Rotorua, North Island, New Zealand